By Dipo Olowookere
Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, presented the 2017 appropriation bill to the state’s House of Assembly.
Mr Ortom, who named the 2017 appropriation bill as ‘Budget of Rural Transformation’, explained that his government plans to spend N163.9 billion in the fiscal year.
He also said that his focus would be on rural development.
“The focus of government in 2017 will be rural transformation as it would embark on massive construction of rural access roads,” he stated.
“Our desire is that at the end of four years, every rural community in Benue State should be connected to another through planned rural roads,” he added.
He also pointed out that, “With value addition through processing of agricultural produce the sector would become an attractive business,” adding that “we will embark on massive land clearing and mechanization with effective use of tractors.”
According to the Governor, the budget has a recurrent expenditure of N66.348 billion, while the capital expenditure is N97.562 billion, representing a ratio of 40 percent and 60 percent respectively.
Addressing the lawmakers yesterday, Mr Ortom disclosed that the state expects funds from the monthly federal allocation, tax, non-tax, aids from donors, domestic borrowing among others.
He pointed out that his administration had cut down overseas travels by all public office holders, adding that he and his Deputy have reduced their entitlements in order to leave more money for the state to spend on other things.
The Governor also noted that the economic sector had the highest allocation of N88 billion followed by the social sector with N48 billion.
Responding, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, thanked the Governor for the presentation and promised to look into the bill after the Christmas break.
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