…Concentrates on capital projects, receives €3.5 French Development Agency grant
By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has presented a 2022 budget estimation of N189,494,692,524 (N189.4bn) representing a 12.15% increase over the 2021 revised budget.
It has 44.7% recurrent content which makes provisions for payment of consequential adjustment of the so much talked about minimum wage. The budget also has 55.3% capital expenditure and its thrust is to fund ongoing projects and initiate new ones as resources permit.
Laying the fiscal estimation before the State House of Assembly (KWHA) in Ilorin, the governor said the budget was designed to sustain the tempo of the phenomenal growth his administration has recorded and it is called the ‘Budget of Sustained Reformation for Inclusive Growth’.
He highlighted his target of capital projects including planning to fund many priority power projects across the state; secondary water reticulation projects, shea butter processing plant at Omilende, Patigi Hotel, rural roads under RAAMP, Montebeliarde Ranch project, KwaraState University (KWASU) campuses at Osi and Ilesha Baruba respectively, among others.
His words: “The budget is built on the assumptions of oil price of 57 US Dollars per barrel; daily oil production estimate of 1.88 million barrels/day; Exchange rate of N410 per US Dollar; and GDP growth projected at 4.20 percent and inflation closing at 13 percent.
“Funding windows include the traditional sources of federal allocation, internally generated revenue (IGR), the bond already accessed, and the bridge financing of the Federal Government.”
He added that his administration had posted superlative performance in meeting basic needs of the people and repositioning the state for sustainable growth, although he insisted that a lot still needed to be done to cover new grounds.
Accompanied by cabinet members and party leaders to the budget presentation ceremony Governor AbdulRazaq commended the House of Assembly and the people of Kwara state for their support in realising the goals of his government.
He said: “I am presenting to this Honourable House a fiscal document which points the next phase of our service to the people of Kwara State.
“Over this period of time, we have delivered on our many electoral promises to restore the glory of Kwara State in basic education, basic healthcare, provision of potable water, extending development to the hinterlands, supporting smallholding and commercial agriculture, mainstreaming gender inclusion for sustainable growth, youths empowerment, easing the business climate, ensuring social mobility through equitable wealth distribution and employment opportunities, among others.
“Our efforts are paying off as various data sets have shown. Of special note is how much we have done in retooling the local economy and deepening financial inclusion for the poor.
“In a recent survey, Kwara came first nationwide in enabling business environment index, second in perception of opportunities index, third in business performance index, and fourth in State Entrepreneurial Index.”
He listed some ongoing projects of the administration to include the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, Osi-Obbo Road, Garment Factory, Ilesha-Gwanara Road, new Dental and Eye facilities at Ilorin General Hospital, Oro General Hospital, Lafiagi General Hospital, Kishi-Kaiama Road, International Conference Centre, the Tunde Idiagbon Bridge at Tanke, Special Agro-processing Zone, and sporting facilities.
The projects he said, were part of the administration’s “strategic efforts to place Kwara among the most vibrant states in Nigeria”.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu presided over the budget presentation ceremony with all the members in attendance including cabinet members, traditional leaders, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party leaders from across the state.
Meanwhile, Kwara State Government had received the first tranche of €3.5m from the French Development Agency (FDA) to implement some of the projects captured under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) across the state.
It was disclosed that the disbursement was made to all the 13 states of the federation participating in the RAAMP project.
Also, it was disclosed that Kwara government would need to pay additional N200m counterpart funds for year 2021 to access the €3.5m from the dedicated accounts for the project. Abdulrazaq’s administration had so far paid N400m counterpart funds since its inception in 2019.
The first receipt will be followed by preliminary works like consultancy services and procurement processes for the project, according to the statement from the state RAAMP office.