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Ogun State House of Assembly has canvassed for a law to codify the long-term development plans and blueprints with a view to addressing policy summersault and economic wastage that always characterised public governance whenever there is a change of government at the State level.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo made the call during an interaction with the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo and his Budget and Planning counterpart, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan at the Year 2022 Budget Retreat held at the Conference Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.
Oluomo stressed that it was high time the State put in place a legislation that would avail every successive administrations and those who attain position of authority in the State, the developmental prospect and potentials of every areas of the State towards ensuring continuity in projects and governance to further promote democratic ideals.
He said the essence of the annual budget retreat was to avail the State lawmakers with current trends including rudiments and entire components of the State budgeting system towards ensuring that justice was done to the budget passage process in line with international standards.
Asserting that learning in the legislative institution would build the lawmakers for more dynamic societal challenges, the Speaker tasked his colleague-lawmakers to equip themselves by taking advantage of the technicalities inherent in the sessions to add value to their legislative responsibilities. He added that the uniqueness of the State required that legislators are vast in all facets of human endeavours.
In his lecture titled: “Linking Policy, Plans and Budget: A Critical Review of the Place of Budgeting and MTEF in Nigeria”, Dr. Adetunji Ogunyemi, outlined the constitutional and other legal basis for budgeting and planing in Nigeria to include Sections 15(5), 16(2), 120 and 121 as well as the State Fiscal Responsibility Law.
According to him, the Ogun Medium Term Expenditure Framework was made pursuant to the State Fiscal Responsibility Law, 2020 designed to ensure an accountable government, transparent financial system, with value for money on every expenditure of government, while opening up the government to utter scrutiny on its borrowings and investments.
Positing that the State had been blazing the trail on issues of development and best budgeting practices,
Ogunyemi lauded the Assembly for ensuring that the fiscal responsibility law contained macroeconomic framework, fiscal strategy paper, policies in relation to taxation, recurrent, debt, capital expenditures, borrowing plans, statement of other liabilities, lending and investments alongside economic, social, development and strategic priorities.
Extolling the socio-economic uniqueness of the Gateway State, the university Don noted that the proposed 2022 budget was in agreement with the MTEF plan. He stressed that it stipulated the priority areas of public expenditure, with greater percentage of capital expenditures allocated to infrastructure, education, health and other social services amongst others.
According to him, the internal revenue source was commendable as the State did not have a runaway recurrent expenditure, advising that the State adjusted its borrowing profile which accounted for more than 35% of the budget, with an admonition that the fiscal strategy paper should be more explicit on revenue targets, capacity analysis and innovation.
Giving an insight of the 2022 budget in relation to the ongoing year budget performance, the State Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Dapo Okubadejo who equally supported the proposed socio-economic law proposed by the Speaker, hinted that capital expenditure increased to 50% in year 2021 from the performance of 29% in 2020 and 22% in 2019 respectively.
He added that the feat was achieved through revenue blockage, ease of doing business strategy and public- private partnership initiatives, especially in the creation of economic development clusters.
Also, his budget and planning counterpart, Olaolu Olabimtan said the reforms were introduced in the preparation of the 2021 budget with the inclusion of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of of Government project details and counterpart fundings for transparency and accountability.