Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Monday, presented a 2024 budget of N258,278,501,339.00 to the Kogi State House of Assembly.
Tagged a ‘budget of consolidation and continuity for inclusive growth’ is the last Bello will be presenting before the hallowed chamber, following the end of his tenure in office by January 27th 2024.
The proposed budget of N258,278,501,339.00 is against the N197,599,674,912.00 revised approved budget for the year 2023.
“This total budget outlay is divided into recurrent expenditure of N145,736,429,609.00 representing 56.43% and capital expenditure of N112,542,071,730.00 representing 43.57%”.
“The year 2024 draft budget has been drafted to enhance Internally Generated Revenue, aggressively pursue repayment of debts owed to us by the Federal Government, provide a more conducive environment for our Development Partners across the world to contribute to the state economy; mobilize private sector investments to the state; encourage Public-PrivatePartnership (PPP) and more importantly, block all wastages and leakages in our revenues as well as emphasise the completion of all ongoing projects/programs while bringing on board, few new critical ones that are in line with the priorities of the New Direction Administration, “he stated.
Bello stated further that the 2024 budget will focus on some critical areas of the state’s economy, including good governance and leadership, infrastructural development and maintenance, education and human development, improved health care and social welfare, agriculture and rural development, security and peacebuilding, Women empowerment and Gender equality.
Other critical areas the 2024 budget will focus on are environment and sustainable development, industry and commerce, information and communication technology and innovation, youth empowerment and Sport development, entertainment, culture and tourism development, housing, enhanced internally generated revenue, and Water and Sanitation.
Bello revealed that this makes the 2024 draft budget higher by N60,678,826,427.00 compared to the 2023 revised budget, representing a 30.71% increase.
The Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Aliyu Umar Yusuf, had earlier stated that the budget is expected to be a reflection of the resolve of the people of the state to address their critical needs.
“While I understand the resource constraints we face as a state which is not peculiar to us, I hope the budget would prioritise investment in the future of the state by consolidating and solidifying the areas the state has recorded positive gains and areas of advantage,” he said.
Yusuf identified the need to overhaul the state’s fiscal policy given the continued dwindling of resources.
He said, “You will agree with me that the habit of wholesomely or largely depending on the Federation Allocation is no longer feasible as it is affecting the ability and preparedness of government to provide effective governance.
“It is high time we explore alternative means of funding the budget. This could be in the form of expanding the government tax net, blocking leakages, centralized revenue generation, and ensuring that other means of gathering revenues are explored to enable the government provide essential services to the citizens”.