• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Obaseki signs N222.6bn Edo appropriation bill

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has signed the state’s 2022 appropriation bill pegged at N222.6 billion into law, after due passage by the State House of Assembly.

The signing of the bill came barely six hours after the House passed and raised the budget size previously set at N214.2 billion by the governor to N222.6 billion.

Speaking during the signing of the bill at Government House in Benin City, Obaseki said the budget tagged “budget of renewal, hope and growth,” saw an increase of about N8.4billion as against the N214.2 billion initially presented to the state assembly.

The governor, who commended the leadership of the assembly for giving speedy consideration to the bill, assured that, “as an executive, we are fine-tuning the government’s internally generated revenue (IGR) mechanism because that is the trick in attaining this budget size.

According to him, “We are pretty confident that Edo people want to pay tax and we want to ensure that the taxes they pay go into government coffers for developmental purposes.”

Obaseki said: “Let me express my profound gratitude for the cooperation that we have continued to receive from you. In your wisdom, you marginally increased the size of the appropriation bill that we brought to you.

“Knowing that next year is likely to be quite an inflationary year and with trends that we see today, we see the naira weakening further; this means that we need enough naira to accomplish the same set of things we did last year.

Read also: Obaseki unveils 30-year Edo State development plan

“So, we understand the wisdom in you now increasing the proposal that we brought to you. We also want to thank you because even though you made an adjustment, most of that adjustment went into capital expenditure, rather than recurrent.

“This now puts our capital expenditure at an all-time high relative to recurrent expenditure. We really want to thank you for aligning with our dreams of making Edo great again. Except we spend more money on capital expenditure, we cannot take our people out of poverty.

He added, “I see you put more money in areas that concern the youths; I see you put more money in technical education, building more technical schools, particularly in Edo North. I also see that you have put a bit more money into sports development.

“Realising that next year there is the National Sports Festival (NSF), you have reminded us that we need to put a bit more appropriation in the area of sports to encourage our young ones to participate.”

Presenting the bill to the governor, Marcus Onobun, speaker of the House, said they took the decision to push up the budget figure after due consultations with their constituents and relevant stakeholders.

“We went through the budget and consulted with the constituents across the state, made sure that their inputs were reflected, and also zeroed in on realizing the MEGA Agenda at the grassroots.

“With consultation with the ministry of budget, we concluded to slightly increase the budget size from the initial amount to the current budget size, which has now been passed into law of N222.57 billion,” Onobun said.