By Arowona Abdulazeez
The Kwara State House Of Assembly has passed 2017 budget of N160,900,388,017 as against N135,264,529,461 presented by the state Governor Alhaji Abdul Fatah Ahmed.
This is an increase of N25,635,585,556.
The breakdown of the budget, indicated that Capital Expenditure has N90,141,420,267 which represents 56% of the budget, as against N70,986,667,693 presented by the Governor.
Recurrent Expenditure is N70,758,967,750 as against N64, 277,861,488,138 given an increase of N6,481,105,881.
Speaking shortly after the passage of the budget, the Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad expressed confidence that the N90 billion Capital Expenditure outlay of projects and programs, evenly spread across the three senatorial Districts of the state would have greater impact on the the lives of the citizens.
These projects according to the Speaker, included construction of network of roads, upscaling and subsidizing community health insurance scheme, construction and renovation of classrooms and assisting people interested in commercial agriculture.
Dr Ahmad disclosed that the Legislature increased the budget size of agriculture to N6.818 bn closer to 10% of the total budget as recommended by Food and Agricultural Organization to enable the state diversify its economy, create job opportunity and enhance food security for the people of the State.
The Speaker who assured that the house would intensify its oversight function to ensure its proper implementation, said the house was guided by the provisions of the constitution and best practices in good governance across other jurisdictions, which he said recommended some minimum percentages of public resources that should be committed to various sectors of the economy to make the state transits from developing to developed economy
He praised the foresight of the state government in establishing and empowering the State Internal Revenue Service and praised members for their commitment in the performance of the their constitutional responsibilities.
The Speaker however disclosed that his office would establish a strategy of keeping track of budget implementation across the MDAs as Kwarans he said ” were looking up to the legislature for the realisation of many of their aspirations”