Ahmed presents 2016 budget of ‘sustained expansion’
GOVERNOR Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has presented a “Zero Budgeting” for 2016 fiscal year. Christened budget of ‘Sustained Expansion’, in line with the emerging global economic recession, the Governor said his government would block all the economic conduit pipes in the state and make available for use only the needed funds.
Ahmed, during the presentation before the state’s House of Assembly in Ilorin, said the budget would aim at boosting the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) via diligent tax collection and complete the abandoned projects covered by the 2015 fiscal policies.
He noted, “we have, therefore taken proactive steps to improve the IGR and reduce our dependence on the statutory allocation without placing burden on the citizenry.
“In this regard, we are strengthening tax administration to ensure that all eligible tax payers in the state perform their civic responsibility of paying their taxes.”
Ahmed noted, “Our administration remains committed to provision of infrastructure that will deepen the socio-economic development of the state and enhance the welfare of our people.
“In the light of these realities, the 2016 budget is christened Budget of Sustained Expansion. Sustained Expansion underlines our determination to implement those programs stalled by lack of funds in the outgoing year.
“It also underscores our resolve to birth new programs and projects in order to expand opportunities for collective prosperity and economic empowerment for all, especially job creation for our youth. While the financial crisis facing our country is serious, the Budget of Sustained Expansion focuses on opportunities: Opportunities for growth, for new investment, for renewed agribusiness, for strong entrepreneurship and for direct and indirect jobs.”
He itemised the highpoints of the budget to include:
*Revenue reforms that provide the fiscal space required for growth and stability of the state economy; Increase revenue and block leakages to free additional revenue required for the implementation of government programs and projects and; Increase infrastructure development in order to boost socio-economic activities in the state through the completion of all ongoing projects in Health, Roads, Energy, Educing and repositioning the policies and programs of government for implementation by this Agency in collaboration with the World Bank.
For Ahmed, at present, his government, in collaboration with the World Bank, would expend an initial Eight hundred million naira only in the Rural Areas focusing specifically on the strategic sectors of Water, Health, Education, Roads, Energy and Environment.
He added, “all that is required of the community is the contribution of 10 per cent of any felt-need project in these areas, and government will provide the outstanding 90 per cent for the project implementation. The aim is to ensure sustainability and instill community ownership.”