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Oshiomhole Presents N111.5bn 2016 Budget

By Ignatius Okpara, Benin City

Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, has presented a budget of N111.5 billion for the 2016 fiscal year to the State’s House of Assembly for approval.

Christened, “Budget of Finishing Well”, the 2016 budget is 12.6 per cent lower than the 2015, which was revised downward to N127.01 billion due to economic realities.

Presenting the budget Monday to the House of Assembly members, Oshiomhole, said the “reduction is in line with current economic realities, especially developments in the international oil market and the dwindling inflows from the Federation Account.”

According to him, the policy focus of the Year 2016 Budget, is the completion or near completion of on-going road construction/rehabilitation projects across the State.

He noted that roads at various stages of completion would be accorded priority, adding that Capital expenditure would take N58.9 billion representing 52.84 per cent of the total budget, while the proposed recurrent expenditure is pegged at N52.6 billion representing 47.16 per cent of the budget.

However, a breakdown of the proposal, which is the Governor’s last budget presentation before he quits office, indicated that Education and Health sub-sectors have the lion shares of the budget with N14 billion each, followed by roads infrastructure with N9.24 billion share and Flood and erosion control with N8 billion vote.

Governor Oshiomhole assured people of the State that ”in 2016 Fiscal year, efforts would be geared towards substantial completion of all the outstanding Storm Water projects across the State

“The completion of the Auchi, Queen Ede and Ekekhuan Gully Erosion remediation projects, substantial completion of all current streetlight projects and institutionalization of the process of maintenance of all built infrastructure, streetlights, drains and others.

He said: “This administration is currently working on the designs for the following seven gully erosion sites approved: Ibore, Ewu, Emu, Ogiso/Osunde, Ambrose Alli University (AAU), and Auchi Agenebode Road gully erosion sites.

“The designs of Flood and Erosion Control Structures for Gapiona/Adesuwa Grammar School road to de-flood the Western part of the Benin City GRA, covering about 9 square kilometres is at advanced stage.

“Also designs for Urora Community in Benin City and Igbe Quarters in Auchi are being carried out.”

On funding of the budget, Oshiomhole explained “it is now a common knowledge that given the vagaries in the international oil market, we can no longer depend on the revenue from federal sources to implement our development agenda.

“Therefore, it is imperative for this administration to look inward through expansion of our internal revenue base.

“In Year 2016, focused attention will be given to the actualization of new revenue sources such as the Land Use Charge and the automation of revenue collection process via the implementation of Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS).

“It is our desire to sustain the sensitization of our people to see the need for prompt payment of taxes in order to execute the laudable people-oriented programmes/projects of this administration.

“On our part as Government, we are committed to the principles of transparency and accountability.

“Let me assure you that we will make judicious use of all revenues at our disposal” said the Comrade Governor.

He appealed to the residents not to politicize this important issue that borders on civic responsibility and collective survival as a “State and as a people.”

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