Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Thursday presented an Appropriation Bill of N147.8 billion for 2018 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for approval.
Bello presented the appropriation bill tagged, “Budget of Sustainable Growth”, at a special session at the assembly complex in Lokoja.
The governor said the budget comprised a Recurrent Expenditure of N63.8 billion representing 43.18 per cent and Capital expenditure of N83.9 billion representing 56.82 per cent.
He said the 2018 budget was prepared in line with international best practices and aimed at addressing critical infrastructure needs of the state such as roads, housing, education and health.
Bello said the budget package for year 2018 was about N44.4 billion less than the 2017 revised approved budget of N185 billion.
The budget according to him, also aims at addressing other thematic areas of his government such as job creation, youth empowerment, public sector and pension reforms.
“This budget is of course a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the New Direction Blueprint of this administration.
“It will consolidate our progress by prioritising government spending on education, health infrastructure and utilities, job creation and youth empowerment as well as civil service and pension reforms,’’ he said.
The total sectorial outlay of the budget, according to the governor, is administration, N44.9 billion, 30.39 per cent; Economy, N59.2 billion, 40.1 per cent; Law and Justice, N5.7 billion, 3.9 per cent and Social, N37.8 billion, 25.6 per cent.
Bello explained that the reduction in the 2018 budget estimates was due to current lull in the economy which had affected revenue accruals to the state.
He urged members of the state assembly to give the budget a speedy consideration, saying, “Speedy deliberation and approval of the budget proposal by this distinguished assembly will facilitate its prompt implementation for the benefit of our communities and constituents.”
Responding, the Speaker, Prince Matthew Kolawole, described budget as an important policy tool that provided avenue for both the Executive and the Legislature to collaborate in the management of the economy for equitable and efficient allocation of resources.
He assured that the assembly would give the budget speedy consideration and approval, adding that it would be alive to its oversight responsibilities to ensure that the budget was fully implemented.
The speaker called on the governor to give priority to completion of some of the ongoing projects in the state, especially the Kogi Hotels project.