2023 budget: Abiodun presents N472.26b before OGHA
...as works, infrastructure gulp lion share
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has presented the 2023 budget proposal of N472.26billion before the State House Assembly, with the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure taking a lion share of N129,371,366,122.38bn, indicating 27% of the total budget.
Abiodun, while presenting the appropriation bill at the chamber of the OGHA, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, on Thursday, said the 2023 fiscal proposal is christened 'Budget of Continued Development and Prosperity' as it will take his administration's "Building Our Future Together" agenda from the current phase into another one.
The governor noted that his administration would continue to accord priority attention to the completion of ongoing projects, especially those with revenue potentials; that can enhance employment generation; projects that are consistent with priorities articulated in the State
Economic Development Plan and Strategy 2021-2025 as well as projects that align with the seven thematic areas contained in the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025.
He disclosed that the 2023 budget conception came with obvious economic challenges, hence, the preparation was done conscious of a very challenging world economy that is weakened by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation, high crude oil prices resulting in huge cost of PMS Subsidy, continued crude oil theft and negative spill-over effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on food and dwindling federal revenues.
While declaring that the principal objective of his government in 2023 is to maintain and enlarge the state economic base by being strategic towards harnessing economic opportunities in the outer years of the current administration, Abiodun said a total of N201.84b is proposed recurrent expenditure, while as sum of N270.41b is set aside as capital expenditure.
Breaking down the budget, he said that a sum of N129,371,366,122.38b has been earmarked for works and infrastructure in 2023, which is the 27% of the entire budget.
He attributed the largest share in the budget to works and infrastructure as his administration had planned to implement schemes for power generation to improve and guarantee electricity supply to major cities, business clusters and estates; development of a dry port at Kajola to leverage on the
existing rail network; rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance of roads across the state; completion of the Agro-Cargo Airport; procurement and installation of transformers state-wide; construction of pilot rural Road of 13.1km at Alapako-Oni and Mosa Junction; improvement and upgrading of other rural roads among other infrastructural projects.
According to the governor, personnel cost; social contribution and social benefits; public debt charge and overhead cost will gulp N79.47b, N21.12b, N39.90b and N61.35b, respectively in the 2023 budget.
On the finance of the proposed budget, Abiodun said that the state is expected to generate an estimated revenue of N90b internally through the OGIRS, N120.25b from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) totalling N210.25b.
Noting that the state will achieve an IGR to GDP ratio of 3.7 per cent, he added that the state is expected to receive a sum of N92b from the statutory allocation from the Federal Government, while N128.37b is expected as capital receipts comprising of internal and external loans as well as grants and aids in 2023.
"The 2023 budget proposals manifest the issues we confront as well as the necessary steps to overcome them in a sustainable manner. The expenditure policy of government in 2023 is designed to achieve the strategic objectives of the Ogun State Economic Development Plan and Strategy 2021-2025, including fiscal sustainability; human development; food security; improved business environment; energy sufficiency; improving transport infrastructure; and, promoting industrialization focusing on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
"We will continue to focus our public spending mix towards a capital expenditure that is higher than that of recurrent expenditure. We are convinced that increased investment in capital expenditure is our secured route to sustainable economic growth and development as a State.
"Against the backdrop of the challenging global and domestic economic environment, it is imperative that we strengthen our macroeconomic environment and address existing challenges as a State. The 2023 Appropriation therefore is a Budget of Continued Development and Prosperity expected to achieve social cohesion that will continue to focus on equitable socio-economic growth and development state-wide.
"Our internally generated revenue capacity in the comity of states is no longer in doubt. More importantly, this administrations budget model is revenue driven through the State Medium Term Revenue Strategy. In essence we will continue to focus on improving our revenue base. In doing this we will rely on the provisions of the section 23 (1 & 2) of the fiscal responsibility law, 2020 (as amended) with a view to increase the States Internally Generated Revenue. This will not only help to enhance the comprehensiveness and transparency, but increase the States revenue in due course". The governor stated.
Abiodun, who recalled that the total projected funding for the 2022 budget was N450,986,566,678.04 comprising of N160,174,462,525.27 as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and N290,812,104,152.77 as expected inflows from the Statutory Allocation, Value Added Tax, Capital Receipts and others, disclosed that "as of 30th September 2022, actual total funding was N193,731,370,976.27 representing 62.11 per cent of the pro-rated revenue target. We are poised to finish this year strongly at an expected performance of well over the 70% that was achieved last year".
While saying that the infrastructure investments of his government are people-oriented and transformational with immense multiplier effects on the socio-economic development of the entire state, the governor said that over 80 major roads and others (Federal roads inclusive) totalling 400km have been constructed, reconstructed or rehabilitated across the State, submitting that "this administration in three years and six months has done more in terms of kilometres of roads than previous administrations in the state".
Governor Abiodun, however, urged the leadership of the State House of Assembly to ensure that the 2023 budget proposal is thoroughly but expeditiously vetted and returned in earnest for his assent before January 1, 2023, emphasizing that the budget contents emanated from the wishes of the Ogun people expressed at different budget town hall meetings.
"Mr. Speaker and honourable members of the 9th Ogun State House of Assembly, as I lay before you the 2023 Appropriation Bill today, we must remind ourselves that this event is another symbolic representation of our joint mission towards the realization of the Ogun State of our collective dreams. We have done it before. We can do it again. The challenges that are ahead of us in the coming year dictate that we should all move on more cooperatively to continue to deliver dividends of democracy to our people.
We have covered a lot of grounds, but we must remind ourselves that there is always room for improvement. Time is of the essence and our people must see our commitment and sincerity to their security, peace, comfort, wellness and well-being", the state governor concluded.