By Peter Amine
Jos, Nov. 11, 2020 Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Wednesday presented the 2021 budget of N133.4 billion to the State Plateau Assembly for its consideration and passage.
Lalong said that the budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery, Inclusive Growth and Infrastructural Consolidation” had embedded in it a COVID-19 component of N11 billion.
“This consists of N83.9 billion only as recurrent expenditure and N49.5 billion as capital expenditure. This indicates an increase of N10.6 billion only representing 8.6 per cent difference above the 2020 revised budget of N122.8 billion only.
“This increase is as a result of increase in both recurrent and capital expenditure estimates,” he said.
The governor said that the 2021 estimates presented were intended to pursue programmes and projects with a view to achieving an inclusive and high income strategy, while securing an increasingly better life for all.
He, however, stressed that the implementation of the programmes would require significant resources to close a deficit gap of N22.6 billion.
Lalong told the lawmakers that the underlying assumptions in terms of macro-economic targets of the 2021 budget were premised on some factors.
He listed the factors to include oil price of US$ 40 per barrel oil production (national) of 1.86 million barrels per day, and exchange rate of N378.00 to a dollar.
“It is also based on Gross Domestic Product (National, Per cent Annual Exchange rate of 3.00 and Inflation (National Per cent Annual Average of 11.95),’’ he said.
He said that the budget was prepared based on current economic realities, orchestrated by COVID-19.
The Speaker of the assembly, Mr Abok Ayuba, assured the governor that the legislature would immediately commence work on the bill.
Ayuba said that the lawmakers would ensure that the budget was passed for quick implementation for the good of the people.
“This, we believe will help in providing the needed infrastructure to add to the existing ones,” he said.