It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the ceremony for signing into Law the year 2021 Appropriation Bill. I should remark that the year 2021 Appropriation Law marks the last in our first term. Hence, it is with a grateful heart that I give glory to God Almighty who, in His infinite mercies, has kept us thus far and has crowned every of our efforts with success.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me use this auspicious occasion to express my appreciation to the good people of Ondo State who have stood by us in the long walk to this day. We appreciate your unwavering confidence, steadfastness, loyalty, trust and faith in us as shown in the Gubernatorial Election of 10th October, 2020 which you have used to renew our mandate for another four years.

In the course of the year, our economy was confronted with the global COVID-19 Pandemic and domestic upheaval of #EndSARS protest. Both have adversely affected our national economy. We are now confronted with low price of crude oil arising from the vagaries of the international oil market and reduced level of production both of which have invariably put our country into economic recession.

This has resulted in consistent dwindling in national revenue and its attendant reduction in allocations from the nation’s Federation Account to all tiers of government. The gains we made in the last three years in our independent revenue which have been the stabilising force in our public spending is also now being gradually wiped off. Despite all these, we have not lost hope. We have continued to update our strategies for strengthening our Internally Generated Revenue capacity without putting extra burden on the people.

The 2021 Budget, has a total Budget size of N174.873 billion. Out of this amount, N13.633 billion representing 7.8% is for Debt Service; N12.241 billion representing 7.0% is for Statutory Transfers to OSOPADEC and the 10% Share of Independent Revenue to Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) of Local Governments in the State. The sum of N79.084 billion i.e. 45.2% and N69.915 billion i.e. 40.0% are for Recurrent Expenditure and Capital Expenditure respectively.

A major principle to note about the Budget is the desire to creatively pull our economic ‘chestnut out of the fire’. Thus, the 2021 Budget will reactivate our economic life through technical and technological education. In this regard, Education has been allocated 19.07% of the Budget, while 21.19% has been set aside with a view to ensuring that all ongoing infrastructural projects across the State are completed. We will use the 2021 budget to sustain the hopes of our people. In no distant time, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget will make the details of the Budget available to the public.

I will plead that we all acquaint ourselves with the Budget and position ourselves to run with the provisions as government would ensure its strict implementation. In doing this, we assure you of prudent management and accountability and this will be strengthened by the oversight function of the House.
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to particularly appreciate Mr Speaker and all the members of Ondo State House of Assembly for scrutinising and passing the Budget proposal in record time, without compromising the integrity of the process. I also want to specially appreciate members of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, who, throughout the process of crafting the Budget, demonstrated uncommon sense of dedication and responsibility by painstakingly considering the details of the Budget, even at the expense of their personal conveniences, to ensure timely passage of the Appropriation Bill.
To all members of that Committee,
I say ‘Thank you’.
It is also important that I appreciate other stakeholders that were involved in
crafting this Budget, for the numerous ways you have contributed to the success story of today. My appreciation also goes to the Management and Staff of Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget ably led by the Commissioner for their dedication, patriotism and above all, innovativeness, in bringing about the changes we have witnessed in Budget crafting in the last three-and-half years.

As the year draws to a close, I wish you God’s profound peace, abiding presence and guidance in all your endeavours.
God bless you all.
Compliments of the season.

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