By Daniel Agbo
Benue state governor, Dr Samuel Ortom yesterday presented over N178.38 billion 2018 Appropriation Bill to members of the state House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
The governor had in the 2017 fiscal year presented the budget estimate of N183 billion which is about N5 billion or 2.7 per cent higher than the 2018 budget.
Christened “Rural Transformation and Consolidation Budget,” governor Ortom said the budget was prepared based on his administration’s blueprint, “Our Collective Vision for a New Benue”, a 10- year development plan and the international public sector accounting standards to engender transparency, accountability and good governance.
According to the governor, out of the total of N178.3 billion 2018 estimate, a total sum of N77,761,072,616.00 is projected as recurrent expenditure, representing 44 per cent, while capital expenditure for the fiscal year would stand at N100,616,738,991.00.00, representing 56 per cent of the total expenditure.
Under sectoral allocation, the governor said N25,228,246,978, representing 14.14 per cent is for administration while the economic sector will take highest share of allocated of N87,587,490,292, representing 49.10 per cent.
He said Law and Justice would take the lest allocation of N3,387,187,927, representing 1.90 per cent while Social will get N62,174,886,411, representing 34.86 per cent.
The governor noted that the challenges that might militate against the 2018 budget were many but in order to mitigate them, a Strategy Committee on Revenue, Development Cooperation and Agriculture value chains to be chaired by the governor himself would hold meetings monthly beginning from January, 2018 to address policy issues regarding generation and remittance of revenue, agriculture value chain and development cooperation in the State.