AbdulRazaq presents N123bn 2021 Appropriation Bill to Kwara Assembly



Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, on Tuesday, presented the 2021 budget proposal of N123,091,307,468 to the House of Assembly.
AbdulRazaq, while presenting the budget, described it as a product of wide consultations with the electorate and that it was designed to reflect the current economic realities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the budget is tagged: “’Budget of Reformation and Inclusive Growth.”

According to the governor, recurrent expenditure will gulp N66.42 billion, representing 54 percent of the budget, while N56.58 billion will go to capital expenditure, representing 46 percent.

He said that there was provision for payment of the new minimum wage to workers in the state and cash-backed promotion for workers who passed the recent promotion examinations.

The governor added that the budget proposal was 7.35 percent higher than that of 2020, which was N162 billion before it was later reviewed downward to N114 billion, owing to economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He described the 2021 budget as the fallout of the dwindling revenue from oil and internally-generated revenue (IGR).

The governor said the budget would also give priority to anti-poverty measures to cushion the effects of the general economic crisis on the vulnerable and small businesses, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that his administration might take bond to finance key infrastructural projects later in 2021.

The breakdown of the budget showed that general public service took the lion share of 26.5 percent, followed by economic affairs, 25. 7 percent, education, 25.5 percent and health, 13.7 percent.

AbdulRazaq said that the budget would be funded from statutory allocation receipts. estimated at N35, 202,116, 840 and the Value Added Tax of N14,613,315,409.

Other sources of fund, according to the governor, are sundry revenues from the federal allocation, pegged at N4,792,119,551; IGR, estimated at N28,754,218,374 and income from other sundry sources, which was put at N193,322,646.

He said that the budget would also be funded with aids and grants, pegged at N16,427,182,208; other capital receipts, estimated at N9,458,032,440 and an opening balance of N13,651,000,000.

The governor added that the budget was predicated on the same key parameters and fiscal assumptions as the national budget recently presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The 2021 fiscal plan is built on the modest successes of the outgoing year, with strategic emphasis on reforms and inclusive growth.

“However, its fundamentals are dictated by the global economic realities, low revenue projections and the need to prioritise basic needs of the people as we recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19.

“Our priorities in the new fiscal year will include payment of the new minimum wage, cash-backed promotion for workers who passed the recent examinations and tech-driven reforms in the education sector.

“Others are social security for the vulnerable, cottage industries, rehabilitation of sporting facilities, and investments in the ideas of our youths through ‘Kwapreneur’.

“Ongoing and new infrastructural projects, such as the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, court rooms and school rehabilitation, and upgrading of health facilities will also be funded.

“Agriculture remains top priority as part of our strategies for food security.

“Appreciable sums have been allocated to irrigation system and purchase of fertilisers and farm implements,” AbdulRazaq said.

He stated that, at least, 10,000 rural women would benefit from the Noiler programme which his administration had keyed into.

“Nearly two years into the new administration, we have made provisions for purchase of vehicles for political office holders within reasonable limit,” he added. (NAN)