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The Year 2022 Ogun State Appropriation Bill has passed through second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly with lawmakers unanimously requesting for an upward review of funds allotted to education and health sectors, owing to their direct importance to the socio-economic advancement and overall wellbeing of the people of the State .
Opening debate during the second reading of the bill titled “HB. N0. 075/OG/2021- Year 2022 Appropriation Law”, through a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff and seconded by Hon. Oludaisi Elemide, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Kunle Sobukanla said there was need to set out strategies towards blocking leakages, just as he called for increased priority to infrastructural development and education.
In their separate remarks, other members including Ganiyu Oyedeji, Abdul Bashir Oladunjoye, Solomon Osho and Abayomi Fasuwa said that there was need for all revenue generating agencies to improve on their operational drive and set machineries in motion towards improved revenue generation.
They explained that more funds should be injected into all levels of health institutions in the State, with adequate attention given to border and rural communities in terms of infrastructure and development projects, explaining that there was need to improve on the funding of the other two arms of government in line with the principle of separation of power.
Also, Honourables Kemi Oduwole, Damilola Soneye, Sola Adams, Adeyemi Ademuyiwa and the Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff who corroborated the submissions of their colleague-lawmakers called more laudable policies that would bring about massive youth empowerment in the implementation phase of the budget.
They added that education deserved more as public schools in the State required massive infrastructural upgrade across all categories, this they noted needed more than the 16% voted for the sector.
Responding, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, commended the Governor for the components of the budget especially in relations to the assurance on the completion of the existing projects alongside those with revenue potentials and those consistent with priorities articulated in the State economic development strategy as well as those that could enhance revenue generation.
He equally lauded his colleagues for their contributions to the debate, cautioning the revenue generating agencies in the State not to inflict pains on the masses through multiple taxation while making efforts to boost the State revenue.
He stressed the need for recruitment of more personnel in public schools, in addition to the recent employment under Ogun Teach programme, while joining others to request for more infrastructural upgrade in facilities in all public schools in the State.
Oluomo thereafter committed the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions, with a directive to Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to brace up towards ensuring strict compliance to the budget defence schedule which would commence on Monday, 13th December to Thursday, 23rd December, 2021.
In another development, Oluomo has tasked the people of the State to further ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols following the recent discovery of the Omicron variant by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The Speaker also called on public servants and members of the public to embrace opportunity offered by the State Government to get themselves vaccinated during the on going mass vaccination campaign with a view to flattening the curves of the pandemic in the State.