Why we passed N190bn as 2018 budget – Kwara Speaker

Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad has explained the rational behind the passage of N190 billion as 2018 budget.
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed  signed the Budget into law on Friday.
The lawmakers had penultimate Wednesday revealed that the budget size has been increased from N181b presented by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to N187 after it added over N6billion.
Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon Moshood Bakare had told the House during debate of the budget at the Committee of Supply that over N6billion was added to the budget to take care of some noticeable areas of importance during budget defence by MDAs.
He listed N3b for SUBEB, N2b for local government bailout, N500m for Kishi/Kaiama road, N150m for the new Town Planning among others as areas where the legislature appropriated additional funds.
But the lawmakers suspended  the passage of the budget at the end of deliberations and summoned the state Commissioner of Tertiary Education, Dr Amina Ahmed and other officials of the ministry among other key government functionaries over failure of Kwara Polytechnic management to reduce tuition as earlier directed by the House.
Explaining further during an interview with journalists, Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad said members increased the budget size partly based on the price of the crude oil.
“The projections the state government made was far too low from the reality on the new oil price. So what we did was to bring it up to level of that of the senate even though it was selling higher than that.
“Also there were some budget we knocked off and some we brought back including savings we did from some wasteful spending. That was how we arrived at the new size”, the Speaker added.
The Kwara legislature last Thursday passed a sum of N190.9 billion as the 2018 Appropriation bill  jacking up the budget size with about N9billion as against N181.8 billion presented by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on November 25, 2017.
The budget was passed after the House had deliberated on all sub headings at the Committees meeting which lasted over two hours.
The total capital receipt stands at N110,089,173,434 as against N106,681,798,633 while the recurrent expenditure was pegged at N79,908,252,137 as against N75,204,257,922 submitted by the Governor.
In the budget size, the total recurrent surplus, which is transferred to Capital Development fund was N41,921,359,879 as against N39,263,985,078 earlier presented with an increase of N2,657,374,801.
The total Internally Generated Revenue projected for 2018 was N38,336,131,710 contrary to N38,451,255,162 made available by the Governor.
The statutory revenue from the Federation Accounts stood at N33,116,928,484 as against the proposed N27,999,103,484.
Similarly, the capital expenditure in the 2018 budget was N110,089,173,434 against N106,681,798,633 projected in the appropriation bill presented by the Governor.
The House then made provision for local government with N2billion, State Universal Basic Education Board N3billion, Kaiama road project N1billion, Energy N250million as well as tertiary institutions with N700million.
The Speaker directed the Clerk to prepare a clean copy of the bill for Governor’s assent.
The Commissioner for Planning and Economic Development, Alhaji Wasiu Odewale described the budget as a feat in the history of the state, adding that Kwara was among other states of the federation that submitted appropriation bill early to the state Assembly.
Odewale said his ministry started the redesigning of budget process in the state, which according to him, translated into swift passage of the bill.

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