Governor Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday said that Edo State’s annual budget has continued to grow significantly from N116 billion, upon assumption of office in 2016, to N320 billion in 2023.
The governor disclosed this at the sixth southern zonal accountant’s Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Benin City, with the theme, “Quest for good governance in Nigeria: The chartered accountants’ perspective.”
Obaseki, who attributed the rising annual budget to the government’s transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources, noted that E-governance reforms by his administration to improve governance and public service delivery have transformed the state as the best at deploying technology in public governance in the country.
He said: “Edo is number one when it comes to technology adoption in public governance in Nigeria as we have E-governance software that helps us drive and run our civil service. Our goal is to build a large, sustainable economy driven by energy, agriculture, and technology and build the infrastructure that drives everything in the state.
“In the last six years, we have reviewed our Financial Instructions (FI) which were used in the Western and Mid-West regions and today our FI reflects the current reality of modern public service governance.
“In the last decade, we have taken a fundamental review of our public procurement sector and undertaken fundamental reforms through the amendment of the Edo State Public Procurement Law 2012 and a review in 2020.
“As a state, we have adopted the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSA) of accounting in our financial reporting, and in 2020, the World Bank adjudged Edo State audited financial report as meeting the IPSA requirements.
”In 2018, we enacted the public financial management and fiscal responsibility laws in our State. We have increased Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) substantially in the State by granting administrative and financial autonomy to Edo Internal Revenue Service (EIRS).
“We have undertaken fundamental debt management reforms and adopted open governance partnership principles. E-governance reforms and leveraging technology to promote transparency, accountability and fighting corruption are one of our major achievements.
“The budget performance for the state has continued to grow significantly from N116 billion when I came into office in 2016 and today it has grown to about N320 billion and the performance is in excess of 85 percent annually,” he added.
Innocent Okwuosa, the president of ICAN, on his part, commended the governor for the prudent management of scarce resources to better the lives of the majority of Edo people, pointing out that Nigeria can only emerge from its current state of poor governance and development if good governance is prioritised comprehensively.