Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has presented the state’s 2014 budget estimates of N159.213 billion to the State House of Assembly for approval.
Tagged “Budget of Renewed Hope”, which is aimed at taking the state to the next level, the budget is N5.088 billion higher than the 2013, budget which stood at N154,125 billion.
The budget which is aimed at opening up the state economy for rapid socio-economic development is made up of N85,595 billion or 53.76% Capital Expenditure and N73.617billion or 46.24% Recurrent Expenditure.
On funding the budget, the Governor said the government hopes to get N115.589 billion as revenue; N65.331 billion as statutory receipts; N25.095 billion from Internally Generated Revenue, N4.899 billion from Aids and Grants; N8.246 billion from VAT, N6.423 from Excess Crude Account and N5.595 billion from Capital Receipts.
Road projects will take the lion share of the budget amounting to N24 billion of the Capital expenditure; followed by education which takes N15 billion; flood and erosion control/environmental protection takes N10.295 billion; health N8 billion; Agriculture, Housing and Urban Planning take N1.5billion each.
Expatiating on the Health Sector, Oshiomhole said “the government plans to complete the construction and equipping of the new accident and emergency 200 bed ward complex at the Central Hospital, Benin City, completion and furnishing of the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Block D of the new Secretariat complex to provide permanent accommodation for the Ministry.
While reviewing the state’s 2013 budget, Oshiomhole said “In 2013, revenue performance was affected by the reduction in the Personal Income Tax leading to a big drop in our Internally Generated Revenue to the tune of N500 million monthly. The drop in the allocation from the Federation Account arising from the alleged oil theft has also adversely affected the revenue profile of the State.”
He however noted that despite the challenges, “I am delighted to report that we have remained faithful to our wage obligations despite the dwindling allocations and inflows from federal sources, which led to delay in payment of salaries by some more buoyant States and even the Federal Government.
“We have equally honoured our pensions and gratuity commitments. As at the end of September, 2013, we have disbursed N2.942 billion to pensioners and towards the liquidation of inherited gratuity liabilities.
“On the whole, we have sustained our policy of financial prudence and budget discipline which has kept the cost of governance within reasonable limits and ensured that more resources are channelled to capital expenditures and welfare enhancing projects.”
Responding, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uyi Igbe said the House would expedite action on the budget proposals. He noted that the Governor’s reading of the budget on the floor makes the First reading according to the Assembly rules.