From Seye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde signed on Monday the state’s 2021 Budget of N268.8 billion into law, declaring that it will consolidate his administration’s infrastructure initiatives.
The governor, who made the declaration while signing the budget at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, said that real implementation of the budget would commence in earnest, as, according to him, the state is targeting at least 70 per cent implementation.
According to him, there is a lot to look forward to in terms of dividends of democracy by the people of the state in 2021.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, further quoted the governor as saying that the state was poised to complete many of its infrastructure works in the new year.
The governor appreciated members of the Oyo State House of Assembly for approving the 2021 budget in a timely manner, adding that the synergy between all the arms of government in the state has made the governance process easier for everyone.
He equally dispelled the insinuations that the House of Assembly padded the budget and that the Executive rejected it and forced a revision, adding that the rumour was simply untrue.
‘t is certainly not Uhuru, but we will continue to do our best to make things work in our dear state. It is a budget of continued consolidation, so we continue to ask for your support as we undertake various projects this coming fiscal year,’ the governor said.
He added: ‘Today, we are signing into law our Budget of Continued Consolidation. This completes the first phase of the process for the 2021 fiscal year budgeting. First, we got the good people of Oyo State involved in the budgeting process through the town hall meetings, then we prepared the budget and passed it on-to the state’s House of Assembly for approval.
‘After this signing, the real work of implementation begins.’
Governor Makinde stated that the 2020 budget fell short of the 70 per cent target but recorded a performance that was a little above average at 50.32 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic meltdown occasioned by the fall in oil prices.
‘We met a lot of our goals because we used the Alternative Project Funding Approach (APFA), and the Contractor’s Project Financing Scheme to finance many projects. We also made use of targeted loans for project financing. Of course, the reward for hard work is more work. So, for the 2021 fiscal year, we will continue to be innovative and creative in our approach to financing.’
He noted that the government will “work harder and smarter next year to ensure that we meet our performance target of at least 70 per cent.”
Governor Makinde promised to explore alternative finance models in 2021, stating that projects which the House of Assembly saw as imperative as well on-going ones would be implemented.
‘As already mentioned, we have some alternative finance models which we will be exploring in 2021. So, these projects, which the House saw as imperative, will still be implemented. However, we will carry out those projects without incurring higher interest on loans or negatively impacting Oyo State’s economic policies and budget performance.
‘Let me also quickly add that with Nigeria staring at a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we just have to remain prepared for eventualities. Some countries are already thinking of a second lockdown. But if we play our part, by observing all the guidelines provided by the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, we might weather this second wave without considering a lockdown.
‘Be that as it may, we continue to maintain a positive outlook for 2021. Many of the projects we started in 2020 have less than 18-month cycles. So, we will see a good number of projects initiated by our administration completed in 2021.
‘For example, the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin Road, 21km Airport Road- Ajia-New Ife Express Road with a spur to Amuloko, and perhaps even the Idi Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks road, should be completed in 2021.
‘By God’s grace, we will watch our first match in the upgraded Lekan Salami Stadium at Adamasingba in 2021. We will even commission the bus terminals all around Oyo State. Those who lost their stores, this year, as a result of the inferno at Akesan Market, will be happy to move back to the rebuilt market with better facilities next year,’ Governor Makinde added.