AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN, GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE SIGNING OF THE 2017 APPROPRIATION BILL INTO LAW ON TUESDAY, 20TH JUNE, 2017 AT THE COCOA CONFERENCE HALL, GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, AKURE

 

PROTOCOL

The Deputy Governor, Right Honourable Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Chief Whip, the SSG, Chief of Staff, Acting Chairman of the APC, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am invited to perform a very important assignment of State this morning. It gives me great pleasure to do so without hesitation. But before I proceed to perform what appears a simple duty, may I register the deep appreciation of my team, with regard to the promptitude with which the appropriation document was scrutinized and passed by honourable members of the House of Assembly.

Our people expect no less from their representatives. They wait, anxiously, for any intervention which serves as a realistic palliative to the excruciating pains experienced at present. The huge deficits which exist in various sectors of our socio-economic life need be tackled frontally. Our administration has tried to reduce the embarrassing imbalance between recurrent and capital expenditure.

The 2017 Appropriation Bill, therefore, has a provision of One Hundred and Seventy Billion, Eight Hundred and Forty -Six Million, Five Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira (N170, 846, 580,000.00) only, broken into four components as follows:

(i)          Debt Service (Principal)                           –         N8.127 billion

(ii)         Statutory Transfers                                 –         N8.374 billion

(iii)        Recurrent Expenditure                             –         N95.159 billion

(iv)       Capital Expenditure                                  –        N59.187 billion

Mr Speaker, honourable members of the House of Assembly, distinguished ladies and gentlemen here present, these fiscal estimates have been scrutinized, meticulously, to capture the aspirations of this administration on real development. It is important to state that the government has initiated special intervention strategies on agriculture, job creation, infrastructure, education, technology and rural development. This government shall take steps, to depart from the practice wherein a disproportionate percentage of budgetary allocation is expended on recurrent expenditure. Our citizens, who are not employed in the formal sector, must feel the impact of governance positively.

This administration is not unmindful of the dire challenges faced by it, with regards to Budget implementation, mainly due to paucity of funds. We are, however, determined to improve our fiscal circumstances, substantially, through revenue generation. We shall devise means of plugging loopholes exploited by unscrupulous elements to deny the state of deserved revenue. We shall expand our tax base, aggressively. This administration requires the cooperation of all concerned in ensuring that all revenues accruable to the state are realized with minimal stress.

I, therefore, solicit the support and understanding of the good people of Ondo State in the discharge of this onerous duty. I crave the understanding of all stakeholders, especially the civil servants on whom all depend for the implementation of government policies. I express my gratitude for the cooperation so far. I ask for greater dedication to duty in the service of our people.

Let me not forget to thank, specially, members of the Appropriation Committee, for a job well done.

Mr Speaker, Honourable members of the House, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I assent to the 2017 Appropriation Bill and look forward to giving an account of its implementation before the commencement of the next fiscal year.

I thank you for your attention.