By: Valentine Adese and Ifeanyi Okonkwo
As the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, signs the 2016 budget of Plateau State into law, he urged lawmakers to see themselves as partners with the Executives to enable government deliver on their promises to the people.
Governor Lalong who signed what could best be described as a Budget that is zero-based and in tune with the nationally budgeting principle, whereby total Revenue equals Total projected expenditure, thanked the legislative arm for the efforts in passing the Budget.
He said, “May I at this juncture express my sincere appreciation to the Speaker Rt. Hon Peter Ajang Azi and Members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, for their selfless efforts in the dutiful passage of Budget.
“I also thank all Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government for their prompt defence of the budget before the various committees. This is the type of partnership in Government that will help us deliver on our promises to the people.
“While we settle to the implementation of the budget, I call on all citizens to continue to pray for the peace, progress and prosperity of our State.”
Governor Lalong explained that the desire of his administration to multiply the impact of its interventions by strategically exploring and exploiting the wealth of resources and opportunities that the state has in the Agriculture, Mineral Resources and Tourism Sectors, is the bases of the Budget.
Governor Lalong in his address in part said:
“On the 28th December of 2015, I laid the 2016 budget tagged “Budget of Rescue and Hope”. In my Speech I reiterated the several assurances we gave to the people of Plateau State, that we are determined to change and Rescue situations by overcoming the handicaps of the past and exploring the prospects of a better Plateau for the benefit of our people. We remain committed to reducing our peoples suffering, tackling insecurity, ensuring peaceful co-existence and creating opportunities for every citizen of Plateau to live a meaningful and productive life.
Through this Budget of Rescue and Hope, we will address critical development projects and work assiduously towards addressing the outlined interventions that will help us deliver on our 5 Policy Thrust of;
- Peace, Security and Good Governance
- Human Capital Development and Social Welfare
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Entrepreneurship and Industrialization
- Physical Infrastructure and Environment
We desire to multiply the impact of our interventions by strategically exploring and exploiting the wealth of resources and opportunities that we have in the Agriculture, Mineral Resources and Tourism Sectors.
The 2016 Budget is unique and nationally in tune with the zero-based budgeting principle, whereby total Revenue equals Total projected expenditure. This phenomenon is part of a closed loop spending management approach which strategically reverses and as much as possible eliminates the trend of large deficits on revenue. It therefore encourages critical review of every anticipated scheme that would lead to planned investment on development projects during the financial year.
It was in this regard therefore, that I presented on behalf of Government a budget estimate of One Hundred and Fifty – Four Billion, Seventy-Two Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty Two Naira (N154,072,570,442:00) only to the House at an oil benchmark of $38 per barrel. After careful deliberations, and considering the current economic situation of continuous fall in revenue arising from the drop in the oil price to as low as $27 per barrel, the House considered and passed an estimate of One Hundred and Forty-Six Billion, Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Million, One Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand, One Hundred and Eighteen Naira (N146,696,185,118:00) made up of Seventy Three Billion, Three Hundred and Seventy One Million, Seventy Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty Naira (N73,371,074,960:00) only Capital Vote, and a Recurrent Expenditure of Seventy Three Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty Five Million One Hundred and Ten Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty Eighty Naira (N73,325,110,158:00) only.
This shows a decrease of Seven Billion, Three Hundred and Seventy-Six Million, Three Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty-Four Naira (N7,376,385,324:00) only from what was presented to the House.
Let me assure our citizens that we would implement the Budget with due diligence and ensure that fiscal discipline and financial intelligence in line with global best practices, observed.”