AbdulRazaq prioritizes minimum wage, education, youth empowerment in 2021 budget

AbdulRazaq prioritizes minimum wage, education, youth empowerment in 2021 budget

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Tuesday, presented a budget proposal of N123,091,307,468 to the House of Assembly, prioritizing minimum wage, education and youth empowerment.

During the budget presentation for the 2021 fiscal year, AbdulRazaq told the Lawmakers that the budget was designed to reflect the current economic challenges after wide consultations with members of the public.

The budget is 54% recurrent expenditure and 46% capital expenditure, a fallout of the dwindling revenue from oil and internally generated revenue, and an urgency to prioritise anti-poverty measures to cushion the effects of general economic crisis on vulnerable households and small businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fiscal plan will be funded from statutory allocations receipts estimated at N35,202,116,840; Value Added Tax of N14,613,315,409; other sundry revenues from the federal allocation pegged at N4,792,119,551; internally generated revenue estimated at N28,754,218,374; income from other sundry sources at N193,322,646; aid and grants pegged at N16,427,182,208; other capital receipts estimated at N9,458,032,440; and an opening balance of N13,651,000,000.

The state budget is predicated on the same key parameters and fiscal assumptions as the national budget recently presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

AbdulRazaq said: “Our priorities in the new fiscal year would include payment of the new minimum wage, cash-backed promotion for workers who passed the recent examination, tech-driven reforms in the education sector through our Kwaralearn initiative, social security for the vulnerable, cottage industries, rehabilitation of sporting facilities, and investments in the ideas of our youths through Kwapreneur. Ongoing and new infrastructural projects such as the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, courtrooms and school rehabilitation, and upgrading of health facilities will also be funded.

“Agriculture remains top priority as part of our strategies for food security. Appreciable sums have been allocated to irrigation system, and purchase of fertilisers and farm implements. At least 10,000 rural women are to benefit from the Noiler programme which we are keying into.

“And nearly two years into the new administration, we have made provisions for purchase of vehicles for political office holders within reasonable limit.

“Given the huge infrastructural gaps across various sectors and our agenda for inclusive growth, we may take bonds in the new year to fund critical projects to attract investments and widen the economic base of the state.

“Our commitment to prudent management of public resources remains unshaken. We will also at all time prioritise the welfare of the people who have entrusted us with their mandate, while every segment of our society is accorded their right.”

The Governor explained that the outgoing year recorded appreciable infrastructural development and key interventions in various sectors, regardless of the financial crisis wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.

The Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Salihu Yakubu-Danladi commended the administration of Gov. AbdulRazaq for the faithful implementation of the 2020 budget and commendable infrastructural strides despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the lawmakers would discharge their duties to scrutinise the document and ensure it passes relevant thresholds of participatory democracy and good governance.

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