From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State government says its 2021 budget will sustain the state’s economic agenda and catapult its economy to the fastest growing in the country.
The Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance in the state, Dapo Okubadejo, disclosed this while giving the breakdown of the 2021 budget at the zoom media parley on budget, held on Thursday, in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Okubadejo who explained that the resolve of the Dapo Abiodun-led administration in Ogun was to improve on the real sector and job creation, added that the budget would also target poverty eradication and encourage investors.
He said that state has evolved a deliberate action to encourage private sector participation, expressing optimism that the Abiodun’s economic agenda will drive investments.
The Finance Commissioner further said that the overall vision and strategic direction of “the present administration is to make the economy of the state the biggest in the country in a manner that would ensure real sector growth, create jobs and also significantly eradicate poverty amongst our people”.
Speaking on the agricultural sector, which he described as the major economic driver in the state, Commissioner for Agriculture, Adeola Odedina disclosed that the state has finalised plans to expand the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) with the introduction of cotton, oil-palm and cocoa in 2021, just as 10,000 hectares of land has been allocated for the use of cotton farmers in the state.
Odedina added that the state government approved new framework for land use in the state, stating that access to land would become a seamless process in 2021.
He also noted that the state government would be stepping up its game in the New Year with its engagement with the World Bank, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the African Development Bank in it’s the bid to make the state the official special agro-processing zone.
Odedina who further disclosed that the state would be concentrating on dam irrigation, said that the state would also be focusing on Climate Smart Agriculture, which he said would help to create more employment opportunities for the people.
“In the area of investment in agriculture, the government already approved new framework for land use that will make land access a smooth process in 2021, because we have to expand agriculture, we cannot lock down agriculture, in 2021, we are going to be concentrating into abandoned agriculture activities of dam irrigation and service to take in more people across the state.
“We are also going to be focusing on Climate Smart Agriculture because in other parts of the country they are talking about flood, but in our state, we are only being confronted with drought, that means, we are taking particular attention to irrigation facility in 2021, when this is being done, more people will be employed,” he said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker noted that the ultimate vision of the present administration in the state was to provide an affordable and accessible and quality health care for every citizen of the state, adding that the goal of the state government was to ensure the reduction of the maternal and infant mortality by 25% by the year 2023.
While noting that the state government would be implementing the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and the Ogun State Health Insurance Scheme, Coker said the Basic Health Insurance Scheme which involves the vulnerable, pregnant eomen and children between the ages of three and five would have access to free health care services across the twenty local government areas of the state.