ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, PRINCE DAPO ABIODUN, MFR, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2021 APPROPRIATION BILL TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 2ND DECEMBER, 2020
Exactly 365 days ago, today, I stood before this Honourable House, in this hallowed chamber, before the elected representatives of the good people of Ogun State to present the first full year budget proposal of our Administration. It was christened the Budget to Build Our Future Together. This embodied our Administration’s determination to deliver on our electoral promises of a better future for our citizens. That budget set the tone for the achievements we have so far recorded in Year 2020, even as we look forward to a more prosperous 2021.
2. At this point, I want to express my most sincere appreciation to this Honourable House and its members for your cooperation, synergy and commitment to the joint task of building the future of our State. Despite the diversity and heterogeneous membership of the House, Honourable Members have shown that they are truly the representatives of the people. You have continued to carry-out your constitutional duties with allegiance only to the people of Ogun State, to whom we all owe our offices as representatives. For all your support, within the ambit of the principle of separation of powers, I say thank you, Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, on behalf of the people of Ogun State.
3. No doubt, the outgoing year 2020, has presented the world with an unprecedented challenge, nay a global pandemic, COVID-19. This was a development that was neither envisaged nor was prepared for. And it left no one and no part of the world unimpacted in its ravaging disruptions and dislocations to socio-economic systems, in addition to potent and manifest threat to public health and safety. Our nation and dear state were no exemptions. Indeed, the first index case of COVID-19 in the country was discovered in a factory in the State in February this year.
4. To contain the Coronavirus pandemic, our Administration quickly established five treatment and Isolation Centres for COVID-19 patients across the State. We set up a Molecular Laboratory at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, (OOUTH) Sagamu. It is the first Molecular Laboratory solely funded by a State in Nigeria, with capacity for 150 tests a day. In addition, we also procured the first COVID-19 Mobile Laboratory in Nigeria with the capacity to run 450 tests a day.
5. Apart from medical and pharmaceutical interventions, we also extended palliatives, at different times, to about 400,000 households across the twenty (20) local governments of our State. With an average of between five and six individuals per household, we were able to reach close to three million people with various items to cushion the effect of the pandemic and consequent reduction in household incomes.
6. Businesses were not left out. Palliative measures to provide reliefs included six-month extension of the 2019 income tax returns deadline for self-employed residents from March 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Others were eight-month extension of filing of 2019 annual PAYE returns by PAYE operators/tax agents from January 31, 2020 to September 30, and complete waiver of interest and penalty for late filing for the extension period.
7. Our deliberate, focused, and methodical approach to the management of the pandemic in our State has produced admirable outcomes that have been widely commended. We were able to achieve a careful balance between living and livelihood. We thank God for His benevolence that has assisted us to contain the virus in our State. And I thank most sincerely, our religious leaders, Community Development Associations, Market leaders, business communities, and indeed all citizens and residents of Ogun State. Your prayers, supports in various forms, cooperation and understanding, particularly during the most trying period of the pandemic are well appreciated. My appreciation also goes to our health team, other front liners, including our security agencies for your heroic roles in fighting a common enemy to humanity. Without your dedication, professionalism and commitment to save lives, even at great risks to your own lives, the story would have been different in Ogun State. Ogun State received support in cash and kind from many public – spirited donors – individuals and organisations – who are too numerous to enumerate here. We appreciate your kind gestures today and posterity will accord you even kinder mentions. Again, I say thank you all. I am very hopeful that the worst period of the pandemic is over. Nonetheless, as an Administration with commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of the citizenry, we are not lowering our guards. And I implore all of us to continue to strictly observe all the extant COVID-19 protocols and non-pharmaceutical measures, to avoid a relapse as being witnessed in some parts of the world. If we all wear masks, COVID-19 will die and we will survive.
8. Another development that has had a negative impact on the socio-economic lives in some parts of the country, Ogun State inclusive, was the #EndSARS protest. Indeed, our proximity to Lagos, the epicenter of the protest, made us a natural overflow of any such development in Lagos, particularly given the fact the Ogun State is the only neighbour Lagos State has and shares borders with. Again, I must thank all, particularly the youth of Ogun State for the maturity and largely peaceful approach they adopted in expressing anger against the excesses of the security agencies. The protest in Ogun State was, to a large extent, devoid of violence, arson and looting that characterised the protest in other states. Our youth embraced the dialogue and engagement options we offered and heeded our persuasions to show anger with restraint and decorum. I remain proud of you all as standard bearers of the Omoluabi our State is renowned for.
Performance of the 2020 Budget
9. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, let me now highlight some key elements of the performance of Year 2020 Budget. You will recall that N450B was initially approved as Year 2020 Budget. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, all the assumptions underlining the 2020 Budget became unrealistic and unattianble. This necessitated an obvious need to review downward the approved 2020 Budget. Thus, we forwarded a Bill to the House in July, this year to review the 2020 Budget down to N281B (38% decrease). I recall and commend the House once again for the sense of responsibility and dispatch with which this Honourable House treated the request and passed the Revised 2020 Budget accordingly.
10. In the 2020 Revised Budget, the total projected revenue is N281B, comprising of N114B as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and N38B as expected inflows from the Statutory Allocation and Value Added Tax. However, as at 31st of October 2020, actual total revenue was N92B, representing 42% of the pro-rated revenue target.
Key Achievements in the 2020 Fiscal Year
11. Despite the challenges faced, I am happy to report that much progress has been made on several fronts and our Administration has delivered on key policies, programmes and projects in priority areas of the Building Our Future Together Agenda. The Agenda continues to gain steady momentum and traction, as we meet all our obligations and substantially deliver on the promises of each of the I.S.E.Y.A development pillars of the Agenda. Let me now highlight a few of the key achievements under the I.S.E.Y.A acronym, i.e. I, for Infrastructure; S, for Social Welfare and Wellbeing; E, for Education; Y, for Youth Development and Job Creation; and A, for Agriculture and Food Security.
12. On Infrastructure, no less than one hundred roads spread across the length and breadth of our dear State have been constructed, maintained and rehabilitated. Many more are at different stages of completion, whilst, just yesterday, another batch of rural and township roads across the three senatorial districts was approved by the State Executive Council.
13. Under our Social Welfare and Wellbeing pillar, we have successfully delivered the first phase of our housing projects. The second phase that will deliver over 500 affordable housing units in different parts of the State has commenced. Our target in the next two years is to add 2,500 units to the housing stock in the state. Furthermore, we have strengthened our healthcare delivery system through rehabilitation of some of our Primary Healthcare Centres in the twenty local government areas and recruitment of additional healthcare personnel (doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, medical scientists, etc. for the first time in many years). The interventions are not limited only to physical infrastructure, we also procured medical equipment for our health facilities.
14. And recently, I approved the State Health Insurance Scheme which will ensure that all residents of the state have access to efficient and affordable healthcare services. A total of N500M is available as take-off fund for this scheme, of which N100M has been paid by the State government. This automatically enables us to access the balance of N400M required from the Basic Healtcare Provision Fund.
15. As you all know, Ogun State is the Education capital of the nation. Our Administration has continued to deepen this legacy with multifaceted initiatives that strengthen leadership, enhance the infrastructure, motivate the personnel, and generally improve the teaching and learning environment for teachers and students. Some of these include the appointment of Principals-General and Headteachers-General, capacity building, and adoption of technology for innovation and learning. Currently, over 500 schools are at various stages of rehabilitation. Even during COVID-19, our Administration deployed technology to Ogun Digiclass, another first of such initiatives by Ogun State in the country, to ensure that teaching and learning was not disrupted.
16. Payment of bursary to all Ogun State indigenes in tertiary institutions across the country that has been suspended for over eight years has been restored by this Administration. I have directed the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology to work out the modalities for immediate implementation. Our initiatives and programmes in the Education Sector have not gone unnoticed, as we have received numerour awards. The most recent was the Best Governor in Education Award by the National Parent – Teacher Association of Nigeria.
17. A major development pillar in the Building Our Future Together Agenda is the youth. In this regard, we have implemented several initiatives, some of which are Job portal to dimension the unemployment challenge and Ogun State Youth Empowerment Scheme (OG-YES), an internship scheme, that provides skills and job opportunities for about 10,000 artisans annually. Others include opportunities anchored on Agriculture such as Ogun Broilers project, FADAMA Guys, Anchor Borrowers Progarmme, to mention a few. To date, we have over 20,000 beneficiaries of the various schemes.
18. Agriculture and Food Security programme of this Administration has recorded many successes with manifest impact that has continued to the enhancement of the living standards of our people. As mentioned earlier, the potentials in the Agric sector have been leveraged to provide employment to our youth. In addition, over 70,000 farmers have been registered for different commodity value chain. To further develop capacity, Ogun State has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture to upgrade the Odeda Farm Institute into a Diploma Awarding Research and Training Institution. The importance of Agric became even more pronounced during the COVID-19 lockdown when the sector was rightly regarded as essential service sector exempted from the restrictions in the State.
19. Our focus on the I.S.E.Y.A development pillars has not diminished our commitment to the welfare of the Ogun State public servants, who are the fulcrum for the implementation of the Building Our Future Agenda and the development pillars. Our Administration has implemented a number of initiatives to demonstrate commitment to staff welfare and recognition of their central role in effective implementation of government programmes and policies. Amongst others, our Administration continues to pay salaries as and when due, including remittances and deductions. And notably, the commencement of the payment of minimum wage of N30,500.00 to public servants in the State from October. Though this has put a further strain on our finances, we firmly believe that only well motivated workforce can be expected to perform the roles of the backbone for implementation of government programmes and policies.
20. Although this is not a presentation of our stewardship, we are proud of how, in spite of a difficult year, we have continued to record giant strides in infrastructure development across the state, youth empowerment, job creation, human capital development, agriculture and food security, education, conducive environment for business, as well as fiscal responsibility, amongst others.
Our Inclusive Approach to Budget Process
21. The preparation for the next fiscal year has followed the same inclusive approach our Administration instituted last year, with Town Hall meetings held across the three Senatorial Districts. The Town Hall Meetings were held online (due to COVID-19 protocols) on Monday, 2nd November, 2020 (Ogun East); Wednesday, 4th November, 2020 (Ogun West) and Thursday, 5th November, 2020 (Ogun Central) respectively. The meetings afforded us to obtain inputs of all relevant stakeholders into the 2021 budget, achieve the ownership of the budget process and the outcome (budget) and align the budget with the expressed needs of the people. The inclusive approach also further engenders and strengthens transparency and due diligence in the conduct of our public financial management system.
22. Subsequent to the meetings, we also set up committee led by our paramount rulers and comprising other stakeholders in each zone to identify and prioritise roads that require immediate government interventions in their respective communities. We have since received their reports and some of the identified roads are already receiving consideration whilst the Year 2021 is expected to address others. Once again, I thank our royal fathers, community development associations and other stakeholders for their continued support, feedback and cooperation.
Government Fiscal Strategy in 2021
23. Our Administration is already implementing several measures to overcome our fiscal constraints. In addition to the Medium-Term Revenue Strategy Initiatives, we are leveraging technology and automation, as well as more effective monitoring of Internally Generated Revenues. Our efforts are aimed at addressing revenue leakages and redirecting scarce resources to the poor and vulnerable. These efforts include:
a. Capacity development;
b. Inclusiveness of all MDAs IGR growth drive;
c. Strengthening of Monitoring and Evaluation;
d. Leakage Blocking; and,
e. Setting Up of Government Delivery Unit.
Year 2021 Budget Proposal
24. Once again, I stand before this Honourable House to present the Appropriation Bill for Year 2021. This document will chart a new course of Recovery and Sustainability for our dear State. And, as I proceed with this presentation, you will agree with me why this important document is so christened, the “Budget of Recovery and Sustainability”
25. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, permit me to note that in our journey towards achieving good practice in public financial management, we have adopted, for the second year running Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for years 2021-2023. In addition and for the first time, we have also introduced Medium-Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS), a major shift in budget preparation process from focus on the expenditure to a greater emphasis on revenue driven model.
26. While I will present a summary of our Budget Proposal for the coming year, the Honourable Commissioners of Finance and Budget and Planning will in due course provide the full details of this budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
Priorities of the 2021 Budget
27. Distinguished and Honourable Members, let me proceed to the 2021 Appropriation Bill, which is designed to further deliver on the goals of our Administration’s “Building Our Future Together”. Over the period of years 2021 – 2023, the State Government’s fiscal policy will be geared towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of spending and achieving a better balance between capital and recurrent expenditure. This will include greater control of the wage bill; directing capital expenditure on critical infrastructure and boosting revenue receipts by identifying and plugging revenue leakages. Other consideration is gradual fiscal consolidation in order to achieve a level of public spending consistent with macro-economic stability and sustainable debt;
28. The investment focus of this Administration is to create an enabling environment for business, reduce the identified infrastructure gap as well as provide fiscal stimulus to lift demand. Hence, in allocating envelopes to different Sectors and MDAs, priority is given to the following in the allocation process:
Completion of existing projects
Projects with revenue potential
Projects consistent with priorities articulated in the State Economic Development Strategy
Projects that can enhance employment generation.
Parameters and Fiscal Assumptions Underpinning the 2021 Appropriation
29. Honourable Members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, the 2021–2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper sets out the parameters for the 2021 Budget, which include:
a. Benchmark oil price of 40 US Dollars per barrel;
b. Daily oil production estimate of 1.44 million barrels (inclusive of Condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day);
c. Exchange rate of N379 per US Dollar;
d. National GDP growth projected at 3.0; and,
e. National inflation closing at 11.95 percent.
Ogun State Parameters:
a. State GDP growth projected at -1.0 percent;
b. Projected State Inflation aligns with National Inflation of 11.95 percent;
c. Monetary Policy Rate projected at 13% for Internal Loans and External Loans projected at 2%;
State Government Revenue Estimates
30. Arising from the aforementioned fiscal projections and parameters, total State revenue is estimated at N339billion in 2021. This includes Internally Generated Revenues of N119billion. Statutory allocation is estimated at N59 billion while capital receipt is expected to N142 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans including Grants and Aid).
Planned 2021 Expenditure
31. The aggregate expenditure of N339 billion is proposed for the State Government in 2021. The proposed N339 billion expenditure comprises the recurrent of N162B and Capital of N177B. We have been able to achieve a 52 percent capital expenditure as dictated by best practices to drive our developmental objectives.
32. Substantial part of the 2021 recurrent cost estimate is allocated to paying salaries and overheads in MDAs providing these critical public services.
33. Personnel cost remains the largest single item of expenditure, by 31st October 2020, it accounted for 35.5 percent of total State Government spending and is projected at 21 percent of 2021 total expenditure. Necessary steps will be taken to sustain the payroll integrity and ensure that the nominal roll of the Public Service and payment of monthly pensions is accurate (e.g. removal of duplication of BVNs from the State payroll).
34. The government shall continue to be prudent and responsible in respect of MDAs overhead expenses considering attendant economic realities. Such expenses shall be sustained at reasonable percentages viz-a-viz revenue generation prospects of each MDA in the State. Consequent on the inflationary trend, the total overhead costs of MDAs and Government Owned Enterprises is projected at N 50 billion in 2021, this represents an increase of N11 billion from N39 billion in 2020.
35. We remain committed to meeting our debt service obligations, specifically to attract capital investment into the State economy. Hence, we have made provision for the sum of N28.4 billion for debt servicing in 2021, representing an increase of N 13billion from N15.7billion in 2020.
36. A total sum of N12billion is provided for transfers to the Stabilization Fund to insulate and position the State towards unprecedented activities or economic shocks towards our growth recovery.
37. An aggregate sum of N155billion is expected to be available for physical capital projects in 2021. The projection has been upwardly reviewed by N25 billion from the 2020 approval of N130 billion in order to chart our economic recovery growth through investment in physical projects. This will create enabling environment for investment, create employment and trigger redistribution of resources. Worthy of mention is the fact that the 2021 physical capital budget is 88 percent of aggregate capital expenditure and 46 percent of total expenditure. The provision is expected to assist the rapid economic growth of the State. However, the entire expenditure is 52 percent with the inclusion of Public Debt Charges and Stabilization Fund.
38. Capital expenditure in 2021 remains focused on the completion of as many on-going projects as possible, as well as the commissioning of new ones. We have also made efforts to ensure equity in the distribution of projects and programmes in the proposed budget. In the coming weeks of budget defense by each of the MDAs, the State House of Assembly will be provided with the list of some of the most critical projects which we must work collectively to ensure they receive adequate funding. Until projects reach completion, they do not deliver the dividends of democracy that Ogun State citizens rightly deserve.
39. In addition to government spending on capital expenditure, our Administration has enacted the Private Public Partnership (PPP) law to provide the regulatory framework which will help facilitate private sector investments in the development of infrastructure in the State. The PPP Office, established under the law, has since been set up. Many large scales, commercially-viable infrastructure projects such as Tolled Roads, Light Rail, Independent Power Plant (IPP), Commercial Housing Projects and many others will be funded through PPP.
Highlights of the 2021 Proposals in line with ISEYA and Functional Classifications
40. Key allocations in the 2021 budget in line with ISEYA are:
Social welfare and wellbeing:N93B (includes Health, Housing, Environment, Physical Planning, Women Affairs, etc)
The Enablers include state wide services, general public service, public debt charges, stabilization fund, judiciary, legislature, pensions and gratuities.
41. Key allocations in the 2021 budget in line with functional classifications are:
General Public Services:N49B
Housing & Community AmenitiesN28B
Social & Environmental protectionN5B
Public Order and SafetyN9B
Recreation, Culture and ReligionN7B
The Statewide services include public debt charges, stabilization fund, pensions and gratuities.
42. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, permit me to reiterate that the main thrust of our capital spending programme in 2021 is the completion of many on-going and new projects as possible across the State. Accordingly, we have prioritized projects that can be rapidly completed to benefit our people.
43. Distinguished Honourable Members, I fully understand the difficulties many of our people are going through as a result of the effect of the pandemic. However, the road to economic growth is the establishment of a sustainable public finance management that will bring about; better allocation of our scarce resources and improved public service delivery.
44. Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the 9th Ogun State House of Assembly; I commend your firm commitment towards ensuring a very harmonious and productive relationship with the Executive. It is important to further deepen this relationship in the interest of our people. As you review the 2021 Budget estimates, we believe that the legislative process will be expedited to ensure its prompt passage to sustain the restoration of a predictable January–December fiscal year. In this regard, I have directed all Commissioners, Accounting Officers and Heads of Agencies to be personally available for budget defense.
45. Let me re-emphasize that the people of Ogun State expect that the 2021 Budget will contain only implementable and critical projects, which when completed, will significantly address current structural challenges of the economy, improve the business environment and accelerate economic recovery.
46. Let me, once again, commend Honourable Members of Ogun State House of Assembly for their continued support in steering our economy during these challenging times. We remain committed to sustaining this partnership. We believe that as we work together, we will jointly deliver on our joint mandate to our people.
47. This address will not be complete without, once again, thanking the good people of Ogun State for their support, cooperation, resilience and indomitable spirit, even in the wake of the unprecedented challenges of the outgoing year. I do not take your support for granted. And I have no doubt, that together, we will recover lost grounds and achieve our potentials to the dullest, as individuals and state in the new year.
48. In the last eighteen months in the saddle, I have remained irrevocably committed to the oath of office I swore to and the principle and practice of good governance. We have been inclusive, fair, just and equitable to all citizens and residents of our dear State, regardless of creed, political affiliation or geographical location. And we have conducted the affairs of the State with openness, transparency and accountability. Our Administration has always obeyed the rule of law. Though I have been elected on the platform of a great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the pan Ogun State mandate bestowed on me through divine mercies and preference of vast majority of the people of Ogun State is a sacred trust on behalf of all – those who voted for me and those who may have exercised a different preference. I am the Governor of all. And I will remain obliged to serve all the good people of Ogun State to the best of my ability. This is the least I can do to appreciate God’s favours and the support and goodwill of the people.
49. At this point, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is with a sense of duty that I lay before this Distinguished Assembly, the 2021 Budget Proposals of the Ogun State Government of Nigeria, for your consideration.
50. Merry Xmas and a Prosperous 2021 in Advance.
Igbega Ipinle Ogun, Ajose gbogbo wa ni!
Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR,
Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria.
Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020.