Ondo State Government has assured that the focus of the 2020 budget would be targeted at policies and programs that will have direct positive impact on the citizens.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan who disclosed during a consultative meeting with Organised Private Sector, Trade Unions and Professional Bodies in Ondo state, on 2020-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and 2020 budget preparation, held at the Conference hall of the Ministry, Alagbaka Akure, promised that government would continue to prioritise the welfare of the people.
While highlighting some of the achievements of the administration, Igbasan stated that as at today, more than 80kilometres of roads have been constructed across the three Senatorial Districts of the state including Oke Alabojuto in Ikare and Oka sharp corner which has led to several loss of life.
He said government has also constructed and renovated about 800 out of 1325 public primary school with provision of water, toilet facilities and modern learning equipment, while payment of salary has been regular including arrears inherited from immediate past government.
He reiterated the avowed commitment of the Akeredolu-led government towards industrialisation in the state, which birthed the Ore industrial hub where about five companies have commenced operation with the capacity to employ over 25,000 people.
According to him, the government has been able to improve the healthcare system in the state through the increment in the number of Mother and Child hospitals to seven, establishment of Health Insurance Scheme and distribution of 24 containers of essential medical materials across the health care facilities in the State.
He revealed that the state is at the threshold of establishing the deep seaport and the licence will soon be issued, noting that it would have multiplier effect on the economy of the state.
Igbasan who affirmed that Governor Akeredolu is strongly committed to ensure that the citizens’ rights and privileges are given to them within the financial constraint of the state, said more than 1000 rural water systems have been executed through the Kamomi Aketi project in order to make potable water accessible to the citizens.
He further revealed that, as part of the commitment of the government to improve agriculture, about 10000 hectares of land have been acquired and cleared by the government which will be allocated for interested farmers and youth for modern farming
He noted that 600,000 seedlings of cocoa and 450 seedlings of cashew were distributed to the people free of charge in order to promote cash crop farming in the state, adding that the state would soon regain its lost glory in cocoa production.
He, therefore, called on various organizations and groups in the society to come up with their priorities and contributions to achieve an all-inclusive budget that would further develop the State and improve the living standard of the people.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Bunmi Alade had explained that the aim of the interactive session which comes up annually, was to brainstorm on how to improve on the implementation of budget and set a template for development.
While presenting the 2020-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2020 Budget projections, the Director of Budget, Mr. Stephen Aworere, stated that MTEF is a three-year planning tool used in the estimation of aggregate resource envelope available to government and the allocation of those resources to meet government economic, social and development objectives and priorities.
He stated that the rationale behind the adoption of MTEF included the accurate estimation of resources available to the state within the medium term planning horizon.
At the meeting, different professional bodies gave useful contributions on how to collaborate with private sector in order to increase the Internally Generated revenue of the state to finance the budget as well as the expectations of the people from government in terms of needed interventions in the society.