*urges citizens not to treat COVID-19 protocols with kid gloves
By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Goveenor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Wednesday in Abeokuta assented to the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill of N338. 6billon.
The bill tagged “Budget of Recovery and Sustainability”, comprises recurrent expenditure of N162 billion (48 per cent of the total budget) and a capital expenditure of N177 billion (52 per cent).
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, said, however, while passing the budget, the House of Assembly, on Tuesday slightly adjusted in the recurrent and capital expenditures estimates.
The adjustments affected about 74 agencies, including the capital receipt, following the recommendations of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation led by Hon. Kunle Sobunkanla.
The 2021 appropriation bill was read and adopted clause-by-clause before the members by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo during plenary, thereby passing a sum of N146.529bn as earmarked for recurrent expenditure, N20.182bn for Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges (CRFC) while N171.898bn was allocated for capital expenditure in the year 2021.
Highlights of the budget as presented to the House are infrastructure, N61 billion; social welfare and well-being N93 billion (includes health, housing, environment, physical planning, women affairs, etc); education, N58 billion; youth empowerment, N6 billion; agriculture, N15 billion and Enablers N106 billion, among others.
Signing the budget, Gov. Abiodun assured the people that the State would strive to recover from the challenges engendered by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and forge ahead in the critical sectors of the economy as enunciated in the Act.
The governor commended the Assembly for the speedy passage of the bill.
He said that signing the budget before December ending would avail the State Government the opportunity to further plan towards its implementation from January, 2021.
He said that the State Government would remain focused in the implementation of the budget as passed, for the benefit of the people.
The governor noted that there was warm working relationship between the executive and the legislature in the State.
He however warned that people must desist from treating the protocols associated with COVID-19 with kid gloves, saying: “You have just witnessed my signing into law, the 2021 Appropriation Bill. Like I said while presenting the bill, we are in very difficult times this year. The second wave of the pandemic is here and some of our people still feel it is not something to be taken too seriously.
“The reality is that this second wave is more virulent than the previous. We must observe basic guidelines and stem the spread of the virus by wearing our face masks appropriately, washing and sanitising our hands and maintaining social distance. If we keep these codes, I am optimistic that we will tame the spread and the 2021 fiscal year will witness increased prosperity as envisaged in this Act.
We will be able to get back to the desired levels of infrastructural and human capital development for our people and do a lot more.
“I pray that God will help us and this nation to rediscover ourselves and to commit every work of our people and our state and nation for the common good of all our citizens.”Governor Abiodun concluded.