The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, laid before the parliament on Thursday an N296.4bn fiscal plan for the year 2024, with capital expenditure guzzling a whopping 61% of the proposed spending and recurrent keeping the balance of 39%.
The budget is 15.5% higher than the budget of the outgoing year and has an opening balance of N25bn, according to the governor.
AbdulRazaq also unveiled the state plan for a new minimum wage, which he said is due for negotiation next year, as well as the establishment of an 18,000-hectare Smart City Satellite Town in Ilorin, the state capital.
The budget session was presided over by the Kwara State House of Assembly Speaker Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu.
AbdulRazaq said, “The next four years will serve to consolidate on the gains of our first term, expand the economic base of this lovely state through completion of ongoing infrastructural projects and commencement of new ones, make the state more self-sustaining by widening the revenue base, create more private sector-driven jobs, and better the lots of our people.
“In the new year, we will formally inaugurate our flagship projects like the garment factory, visual arts centre, Tunde Idiagbon bridge, innovation hub, sugar film factory, the two campuses of Kwara State University, shea butter factory in Kaiama, among others.
“These, In sha Allah, will create tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the new year, and spread collective prosperity on a sustainable basis.
“This is why next year’s fiscal document has been christened the budget of ‘economic expansion and collective prosperity’. The size of the budget is N296.4bn, with an opening balance of N25bn. The capital expenditure takes the lion’s share of N180.0bn, representing 61% of the total fiscal plan, while the recurrent component gets N116bn or 39%.
“This fiscal plan will prioritise the completion and unveiling of several of our legacy projects, and the introduction of a few other ones that centre around the welfare of the people. I am glad to inform this Honourable House that the Ilorin Capital City Master Plan will officially produce what we call the Ilorin Smart City Satellite Town, which will cover an area estimated at 18,000 hectares. This city is modelled after sustainable, green cities around the world, such as Washington DC. The groundbreaking of this huge project will be done next year, God willing.
“Some other highlights include the establishment of the Kwara State University Teaching Hospital; Kwara State University of Education; completion of the first phase of the industrial park at Eiyenkorin; MSMEs Support Funds; rehabilitation of Ilesha Baruba Waterworks and others elsewhere in the state; construction of statewide rural access roads through RAAMP; rehabilitation of Isanlu Isin Waterworks and extension of pipes; rehabilitation of Pampo waterworks and extension of pipes, among others; construction of new wards.
Others include “expansion of maternity unit at civil service clinic; expansion of 13 hospitals across the state; construction of 250 housing units under the proposed mass housing scheme of the State Government; construction of CBT Centres across the 3 districts; wholesale curriculum revitalisation and training under KwaraLearn; payment of UBEC counterpart funds for 2022 and 2023; and some sports facilities statewide.
“Also covered in this document is our preparation for a new minimum wage, which is due for negotiation next year, completion of KWIRS modern headquarters, among other things. We will also begin the implementation of life-changing programmes like the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), livestock development centre at Lata; special agroprocessing zone and L-PRES project, which seeks to provide infrastructure and the environment to curb the conflict between herders and farmers.
“This document is predicated on the estimated crude oil price of $77.96; daily oil production of 1.78 million barrels per day; exchange rate of N750/USD; GDP growth projection of 3.76 percent; and 21.4% inflation rate.
“Further details on the budget estimates are contained in the full version of the fiscal plan, which will be issued later.
“The budget will be funded from an assortment of sources, especially the internally generated revenue and receipts from the federation account, among other channels”, AbdulRazaq said.
Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Danladi-Salihu in his speech commended AbdulRazaq for his performance adding that “the Governor did so well in his first term to deserve the popular mandate he got to govern the state for another four years.”
He said the legislature will peruse the budget and act.