By Gbenga ARIYIBI, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Engr. Segun Oni has presented a sum of N67.5 billionÂ Â as Â Â 2010 Budget estimateÂ to the State House of Assembly, with an assurance that the budget would be implemented to the latter
This yearâ€™s presentation of budgetÂ was done in a peaceful atmosphere, unlike that of Â last year that was done in a rancorousÂ Â Â atmosphere when members of the opposition Action Congress had a Â fisticuff with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party[ PDP].
ButÂ Â Â politicians and other Â dignitaries had to wait for almost three hours behind scheduleÂ before the governor could present the budgetÂ to the lawmakers.
The budget tagged, â€œBudget of Assuranceâ€ N30, 468,555,675.07 as recurrent expenditureÂ or 45 percent of the total budget, while the sum of Â Â N37, 008,789,970.10 was votedÂ as Â capital projects,Â or 55 percent of the total budget.
Under the recurrent expenditure in the budget estimate, personnel cost would gulp N5, 487,155,675.00 (8.13%), other charges will take N2, 991,700,000.00 (4.43%); recurrent grants to parastatals and tertiary institutions, N12, 109, 200, 00.00 (17.95%); transfer to other funds, N4, 440,000,000.00 (6.58%) and consolidated revenue fund charges will take N5, 440,500,000.07 (8.06%).
For the capital expenditure, the Economic Sector, comprising of Agriculture and Rural Development, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), job creation/employment generation, micro credit and poverty reduction; and infrastructure will take N16,321,025,940.00 (44.10%)
WhileÂ Â social sector, comprising education, health, information services and social development will gulp N9,167,850,000.00 (24.77%).
In the budget estimate,environmental development sector, which includes town and country planning, sewage and drainage, emergency and waste management takes N2,114,500,000.00 (5.71%) while the General Administration Sector will take N9,405,413,970.10 (25.41%).
Oni who reviewed theÂ 2009 Budget which was put at N90.6 billion, which was later slashedÂ downward to N58.2 billion,Â said, â€œTwo important factors are germane to the review of the 2009 budget.
â€˜â€™The first one is the general global economic meltdown, which has constrained the execution of intended capital projects, while the second reason had to do with the then political problem that the people of the state witnessed.â€
On the 2010 budget, the governorÂ said the State Government would focus more attention on the completion of ongoing capital projects and would embark on only a few priority new ones that would add value to the lives of the majority of the people of the State.
The governor whoÂ gave objectives of the 2010 Budget to include; â€œRadical expansion of the internal revenue base through a pragmatic and sustainable approach…â€
Commitment to the completion of on-going projects; improvement on the quality and functionality of education; promotion of economic activities through support for enterprise development; maintenance of effective,
â€™â€™Efficient and well motivated public service for enhanced productivity; reduction in the level of unemployment with the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty through provision on micro credit and support for enterprise development; increasing the effectiveness and functionality of the health sector with a view to improving the quality of health care delivery service;
â€˜Improvement in social economic infrastructure such as rural/urban roads, rural/urban water supply and rural electrification and provision of enabling environment for food security and agro-based industries with immense private sector participation.
While urging the House to expedite action on the budget estimate, Governor Oni said; â€œIt behoves therefore on this Honourable House to share our vision on the needs of the people as articulated in the budget and consider same.â€
Oni further imploredÂ all stakeholders in the State project to team up with his administration to speed up its development efforts.
Responding to the presentation, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olatunji Odeyemi assured that the House would do justice the estimate.