· 1st quarter budget implementation report out next week
· Adopts quarterly release of allocation, IGR figures
Kwara State Government will now focus on projects with immediate impacts on the wellbeing of the people, including social investment programmes, healthcare, and school rehabilitation, Finance Commissioner Olasumbo Florence Oyeyemi said on Thursday.
Oyeyemi, who spoke with reporters in the state capital Ilorin against the backdrop of the just concluded budget review sessions across the MDAs, said Kwara is aligning government spendings with available resources in the face of dwindling allocation from Abuja and internally generated revenue (IGR).
“The focus will now be on projects that would have instant impacts on the living standard of the masses. There will be cut in the cost of governance especially overhead costs and some capital projects,” she said.
She linked the revenue drop to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the recent price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, adding that the review means that there would be sizeable cut in overhead cost and capital projects in line with the economic realities.
“We had a budget of N162.84bn for 2020. But it is clear now that our allocation and what we expected will no longer be feasible, it is better we cut our coat according to the available cloth,” Oyeyemi said.
“All we are doing now is preserving the state’s wealth to take care of major expenses of the state like first line expenses – salaries and taking care of the poor and provide for the completion of the ongoing projects. Area that we will still look into is education sector because we will be providing alternative for classroom learning. Also, the present administration has embarked on several water projects which must not stop because at such a time like this, our people need potable water.”
“As a government, we have decided to reduce the cost of governance and there will be a sizeable reduction in our overhead cost to focus on other pressing areas.”
She said the report from the budget review is being collated to a whole document that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will then forward to the House of Assembly for passage.
Oyeyemi meanwhile has said that the state government has resolved to release allocation figures from Abuja and IGR on a quarterly basis to coincide with the statutory issuance of quarterly budget implementation report.
“In this wise, the $5m (N1.8bn) that we have just received on Monday on account of our compliance with the World Bank-assisted State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for Result (SFTAS) will be captured in the second quarter budget implementation report as required under the law,” she said.
She added that the budget implementation report for the first quarter of 2020 will be out next week.