Lalong Signs N146.5b Budget Into Law

 

Yakubu Busari, Jos

 

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has signed the state’s 2018 appropriation bill totally  N146.5bn on Tuesday into law .

The governor signed the budget christened a “Budget of Rescue and Consolidation” at the new Government House, Rayfield after  a record three weeks treatment by the State House of Assembly. This was in fulfilment of Section 121 Sub Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as Amended .

”You would recall, Governor Lalong  presented  N145.5bn on December 20, 2017 was hiked with N1b by the legislature to cover “constituency projects and other areas of need,” according to a statement. 48 per cent of the budget is devoted to capital projects while 52 per cent is for recurrent, said the governor in a statement.

“The budget was prepared based on the Macro – Economic variables from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Medium Term Sector Strategy -“Rescue and Consolidation”- was principally to address the critical needs of our people, having rescued and built confidence in them in the previous years since we assumed office on May 29, 2015”, said Lalong

He said there is no gainsaying the fact that what remains is to consolidate on the gains so far achieved this year; anchored on the Five Pillar Policy Thrust of this Administration in the following areas:

Peace, Security and Good Governance
Human Capital Development and Social Welfare
Agriculture and Rural Development
Entrepreneurship and Industrialisation, and
Physical Infrastructure and Environment

He further “restated the co-operation the executive arm of government has enjoyed from the legislature and judiciary. It is in the light of the above therefore, especially for the purpose for which we are gathered here today, that members of the Plateau State House of Assembly rose to the challenge and deliberated on the document and in record time, made the 2018 Appropriation Bill a reality in which I am here to assent to.

“Prior to today, the Plateau State House of Assembly in exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 120 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended), passed into law the 2018 Appropriation Bill to the tune of One Hundred and Forty-Six Billion, Four Hundred and Six Million, Seventy – Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty – One Naira (N146,406,074,921:00) only.

“Seventy Billion, Five Hundred and Five Million, Four Hundred and Seventy – Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Naira (N70,505,477,530:00) only, representing 48.16% is earmarked for capital expenditure while 51.84% is earmarked to be spent as Recurrent expenditure amounting to the sum of Seventy – Five Billion, Nine Hundred Million, Five Hundred and Ninety – Seventy Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety – One Naira (N75,900,597,391:00) only.

“This shows an increase of the sum of Nine Hundred and Eighteen Million, Eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Sixty – Nine Naira (N918,008,569:00) only, representing 0.63% from the initial amount budgeted. This increase was as a result of the inclusion of Constituency Projects and other critical areas of needs that warrant such expenditure.

Having listened carefully to the synopsis of this Bill as read by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance, especially as it pertains to how this budget will be financed, may I therefore state categorically that there is every need for all Agencies of government to rise to the challenge of remitting all revenues appropriately, failure of which our aim of rescuing our people and consolidating on the gains already achieved becomes a mirage.

“It is my believe that with commitment, financial prudence and resilience, we will together, achieve what has been earmarked for this fiscal year. While government fulfils its own side of the bargain, holding government in trust for the rest of us, the people need to reciprocate by paying their taxes and other levies as at when due; moreso that government alone cannot do it as no man is capable of clapping with one hand”