A total sum of N51.67 billion is proposed for infrastructure development in the Ekiti state’s N109,666,376,722.61 appropriation bill for 2021 presented to the lawmakers on Tuesday for consideration.
The amount for capital projects represents 47 of the budget that is christened “Budget of Recovery and Economic Restoration” and the balance of N57,997,989, 982.62 representing 53 percent is for recurrent expenditure.
Breakdown of the budget presented by the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi shows that Governance is taking the largest share of N29, 322,242,503.22 representing 27 percent while a total of N25,274,622,256.2 representing 23 percent is for Social Investments.
Others like Infrastructure and Industrial Development is allocated N25,217,177,807.67 representing 23 percent; Agriculture and Rural Development has N7,920,439,216.75 representing 7 percent while N21,931,894,938.68 representing 20 percent goes into Knowledge Economy.
The budget received by the Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye and other lawmakers was designed to enhance speedy economic recovery and restoration of the people and the State from the debilitating effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Consequently, the capital votes will be deployed to among others, completion of major roads in the State like Ado-Iyin Road, Agbado-Ode-Omuo Road, Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo Road, Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi Road and Oye-Ayede-Iye-Otun Road and other critical inter township roads for security reasons and also an agricultural chain.
Equally, the state will apply it to continue the construction of the Cargo Airport project in addition to the commencement of the first phase of the Ring Road around the state capital.
Part of the money will also go into the collaboration with Transition Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Development partners to build 233KVA as well as embark on Independent Power Project in 2021.
This is to ensure wider coverage and better transmission in hilly hinterlands, such as Efon Alaaye, Okemesi, among others, where Booster Stations were being planned to be built for Radio and Television Stations.
The proposal, according to the Governor was a reflection of the objectives of the five pillars that anchored his administration, and a product of wide public consultation through town hall meetings held across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Governor Fayemi explained that the 2021 budget has the objective of providing and increasing job opportunities for the teeming youths through agricultural development and supports for small and medium scale enterprises (SMSES) in the state and as well guarantee the speedy completion of all ongoing developmental projects through the equitable and prudent distribution of available resources.
Stressing the commitment of his administration to public servants and the welfare of the people, Fayemi said provision has been made in the 2021 budget to extend the implementation of the minimum wage across all grade levels.
He said: “Rt. Hon. Speaker, distinguished Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2021 Budget is aimed at speedy economy recovery and restoration from the debilitating effects of the Coronavirus. Based on the global forecast, it is envisaged that the impact of the pandemic would span for a period of two to three years.
“The 2021 Budget, therefore, is designed to lift our people out of poverty. It shall focus on empowerment and social security. Consequently, the Budget has been christened Budget of Recovery and Economic Restoration.
“To mitigate the effect of the pandemic on our economy in the year 2021, we have developed a 2021 Draft Budget to restore the ailing economy to a buoyant state through strategic investments in critical Sectors of the State.
“With the intention to eliminate poverty through strategic and well-coordinated empowerment programmes and other social investment programmes”
Reviewing the 2020 budget, Fayemi said his administration has been able to deliver legacy projects which were expected to transform the economic situation of the state.
Governor Fayemi highlighted the achievements of his administration to include completion of the Civic Centre, Ultra-Modern Market in Ado Ekiti, Two Secretariat Buildings, building an ultra-modern Water Corporation Headquarters in Ado Ekiti, Rehabilitation of Ero Dam, Rehabilitation of Egbe Dam, resuscitation of the moribund Ikun Dairy Farm through Private Public Partnership arrangement with Promasidor Nigeria Limited (Producer of Cowbell Milk), Building of four new Model Secondary Schools in Ado Ekiti, massive renovations of buildings in some other schools were constructed or renovated through SUBEB.
Others are the renovation of Hospital Buildings at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, (EKSUTH) Ado Ekiti, installation of Molecular Laboratory at the Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, renovation of House of Assembly Complex, completion and commissioning of about fifty (50) EKCSDA projects and recruitment of Teachers, Doctors and Civil Servants.
Fayemi who sought thorough and timely consideration for the appropriation bill had earlier requested that a minute silence be observed in honour of the late former Deputy Speaker, Hon Saliu Adeoti who died 10 years ago in active service to the state.
Earlier, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. (Hon.) Funminiyi Afuye, who welcomed the Governor to the Hallow chamber commended him for being honest with the implementation of the 2020 budget despite the lean resources of the state and the novel Coronavirus pandemic that have ravaged, ravished and tormented the global economy including that of Ekiti state.
Afuye noted that the governor has not failed in his duties and obligation to the people of the state which he attributed to his economic wizardry which has kept the state afloat in the present debilitating circumstances.
While expressing the appreciation of the Legislators to the governor, the Speaker remarked that the state has witnessed remarkable development and all-round transformation during the year under review adding that the report of the various House committees during the conduct of their oversight functions across the state have been a testimony of outstanding performance.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the rampaging youths to embrace peace and explore the opportunity of redressing mechanism put in place by the government, noting that the present administration believes in accountable leadership to all segments of the society especially the youths who are the future leaders of the state.