...Infrastructure, education get lion’s share
By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, presented N208 billion 2020 budget estimates to the State House of Assembly for approval.
Governor Makinde, while addressing the Assembly in a 16-page speech, noted that his administration plans to be bullish with infrastructure development in the State by earmarking 23 .93 per cent of the budget for the sector, the highest in the state’s history.
The Governor also said that in line with his administration’s belief that education remained the fastest way to take the people out of poverty and its commitment to delivering free and qualitative education in the State, the government has allocated the second highest percentage of the 2020 Budget, 22.37 per cent, to the education sector.
According to Makinde, the capital expenditure of the State for the 2020 Budget was also increased by 20 per cent compared to the 2019 Budget, with the capital expenditure estimate in the 2020 Budget proposal standing at N100,142,690,046 billion, representing 47.9 per cent of the budget.
He further revealed that the 2020 Budget contained provisions for the procurement of new fire fighting vehicles, ambulances, water tankers and communication equipment for the security system.
He said that in line with his Government’s four service point agenda, it has allocated 5.18 per cent and 4.43 per cent respectively to the Health and Agriculture sectors in the 2020 Budget proposal, noting that the Government remained committed to its determination to use agriculture to drive the State’s economy.
In the health sector, Makinde stated that the major facelift and equipment provided to the Adeoyo State Hospital, Ring Road, Ibadan, to ensure quality healthcare delivery to the citizenry will be extended beyond the state capital, noting that General Hospitals in Eruwa, Tede and Iseyin would be renovated in the 2020 fiscal year.
He maintained that having noticed the lacuna in the area of personnel for the health sector, his Government has given approval for the recruitment of 500 medical and health workers for the State’s hospitals, College of Nursing and Midwifery as well as the College of Health Science and Technology.
The Governor noted that the administration has begun the implementation of policies that would transform farming activities, increase production and improve the quality of food crops, livestock export and industrial crops through the application of modern technology, noting that the ongoing effort to upgrade two of the nine Farm Settlements in Eruwa and Akufo into Farm Estates remained on track.
Makinde announced the return of the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP) headquarters to Saki, promising that the administration will restructure the system and fully strengthen it for efficient and effective performance of its responsibilities.
He also informed the gathering that the legal controversy over the 10,000 metric tons capacity silo at Aawe had been settled out of court, with the contractor already back to site with an agreement to deliver the project in 10 months.
While responding to the Governor’s speech, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin and a number of the lawmakers commended the 2020 Budget proposal presented by the Governor as being people-oriented and timely, promising to ensure a speedy but meticulous consideration and passage of the Budget proposal.