2019: Buhari, 33 governors budget N15.737 trillion

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TO make  2019 a better year for Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari and 33 of the 36 governors of the country have promised to implement budgets that will cater  for their socio-economic well-being, provision of infrastructure and amenities among others.

Altogether, the president and the 33 governors have proposed a combined N15.737 trillion budget, which is N109 billion less than the N15.846 trn they budgeted in 2018. Most of the budgets are yet to be passed by the legislators. Only a few states’ proposals have been passed.

Lagos, Cross River and Zamfara states are yet to present their budgets. Cross River and Lagos were the heaviest spenders in 2018, with each passing a budget of over one trillion naira.

Of the N15.737 trillion budgets, N5.818 trillion was earmarked for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure got N9.285 trillion.

Most states prioritise capital expenditure

Most of the states allocated more funds to capital expenditure.

The exceptions, which joined the Federal Government in proposing more money for recurrent projects are Bayelsa, Enugu, Ekiti, Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Yobe, Gombe, Borno and Taraba states.

S/South, S/West zones emerge as top spenders

On zonal basis, South-South (N2.001 trillion) and and South-West (N1.158 trillion) are the biggest spenders while South-East (N870.313 billion) and North-Central (N895.909 billion) are the least spenders. The remaining two zones – North-West (N1.059 trillion) and North-East (N922.951 billion) are in the middle of the pack.

Lower budgets for 2019

Like the Federal Government, 15 states have proposed lower budgets for 2019 compared to what the spent in 2018 in view of the dwindling fortunes of the country on account of unsteady price of crude oil, Nigeria’s main revenue earner. The states are Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe and Borno.

Higher 2019 budgets

States that upped their budgets in the 2019 are Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Benue, Niger, Jigawa, Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba.

Big spenders

Pending the announcement of Cross River and Lagos budgets, the highest spenders as of now are Akwa Ibom (N670.718 billion), Rivers (N480.644 billion), Ogun (N400 billion), Delta (N390.3 billion), Oyo (N285 billion), Imo (N276 billion), Bayelsa (N275 billion), Adamawa (N244 billion), Kano (219.7 billion), and Katsina (N200.741 billion).

Least budgets

Those with smaller budgets are Nasarawa (N86.643 billion), Yobe (N91.6 billion), Enugu (N109.199 billion), Borno (N125.82 billion), Ekiti (N129.9 billion), Abia (139.542 billion), Taraba (N146.074 billion), Kogi (N146.736 billion), and Plateau (N148.7 billion).

Why we are pursuing socio-welfare budgets  — Governors

Presenting Akwa Ibom State’s  N670.72 billion “Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation” to the state House of Assembly, Governor Udom Emmanuel, said the 2019 budget was intended to establish more industries and attract more direct foreign investments.

Mr Emmanuel said the preparation of the budget was guided by the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).

He said the policy objectives of the 2019 budget were to broaden and diversify the state’s resource base through improvements in the collection of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The budget would also boost production of local businesses through the promotion of trade, commerce and tourism between the state and the rest of the world, he said.

According to him, the policy objectives of the budget will also aim to develop agriculture through the supply of improved agricultural inputs, credits and extension services.

For Delta, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said his  N367.1 billion “budget of sustainable growth” would enable his administration consolidate on its achievements in the past three years.

Details of the budget showed that the sum of N209.9 billion would be spent on capital expenditure while the sum of N157.1 billion was proposed for recurrent expenditure.

The governor pledged to ensure stable growth that would position Delta State as a dynamic economy. N79.6 billion was also proposed for road construction while the education sector would gulp the sum of N26.8 billion

To Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, his  N109b  ‘’Budget of Peace, Equity and Prosperity’’ will continue from where the 2018 budget stopped and improve development of urban and rural areas.

Reeling out achievements of his administration in the last three years which include, massive rehabilitation of roads both in urban and rural areas as well as in health facilities, agriculture and education, Ugwuanyi said Enugu remains one of the most peaceful and safest states in Nigeria. He said his administration has invested heavily in agriculture noting that this was to ensure that no family in the state goes to bed without food.

“We want to make sure that no family goes to sleep without food, this is why this administration has mapped out various agricultural programmes to ensure adequate food production,” he said.

In Kwara, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed  said the objectives of the state’s N157.8 billion Budget “include expanding the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) capacity of the state through land administration and electronic collection for sustainable development; creating an enabling environment for investors through improved infrastructural development; developing human capital development and job and wealth creation.”

Gov. Ahmed maintained that the overall objective of the Budget is to consolidate on the gains of the past years and to ensure completion of all on-going projects across to ensure good welfare of the citizenry.

In like manner, Governor Aminu Tambuwal said Sokoto State’s N169.65 billion “Budget of Consolidation for Sustainable Growth and Development,” would focus on completion of projects started in 2018 and execution of new ones.

Tambuwal stated that 2019 would be the fourth year of his administration, thereby stressing the need to consolidate on all the administration’s achievements. “This is to set such achievements into motion so as to improve the living standard of our people. For the fourth year running, the education sector got the highest allocation of over N47.4 billion, representing 27.9 per cent of the total estimates,” he added. The governor explained that the policy thrust of the budget was to ensure sustainable economic development through substantial investment in critical sectors. He said that the sectors included education, agriculture, healthcare delivery, exploration of mineral resources, investment in renewable energy and infrastructure. “We will prioritise effective resources management and seek intervention in areas with high potentials to create job opportunities, generate income and improve revenue generation,” he said. The governor gave the assurance that the government would continue to work to strengthen capacity building of scheduled ministries for better service delivery. “We will continue to promote our partnership with the private sector in areas of strategic importance to our development objective.’’

Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who thanked God for being the first person to present eight budgets in Oyo, noted that it was challenging to rule the state.

While presenting a budget of N285 billion to the state’s House of Assembly for the 2019 fiscal year, out of which N100,535,047,409.14 (61.50%) was allocated to the economic sector, Ajimobi noted that the budget took into consideration the challenges in the outgoing year arising from almost complete reliance on Federal Allocation, which be said, had grave consequences as Federal Statutory Allocation itself was dependent on extraneous factors.

He added that more efforts shall be geared towards harnessing all available sources of internal revenue to the state.

“It is to be emphasized that capital receipt shall be ring-fenced in line with the Federal Governments’ fiscal sustainability plan. The preparation of this proposed Budget Estimates has therefore been as realistic as is practicable, to ensure a more pragmatic and productive performance in the budget implementation.”

Source: VANGUARD

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