Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday signed the 2024 Appropriation Bill into law, calling it another bold step to expand infrastructure and grow the economic base of the state on a sustainable basis.
The Governor also assented to the Local Government Amendment Bill, saying: “We are looking forward to holding the local government elections very shortly.”
He thanked the House for its legislative roles on the Local Government Elections bill, which he noted now paves the way for the conduct of the elections.
The Governor, meanwhile, said the 61 per cent that the administration has budgeted for Capital Expenditure was a deliberate move to scale up infrastructural development across the state.
“Today, we are taking another bold step in the annals of our state. We commend the Assembly for doing a good job with the budget and for taking their time and making sure it is SABER (State Action on Business Enabling Reforms)- compliant,” the Governor said late Friday in Ilorin.
“You did very well before when we were committed to SFTAS (State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability). Our being SFTAS compliant has been very beneficial to the state as it ensured transparency in the way we do things.
“This is a budget with 61 per cent for capital expenditure (CAPEX) and 39 per cent for recurrent. 61% for CAPEX shows that Kwara does not want to continue as just a civil service state with no strong industrial base. We want to change how we do things, and we want to ensure that we put a lot of effort into infrastructure in the state. Moving the state forward is paramount to us.
“We have been able to reduce the debt of the state through negotiation with the federal government, and it will soon be reflected in the DMO chart, where you will see that the debt profile has drastically gone down.”
The budget signing was attended by the Speaker Kwara House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Salihu Danladi; House Leader Oba Abdulkadir Magaji; Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation Hon. Arinola Fatimoh Lawal; Chief of Staff to the Governor Prince AbdulKadir Mahe; Senior Advisor and Counselor Sa’adu Salau; Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice Senior Ibrahim Sulyman; Commissioner for Finance Dr Hawau Nuhu; Commissioner for Communications Bola Olukoju; and the Clerk of the House Alhaji Kareem Ahmed Olayiwola.
Danladi, for his part, commended Governor AbdulRazaq for being one of the first state governors to comply with the SABER template for budget process, and for working so hard to reduce the debt profile of the state.
“By the grace of God, the Kwara State House of Assembly has engaged all the MDAs for budget defense and scrutiny, and we were able to meet up with the SABER standard, which is a new template after SFTAS has wound down in the first quarter of 2023,” he said.
“It is a new template being used by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and all the states and I am happy Kwara, being the state of the NGF Chairman, is one of the first states to key into the SABER template.
“This budget has touched all sectors, and I know Kwarans will benefit greatly from it.”
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
January 26, 2024