By Temitope Yakubu
The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Tuesday signed into law the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N181.4 billion.
According to Mr. Akeredolu, debt servicing will take an estimated sum of N13.6 Billion, 7.5% of the budget. Statutory Transfers to OSOPADEC and Local Governments is budgeted to be N8.307 Billion which represents 4.6% of the total budget.
The governor added that his administration will concentrate more on capital expenditure to abridge the huge infrastructural deficit in the State.
“The 2018 budget presents a refreshing lease of opportunity for the government to take governance to the people, not only to pay salaries, but to take governance to the people.
“The total budget passed is N181b plus, from what we can see, paying salaries will take an estimated sum of N13.6b, that is 7.5%. Statutory transfers to OSOPADEC and local governments will take about 8.3b.
“The sum of N78.5b is set aside for recurrent expenditure, about 43.3% recurrent expenditure, we are eating out future, we are eating our future.
“These amount will be expended on salaries, allowances, grants. This is much, considering the state of our development. We should deploy more in developing the state, but we cannot afford it for now.
“Having knowledge of the possibility of development in the polity which filters all its earnings on recurrent expenditure, we have tried to take a bold step to reduce the recurrent expenditure, but the percentage we still have is most unfortunate for now, but the percentage is the smallest percentage in recent times that has been voted for recurrent expenditure.”
He lamented the huge concentration of budgets on recurrent expenditure, adding that it is worrisome considering the state of development in the state.
However, Mr. Akeredolu said his administration has taken a bold step to reduce the unfortunate situation of frittering all its earnings on recurrent expenditure.