The Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, yesterday presented a N169.7 billion budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for passage.
The Appropriation Bill totalling N169, 720,580, 000 has the sum of N95, 123,000 as well as the sum of N58, 096, 881, 884.74 as Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively.
The Clerk of the House, Mr. Bode Adeyelu, read the letter of the Governor, signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, on the floor of the House.
A total of N8, 126, 698, 115.26 was appropriated for debt services while the sum of N8, 374, 000, 000 was appropriated for Statutory Transfer.
The budget has since been committed to the Committee Stage after passing through the first and second reading stages at the plenary session, attended by all the 26 lawmakers.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Olugbenga Araoyinbo, moved the motion for second reading of the budget and was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Iroju Ogundeji.
Araoyinbo, a lawmaker representing Akoko North-West State Constituency 2, before moving the motion, asserted that the budget would improve the lives of the people of the state and assist government in giving the people the dividends of democracy, in line with its promises to the people.
He particularly lauded the Governor for giving special attention to Agriculture as encapsulated in his five points agenda.
Also, the immediate former Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jumoke Akindele, who later moved the motion to commit the budget estimate to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, commended Governor Akeredolu for giving necessary attention to the education sector.
According to her, the sum of N1b allocated to the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa and the N3b allocated to the State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB) as contained in the summary of the budget, clearly indicated that the state's education sector would witness a lot of development under the current government.
Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, Hon. Sulaiman Maito, Hon. Kazeem Sulaiman and other lawmakers who contributed at the plenary sitting specially lauded the governor for the budget which is the first in the life of the present administration.
The lawmakers lauded the Governor for giving special attention to Agriculture, Education, Health and infrastructural development in line with his five points agenda.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, promised that the budget would be given accelerated passage in view of its importance to the generality of the people of the state and the government.
Oleyelogun therefore committed the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for necessary actions.
The Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Sunday Olajide, assured the House of a thorough job to ensure quick passage of the budget.
Speaking after the plenary session, Araoyinbo called on MDAs to start appearing before the House to defend their budget from today, Wednesday.