By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde, on Thursday disclosed that Oyo State government would need between N7 billion to N11billion to properly remodel all the 351 Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) in the state.
Delivering a keynote address at the engagement on the 2021 Budget, held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan at the second edition of the Oyo state’s Budget Consultative Forum ahead of the 2021 Budget of the state, the governor said he has approved N1.65 billion in a bold step to ensure the delivery of modern PHCs in all the electoral wards before May 29, 2023.
According to Governor Makinde, the present administration in Oyo state will not relent in its determination to turn the state around through people-centred project, adding, in his quest to positively influence the state’s economy and enhance the quality of life, his administration has approved the payment of N1.65 billion for the remodelling of Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) across the 351 electoral wards in the state.
The governor also said he recently approved the release of the sum of N1,080,000,000 (N1.08b) to the Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) for payment of 2018 leave bonus of the affected Teachers.
Governor Makinde noted that fespite the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of the 2020 Budget in Oyo state has touched every sector of the state, a development which he attributed to the inclusion of the people in the budgeting process.
He stressed further that the execution of ongoing projects, including the 21-km Ajia-Airport Road, with a spur to Amuloko; the remodelling of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba; the Light-Up Oyo project, as well as the ongoing construction of four Bus Interchanges; OYSADA headquarters and upgrade of health facilities, became possible due to the government’s innovations in financial management and targeted borrowing.
“I have always said that I am in this position today because it is the will of the people and of God. And so, I am determined to continue to pursue and expand policies that will show that I respect the yearnings of the people. One of the ways our administration has done this is by ensuring that our communities are involved in the budgeting process”, he said
The governor added, “last year, we produced our first budget, which we tagged, “The People’s Budget,” because we came out and engaged in town hall meetings and sought your input. You spoke, and we listened. You made it clear that you wanted more capital projects and infrastructural development. You indicated that payment of salaries and gratuities was a sore point. As a result, of last year’s budget of N213.8Billion, capital expenditure was pegged at N103.4Billion, while recurrent expenditure had a value of N110.4Billion.”
“Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened. Additionally, the fall in oil prices affected federal allocations to states. We had to slash the budget. However, we decided that whatever cuts we were making, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, and other emoluments to the state workforce will not be affected. After the reductions, recurrent expenditure remained N108.9Billion while capital projects took a 36.9 per cent hit and came down to N65.2Billion.
“Still, we have found ways of ensuring that some planned infrastructure projects could still be carried out. For example, we introduced the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), where the contractors execute the entire project with their own money before the government repays over several budgeting cycles.
Speaking further, he disclosed that “the ongoing reconstruction of the 21km Airport Road-Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko and the remodelling of Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, are products of this funding approach”.
“We also had the Contractor’s Project Financing Scheme. Through this scheme, Oyo State contributes an initial percentage of the contract sum while the contractor brings the rest. The government then has the grace of paying over several budgeting cycles. The recently flagged off ‘Light Up Oyo State’ (Phase 2) project, is being facilitated using this financing model.
“We also embarked on targeted borrowing. We are grateful to the state legislature, led by Honourable Debo Ogundoyin, for signing off on infrastructural loans. We have begun constructions such as the bus terminals at Iwo Road, New Ife Road, Challenge and Ojoo in Ibadan; the remodelling of OYSADA headquarters at Saki, Oke-Ogun; upgrading of Primary Healthcare Centres and other healthcare facilities. Just last week, we were at Saki to commission the Saki Specialist Hospital.
Oyo state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Adeniyi Farinto, while speaking said the programme was a further attestation to the all-inclusive nature of governance under the present administration in Oyo State and its resolve to enshrine the principle of equity and participatory approach to governance.
The Finance Commissioner stressed that a stakeholders meeting of such nature was a genuine platform where all opinions would not only be explored but would be critically examined for the growth and development of the state, stressing that having a people-oriented budget has always been the priority of the Makinde administration.