By Moses Mark
Plateau state Governor Barrister Simon Lalong, on Wednesday presented a budget estimate of N133.4 billion for 2021 fiscal year.
Speaking while presenting the proposed budget to members of the State House of Assembly, the Governor said in line with the Medium-term Economic Policy 2020-2022 requirements, his adminstration would continue to re- position the State economy for local sufficiency, value for money and revenue optimization.
Lalong further said that the 2021 estimates presented are intended to pursue programmes and projects with a view to achieving an inclusive and high income strategy, while securing an increasingly better life for all.
He said that the underlying assumptions in terms of macro-economic targets of the 2021 budget are premised on Oil Price of US$ 40 per barrel ,Oil Production (National) of 1. 86 million barrels per day, exchange rate of N378. 00 Naira to a dollar.
The Governor further said that the Budget was prepared under reality of the current economic realities, orchestrated by COVID-19 and with a reasonable degree of consistency both in policy and realism to our vision of achieving the three-pillar policy of peace, security and good governance, infrastructural development and sustainable economic rebirth.
He said his adminstration plans to continue with strategic spending on critical economic sectors especially Agriculture, Solid Mineral Development (Mining) and Tourism.
“This will enable us create opportunities for all segments of the economy and distribute the dividends of increased prosperity fairly across the society such that the indices of human development like unemployment, poverty, inequality will be addressed. “We shall continue to build the capacity and fund the Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA) and other agencies to ensure that we empower our people.
Lalong said that the All Progressive Congress APC led Government will utilize its principal fiscal policy tool which is the public budget as well as other associated policies to create the enabling environment that would lead to economic transformation and growth.
“Using the One-Stop-Investment Centre, Government will focus on attracting Foreign and Domestic, investments, sourcing Local and International Donors Funds, as consummating Public Private Partnerships ”
Having carried out public consultation through town hall meetings and further engagements with relevant stakeholders within the context of the current economic realities, the Government is proposing the total 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 only for the 2021 fiscal year. This has embedded in it a COVID-19 component of N11 billion naira only.
“This consists of Eighty three billion, nine hundred and fourty seven million, two hundred and four naira, one hundred and seventy three kobo only as recurrent expenditure, and Fourty nine billion, Five hundred and thirty five million, five hundred and one thousand, two hundred and eighty four naira only as capital expenditure.
“This indicates an increase of Ten Billion Six Hundred and Thirty Three Million Eight Hundred and Eighty Two Thousand Five Hundred and Forty four Naira only representing 8.6% difference above the 2020 revised budget of One Hundred and Twenty Two point Eight billion naira (N122.8) only. This increase is as a result of increase in both Recurrent and Capital Expenditure estimates.
He appealed to the people of the state to continue to support the APC led government at all times .
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