By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, Wednesday presented an appropriation bill of N155.6billion for the fiscal year 2022 to the Benue State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.

The bill christened, ‘Budget of Economic Advancement and Growth’ is about 13.6 percent or over N21billion higher than the 2021 budget of N134billion.

Presenting the bill to the Assembly, Governor Ortom explained that the sum of N98.7billion had been allocated to recurrent expenditure with personnel cost gulping N47.5billion while overhead would take N51.2billion. He also stated that N56.8billion was allotted to capital expenditure.

A sectorial allocation breakdown showed that N56.8billion was allotted to the economy, the social sector would get N46.9billion, administration would receive N43.8billion while Law/Justice would get N8.1billion.

According to the Governor, “our focus in preparing the 2022 Budget Estimates is on programmes and projects that will take us farther along on the path to becoming an economically self-reliant federating unit of Nigeria.

“We will continue to use the budget as an instrument to achieve the goals set out in the Benue State Development Plan 2016-2025. We will intensify our quest to create opportunities for jobs and wealth for our farmers and entrepreneurs while supporting our hard-pressed farmers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to grow their operations.

“We will seek to complete ongoing infrastructure projects, promote community mobilisation for development security, and further invest in education, skills development and healthcare to ensure that we have the 21st century human capital that is suitable for the opportunities in this rapidly changing digital world.

“Of course, we will continue to ensure that our workers are paid on time while also continuing our efforts to address the long-standing challenge of Pension Arrears. We will also remain true to the core public financial management principles of a timely, realistic, responsive and transparent budget preparation and implementation process.

“We will sustain the implementation of financial management reforms, including the adoption of technology to improve revenue and expenditure tracking, to ensure the prudent management of resources, value for money, accountability and transparency in all Government expenditures.”

Receiving the estimate, the Speaker of the House, Mr. Titus Uba who commended the Governor for presenting the bill early assured that it would be committed to the Committee on Business and Rules for immediate consideration by the House.

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