Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa on Friday signed into law an Appropriation of N396billion as passed by the state House of Assembly.

The governor had on December 21, 2023, presented a budget of N384.53billion to the house as estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.

The estimate comprised of capital expenditure of N222,259,827,500.00 with the recurrent expenditure of N172,997,172,500.00.

But the house reviewed it upwards and passed a budget N395, 257,000,000, a difference of about N10.7billion.

The house first considered the report on the bill on Friday, after it was laid by its committee on Finance and Appropriation before passing it.

“The committee after an interface with Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) for defence of their respective estimates amended the original bill and recommended N395 billion,” Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, who represents Owo Constituency 1/APC, said.

While assenting to the appropriation bill shortly after it was passed, Mr Aiyedatiwa said the budget will focus on economic growth and development of the State.

He highlighted the budget’s focus on human capital development, environmental sustainability, rural development, and completing ongoing infrastructural projects initiated by the late former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

“The size of the approved Budget for 2024 stands at Three Hundred and Ninety-Five Billion, Two Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million Naira (N395,257,000,000.00). Out of this amount, a sum of Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Billion, Two Hundred and Fifty-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N222,259,827,500.00) only, representing 56.23% is for Capital Expenditure while a sum of One Hundred and Seventy-Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N172.997,172,500.00) only, representing 43.77% is to cover the Recurrent Expenditure,” The governor stated.

“The focus of this Budget is human capital development… we would keep meeting salary, pension and gratuity obligations. Emphasis would also be placed on climate change, clean and sustainable environment, rural development, and food security.”

The Governor expressed gratitude to members of the State Assembly for their swift passage of the bill and emphasized the need for transparency in implementing the budget, stressing that “the Executive Arm of Government will put its shoulder to the wheel to implement the 2024 Budget with the required probity and transparency it deserves.”

Acknowledging the recent petrol subsidy removal’s impact, Governor Aiyedatiwa assured the people of the State on measures to mitigate effects, affirming: “this administration would continue to put measures in place to cushion the effects until we are able to weather through the storm, hopefully shortly.”

In his remarks, Emmanuel Igbasan, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Ondo State, said the budget will offer much-needed relief and economic prospects to the people of Ondo State, adding that “this budget of economic resilience aims to provide the people with the succor and economic hope they deserve.”

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, led members of the Assembly to the budget signing event while the Secretary to the State Government, Oladuni Odu, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Olugbenga Ale, Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa and other members of the State Executive Council were present.

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