By Tongnaan Dada BAWA, Jos
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has presented the 2022 appropriation bill of over N106bn to the State House of Assembly with an appeal to Members to expedite action and pass the bill for the speedy implementation of the budget in the coming year.
It would be recalled that in 2021 the Governor proposed a budget estimate of One Hundred and Thirty-Three Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty-Two Million, Seven Hundred and Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Seven naira (133,482,705,457.00) only but after legislative consideration and scrutiny, the House eventually passed into law a budget size of One Hundred and Forty-Seven Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-One naira (147,537,819,851.00) only.
The 2021 budget had a recurrent estimate of Ninety Billion, One Hundred and Ninety-Three Million, Twenty-Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Three naira (90,193,029,723.00) only and a capital component of Fifty-Seven Billion, Three Hundred and Forty-Four Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty-Eight naira (57,344,790,128.00) only.
However, Lalong on Thursday presented the 2022 budget estimate tagged: “Budget of economic recovery and consolidation of inclusive infrastructural growth 2” noting it was the desire of his administration to continue consolidating on its previous achievements since it came into office, hence, the budget was prepared under a reasonable degree of consistency both in policy and implementation to “enable the government achieve the vision of the three-pillar policy of Peace, Security and Good governance, Infrastructural Development and Sustainable Economic Rebirth.”
He added, “Having considered the needs of citizens, Government is proposing a budgetary spending in the total sum of One Hundred and Six Billion, Eight Hundred and Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Two Naira, Twelve kobo (106,807,267,642.12) only in 2022 fiscal year. This consists of Seventy-Six Billion, Two Hundred and Sixty-Three Million, Seven Hundred and One Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Four Naira, Sixty-Two kobo (76,263,701,644.62) only as recurrent expenditure representing 71.4% of the total budget.
“Thirty billion, five hundred and forty three million, five hundred and sixty five thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven naira, fifty kobo (30,543,565,997.50) only is earmarked as capital estimate representing 28.6% of the total budget.
27. This indicates a decrease of Forty Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight naira, Eighty-Eight kobo (40,730,552,208, 88) only on the 2021 total approved budget.”
The 2022 is in deficit of N20 Billion and the Governor explained revenue has to be sourced to balance the budget, saying, “The sum of N18,746,059,992.57 will be sourced from the Federal Government while the balance is to come from other financial institutions.”
He appealed for a timely passage of thr bill stating, “As I present to you on behalf of the people of Plateau State this 2022 budget, it is my hope that you will give it the necessary attention it deserves. While urging this honourable House to diligently peruse and deliberate on the budget, I look forward to your cooperation in the speedy passing of the budget to enable us commence implementation and service delivery from the onset of the new financial year. An accelerated passage of the budget is also going to be a panacea for the State to qualify for the SFTAS Disbursement linked indicators I and II (DLIs I and II) and Eligibility Criteria (EC I) for 2022.”
The Governor further explained the Fiscal Assumptions and Parameters for the 2022 proposed Budget Estimates are pegged at the “Exchange Rate of N410.15 per US Dollar, Projected Gross Domestic Product GDP of 4.2%, Crude Oil Price of $57 Dollar per Barrel, Daily Crude Oil Production of 1.88 Million Barrels, 13% Inflation Rate The rationale behind this budget is to continue to emphasize the present administration’s commitment and resilience in governance, policy and programme implementation as well as sustainability in socio-economic prosperity of our State especially as we continue to recover from the impact the Corona Virus Pandemic.”
Responding, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Abok Ayuba commended the Governor for the timely presentation of the 2022 fiscal estimate and assured of the Assembly’s commitment to “provide the necessary dividends of democracy for the people,” and warned that “The House will not condone ineptitude on the side of any Chief Executive or Accounting Officer in the course of the discharge of his or her responsibilities.”