The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Tuesday presented a N93.4bn Budget for 2017 tagged, “Budget of Higher Height” to the state House of Assembly in Ado Ekiti.
The governor, who was clad in a military camouflage while presenting the budget to the lawmakers, said that the recurrent expenditure for the 2017 appropriation bill was N55.02bn which is 59 per cent of the budget, while capital expenditure was N38.42 bn or 41 per cent of the estimates.
The budget is 33 per cent higher than the N70.5bn presented for 2016.
The governor explained that the increment was due to the economic recession and the high exchange rate of the naira to the US dollar.
However, there was a mild drama during the presentation when Fayose said he was the one in charge at the assembly and that the Speaker, Kola Oluwawole, was only holding brief for him.
He said, “I’m the Speaker, he (Oluwawole) is on that seat on my behalf. He is the Acting Speaker, therefore, he cannot be wrong. If he is wrong, we will take it to the Government House and resolve it. Therefore, I will pass the budget myself.”
Fayose, while appraising the 2016 Budget, said the state only recorded 89 per cent performance due to the unfavourable economic climate in the country, which according to him, negatively affected the state government.
He said out of the estimated revenue of N58.7 bn for 2016, only N52.4 bn was realised as actual revenue.
“The performance of the budget is a reflection of the state of the Nigerian economy. It must be noted that Ekiti State is not immune to the shocks and depression of the national socio-economic scene. It is no longer news that the economy of the nation is in trauma and this had impacted negatively on the finances of the state,” he stated.
Despite the challenges, the governor said many projects were still executed or started by his government.
He listed them to include the construction of the Adunni Olayinka Women Centre, completion of the second phase of the dualisation of the Ikere Road and dualisation of roads in Efon, Ikole, Omuo among others.
He also mentioned the take off of the state’s Social Security Scheme whereby 10,000 people were paid N5,000 stipend monthly.
Responding, the Speaker lauded the governor for his prudent management of the state’s resources.
He gave the assurance that the lawmakers would give speedy consideration to the appropriation bill.