By Jethro Ibileke
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has presented a budget of N177 billion to the State House of Assembly for approval for the 2020 fiscal year.
The budget is 3.34 per cent higher than the 2019 figure of N175 billion. The budget has N85 billion recurrent expenditure and N92 billion capital expenditure.
According to Obaseki, the budget was to consolidate and complete all ongoing projects in the state.
He said the projected revenue for 2020 was estimated at N145 billion consisting of N68 billion statutory allocation, N14.5 billion VAT, N40.3 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), N15.3 billion grants.
Obaseki added that the balance of N32 billion was to be sourced from development financing, saying his government had based the budget on a 60 dollar per barrel of oil, and an average of 3.2 million barrel per day, while IGR is expected to rise with our reforms,.
The Governor said one of the key priorities of the budget’s capital expenditure was to strengthen the capacity of the state to meet all its obligations by allocating resources to projects that would impact on the greatest numbers of Edo people.
Security, pension and gratuities were other areas of the priority captured in the budget.
He said 21 per cent increase was proposed to personnel cost due to government’s commitment to the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Allocation to pensions and gratuities were increased to 60 per cent to enable the regular monthly payment of pension, government monthly remittance to the pension fund administrators under the contributory pension scheme.
Also captured in the budget for the sports sector is the sum of N3 billion for the hosting of the 2020 national sports festival and Under-20 women world cup competition.
The sum of N6 billion is proposed for EdoBest, N8 billion for the Abudu, Igueben and Afuze colleges of education, N1 billion is proposed to primary healthcare reforms, N2 billion is allocated for security, while N3 billion is budgeted for the state equity contribution for Benin Industrial Park.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Frank Okiye, noted that the budget would be thoroughly scrutinized before approval and passage, for the benefit of the people of the state.