Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, yesterday signed the 2018 appropriation bill of N145 billion into law, noting that government will ameliorate the challenges being faced in all critical sectors of the economy, and provide the avenue for sustainable livelihood for the people of the state.
Lalong had in December last year presented the budget estimate of N145, 488,066,352 billion to the state’s House of Assembly.
He said, “Today marks another watershed in the history of Plateau State. Not too long ago, to be precise, on Wednesday 20th of December, 2017, I presented to the People of Plateau State on the Floor of the House of Assembly a budget christened a “Budget of Rescue and Consolidation”. This was in fulfilment of Section 121 Sub Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as Amended.
“What informed our christening the 2018 Budget “Rescue and Consolidation” was principally to address the critical needs of our people, having rescued and built confidence in them in the previous years since we assumed office on May 29, 2015.
“Therefore, there is no gainsaying the fact that what remains is to consolidate on the gains so far achieved this year; anchored on the Five Pillar Policy Thrust of this Administration following our philosophy of continuity which is Peace, Security and Good Governance, Human Capital Development and Social Welfare, Agriculture and Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Industrialisation, and Physical Infrastructure and Environment.”
The governor said the document contained an estimated sum totaling One Hundred and Forty – Five Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty – Eight Million, Sixty – Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty – Two Naira (N145,488,066,352:00) only for the 2018 Fiscal Year.
He added that, “The budget was prepared based on the Macro–Economic variables from the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and the Medium-Term Sector Strategy.”
Lalong said that the state House of Assembly, in exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 120 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended), passed into law the 2018 Appropriation Bill to the tune of One Hundred and Forty-Six Billion, Four Hundred and Six Million, Seventy – Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty – One Naira (N146,406,074,921:00) only.
He said that while (N70,505,477,530:00 only representing 48.16% is earmarked for capital expenditure, while 51.84% is earmarked to be spent as Recurrent expenditure amounting to the sum of N75,900,597,391:00 only.
The governor assured that, “Having listened carefully to the synopsis of this Bill as read by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance, especially as it pertains how this budget will be financed, may I therefore state categorically that there is every need for all agencies of government to rise to the challenge of remitting all revenues appropriately, failure of which our aim of rescuing our people and consolidating on the gains already achieved becomes a mirage.
“It is my belief that with commitment, financial prudence and resilience, we will together, achieve what has been earmarked for this fiscal year. While Government fulfils its own side of the bargain, holding government in trust for the rest of us, the people need to reciprocate by paying their taxes and other levies as at when due; more so that government alone cannot do it as no man is capable of clapping with one hand.”