Lalong signs 2021 appropriation bill of N147.6bn into law



Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has signed into law the 2021 appropriation bill of more than N147.6 billion.

The governor, who assented to the bill on Thursday in Jos, thanked the members of the state House of Assembly for the speedy passage.

The governor presented the proposed budget estimate tagged “Budget of Economic Recovery and Consolidation of Inclusive Infrastructural Growth” to the assembly on Nov. 11.

Lalong said that the speedy and successful passage or the bill would enable the government to settle down to vigorously implement it.

“This is a very significant event for the economic prosperity and peace of our state and I want to appreciate the speaker and the members of the House of Assembly for their commitment and diligence in passing the 2021 appropriation bill on time.

“This again demonstrates the unity and patriotism that is guiding the synergy between the two arms of government in delivering good governance to our people.

“The 2021 budget complies with the current economic realities, occasioned by COVID-19, which has made us to prioritise key areas that will impact our people,’’ he said.

The governor promised to support businesses to wax stronger in the state, adding that the tax that would accrue from those businesses would be utilised to develop the state and create employment opportunities.

“We hope to support businesses that will in turn pay taxes especially now that we have signed into law the new tax law for development.

“I want to appeal to all citizens to support us as we fulfill our goal of achieving sustainable economic rebirth and empowering our people,” Lalong stated.

Giving a brief breakdown of the budget, Mr Sylvester Wallanko, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, said the lawmakers increased the budget size from N134.9 billion to N147.6 billion.

He said that the rationale for the increase was based on the inclusion of some projects and programmes that were not envisaged at the executive level of budget preparation.

He said the budget, passed by the House on Dece. 17, has N90.1 billion appropriated for recurrent expenditure, while capital expenditure would gulp N57.4 billion.

According to him, the recurrent and capital expenditures represent 61 per cent and 38 per cent respectively, adding that the budget would be implemented based on the three-pillar policy of the Lalong-led administration. (NAN)