… as Legislature passes vote of confidence on Governor
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji on Friday presented a budget estimate of N159,572,482,915.61 Billion Naira, christened “Budget of Sustainable Growth and Development” to the State House of Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year.
The 2024 budget is a Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) is made up of N71,994,898,233.20 capital expenditure and N87,577,583,682.41 recurrent expenditure, representing ratio of 55:45 of recurrent to capital expenditure. The budget, according to the Governor, is a product of wider consultation with Ekiti people.
Governor Oyebanji explained that the overall focus of the budget is to sustain his administration’s quest for shared prosperity through the six pillar agenda of the government.
He highlighted the objectives of the 2024 budget to include creating enabling environment for micro, small and medium enterprises to thrive through friendly policies and provision of infrastructure; achieving shared prosperity through collaboration, compassion, fiscal prudence and quality service delivery; expand the revenue base in the area of internally generated revenue, and to also ensure timely completion of on-going developmental projects through equitable and effective distribution and allocation of available resources.
He also said the budget would provide a veritable platform for youths and women empowerment, skill acquisition and entrepreneur development; strengthen the security architecture of the state; cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal; guarantee food security and support agro allied industry as well as further promote good governance through budget discipline, probity and accountability in the allocation and utilization of government fund, among others.
On capital projects, Oyebanji, who explained that his government is not unmindful of the importance of capital project on the socio economic development of the state said his administration would embark on numbers of projects without compromising the well-being of the people of the state.
He outlined the critical projects in the 2024 budget which is the outcome of citizens engagement and the work plans developed by MDAs to include, capital project and empowerment of artisans, youths and women, urban renewal/ development projects, agriculture and related value-chain development, construction of Ikere-Igbara Odo road, Ajebandele – Deeper life – Alasia – Omisanjana road, Ikole – Ara – Isinbode road and Igbara Odo – Ikogosi road rehabilitation, among others.
Governor Oyebanji said a top priority is being accorded the health sector to provide quality and affordable healthcare services as well as urgent renovation of health facilities equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
While on Agriculture and food security, he said his government would improve agricultural productivity through provision of improved seed and seedlings, and enhance extension services, expand rural and feeder roads to boost the distribution of agricultural produce to both existing and new markets and also deepen the value-chain.
“In contrast to the conventional incremental budgeting system, Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) approach was adopted in the preparation of 2024 Budget.
“The Government continues to comply with the Open Government Policy and adopted the bottom-up approach to develop the draft fiscal document. To ensure inclusivity, I held citizen engagement/Town Hall meeting in the three Senatorial Districts. This was done to take inputs from the populace towards the proposed 2024 Budget and receive feedbacks on the programmes and activities of Government, and ensure sustainability of the projects/programme implemented in the communities. The overall focus of the Budget is to sustain our quest for Shared Prosperity through the Six-Pillar Agenda of Government.
“Mr Speaker, the Government is mindful of the catalytic impact of capital projects on the socio-economic development of the State. This administration is therefore undeterred in its commitment to ensure speedy infrastructural development in the State. The Government, in 2024, will embark on a good number of capital projects without compromising the immediate well-being of the people. To this end, the sum of N71,994,898,233.20 has been proposed for capital expenditure in the 2024 fiscal year.
“This represents 45% of the total Budget size. The amount has also been allocated among the six pillars of the administration and on the other hand, our administration also takes cognizance of the importance of good governance. This must pervade all Government programmes and activities. This informed our decision to make Governance a key Pillar of the development Agenda of administration. It is important to oil the wheels of Governance for quality service delivery. Therefore, the sum of N87,577,583,682.41 has been proposed as Recurrent Expenditure in 2024. The amount earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure is to cater for the day-to-day running of Government. The allocation to Recurrent Expenditure represents 55% of the total expenditure. In effect, the Recurrent Capital ratio stands at 55:45 which meets the requirement and recommendation of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan” said the Governor.
While expressing his profound gratitude to the Speaker and members of Ekiti State House of Assembly for their cooperation and support to the Executive Arm of Government without any fear of contradiction, the Governor called on investors, Development Partners and Ekiti citizens, home and in the diaspora to make Ekiti their destination of choice for business and pleasure.
He added that Ekiti is very open to business, and has an enabling policy and institutional framework that would ensure prudency, transparency and accountability in all its obligations.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye commended Governor Oyebanji for his notable giant strides at developing the state, through focus on the mantra of keeping Ekiti working towards shared prosperity aimed to achieve an inclusive society where every citizen is presented with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed.
Rt. Hon. Aribasoye further commended Governor Oyebanji for his efforts at prioritizing investment in education to ensure that every child in the state has access to quality education and opportunity to demonstrate their potentials to the fullest.
He noted that government has provided platforms for an egalitarian society that encourages entrepreneurships, attracts investments and creates sustainable jobs by investing in critical sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare and digital innovation to drive economic growth and development.
The Legislator however reiterated the commitment of the 7th assembly to fulfil its responsibilities to the people by ensuring diligent scrutiny of the budget proposal and align it with the vision of shared prosperity, social justice and sustainable development.
The leadership of the Assembly, took a review of the administration’s development strides in the last one year and passed a vote of confidence on Governor Oyebanji for his impressive and outstanding performance and demonstrated commitment to growth and development, especially in the areas of good governance, reliable youth development and job creation, dependable human capital development and sustainable agricultural development, among others.
Also at the event were the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, wife of the Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, current and former members of the state House of Assembly, members of the state Executive Council, Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro, Head of Service, Engr. Sunday Komolafe and traditional rulers led by its Chairman, the Olojudo of Ido Ekiti, Oba Ilori Faboro.