By Umar Bayo Abdulwahab
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state yesterday presented the 2017 budget estimate of N135, 064,529,461 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
The budget christened “Budget of Introspection and Sustenance” showed an increase of N23, 682,157,934 representing 21.2% over the 2016 revised budget.
The sum of N57.6bn representing 42.5% was earmarked as recurrent expenditure while N70.9b representing 52.5% of the budget went to capital expenditure and N6.7representing 5% of the total budget is for public debt service.
The Economic Affairs gulped the lion share of N35, 437,302,393 representing 26% of the total budget, followed by Education with a sum of N29.9 representing 22% of the total budget while General Public Services came third with a sum of N26, 497,822,611 presenting 20% of the 2017 total budget.
The governor said the 2017 budget was anchored on current economic realities and determination to look inwards for sustained prosperity and development.
He reassured the people of the state of the commitment of his administration to implement result oriented policies and programmes that will boost economic activities, unlock growth and create jobs in the 2017 financial year.
“All on-going capital projects under the General Public Service Sector will be accorded the highest priority to ensure their completion in 2017 financial year. The State government will continue to accord high premium to the wellbeing of its workers in all ramifications”, the governor said.
He stated that more qualified youths will be engaged to address staff shortage created by voluntary retirement and resignation in 2017 while attention will be given to provision of operational vehicles to all MDAs in the 2017 fiscal year.
Other sectors to receive attention in the 2017 budget include: Energy, Works and Transport, Information and Communication, Commerce and Cooperative, Environmental Protection, Housing and Community amenities, Water Supply and Health among others.