James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
Arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic with its attendant socio-economic impact on the national economies and its effects on human lives, the Ogun State government has revised its 2020 budget to N280B, to reflect the prevailing economic realities.
The reduction which was by 38 per cent, brings the earlier N449.9b budget passed by the State House of Assembly to N280b.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo stated this while briefing the state lawmakers on the revised budget, at the House of Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Giving the breakdown, the Commissioner for Finance said ‘’the initial Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N254.945B is now N113.552B, which is a reduction of about 55 per cent, while the initial recurrent expenditure of N178.7B has now been cut down to N132.482b, just as the initial capital expenditure of N271.232b has been reviewed downward to N148.426b, a reduction of 45 percent, where total expenditure now stands at N280.908b’’.
The step, according to Okubadejo was in line with the Federal Government’s resolve to also slash it’s budget and revenue projections in line with new economic realities and shortfall in oil prices in the global market.
The Commissioner noted that at the national level, the Federal Government had earlier noticed 47.7 per cent decline in the economy and ensured 22 per cent reduction in oil production, hence, it approved the decrease of the 2020 budget benchmark from $57 to $30 per barrel respectively.
Okubadejo, while fielding questions from the lawmakers, ascribed the adjustment in the 2020 Appropriation Law to the ravaging pandemic, saying it has caused a downfall in the nation’s economic index including the gross domestic product (GDP).
He assured of more financial management reforms by the State Government to boost revenue drive, stating that the State would strengthen its revenue enforcement team to ensure strict tax compliance and leverage on ICT as well as ensure the sustainability of digital security measures to checkmate revenue leakages.
He added that the State would take more advantage of educational counterpart fund and new revenue drive to finance the education sector, having reduced the sector’s budget from 21 per cent to 15 per cent in the proposed budget, with a view to upholding the standard of excellence at all levels of the State educational system.
Consequently, the Assembly, therefore, passed the bill titled: HB. No. 050/OG/2020- The year 2020 Appropriation (Amendment) Law, 2020 for second reading shortly after the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Kunle Sobukanla moved a motion for its second reading, seconded by Solomon Osho and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote.
The action, according to Assembly was based on the earlier engagements with the State Commissioner for Finance on the rationale behind the proposed reduction in the 2020 budget.
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Responding, Speaker Olakunle Oluomo, while committing the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, underscored the need to speed up the process of redesigning land title for the people to allow property owners enjoy the benefits of holding title documents for all economic or business dealings.
The Assembly also passed a resolution to amend the State Traffic and Enforcement (TRACE) (Amendment), 2007 in view of the need to address the high rate of road accidents in the State.
The passage of the resolution followed a motion moved by a member representing Odeda State Constituency, Oludaisi Elemide, seconded by Haruna Wahab and supported by entire the lawmakers through a voice vote.