It is no longer news that Kogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada has proposed a total budget outlay of N110,212,838,567 for the 2015 fiscal year.
The budget which is N18billion less than that of 2014 was divided into N50billion recurrent and N60billion Capital.
The basic objectives of the 2015 budget has specific objectives on completing on going projects, expanding the revenue base of the state and to also complete integrating the state chart of account into budgeting and budgeting control mechanism for both the state and the 21 Local Government Areas.
Similarly, the budget is aimed at enhancing transparency, provide a conducive environment for investors and donor agencies as well as to reduce the state’s level of domestic debt profile.
Since his assumption of office as Governor of Kogi State, Capt Idris Wada has made the core of his fiscal and financial policies and programmes the people.
Little wonder, a look at the 2015 budget estimate he presented to the state assembly, christened, “Budget of Stability” had critical areas of the budget centered on the people.
Specifically, peace and security, infrastructure development such as roads, transport, housing to mention but a few topped the transformation agenda of the present administration.
Similarly,the 2015 budget placed emphasis on improved health care delivery, enhanced internally generated revenue, education, human capital development, agriculture, water and sanitation.
It will not out of place to state that the challenges of governance is increasingly becoming difficult with men in the mould of Gov Wada, staying on course by reason of prudent management of funds.
Little wonder, in his 2015 budget presentation, the governor disclosed that the economic challenges resulting from the decline in the international price of crude oil, coupled with the negative impact of criminal activities like pipeline vandalism and theft of crude oil, have hampered the nation’s ability to meets its daily production quarter.
Furthermore, new technologies in extracting crude oil from the shale, in addition to the developed world turning inward to seek and utilize alternative sources of energy to reduce their dependence on the importation of crude oil, Capt Wada explained has resulted in loss of Nigeria’s income whose consequent effect has negatively impacted on the state’s share of the federation account.
The 2015 Kogi State budget which focuses on continued provision of physical infrastructures, human capital development, job creation, wealth creation and poverty eradication, the governor explained would be achieved through the scaling up of expenditures in health, education,agriculture,water resources, environment and support for women and youth empowerment programme.
The 2015 budget by all indication and intent been designed to promote good governance practice in the public sector, sustain the relative peace and security being enjoyed in the state.
Similarly, 2015 would witnessed continued introduction of improved use of technology, sustained private sector and participation in agriculture as well as government support to local farmers to increase their yield.
Furthermore, the budget which has set for itself achievable time bound goals and targets, would sustain the maintenance of existing on- going road works across the state. Several of such roads works are all going in the three senatorial districts of the state while assistance has been made to make Kogi Road maintenance agency make roads in the state motor able all year round.
Through the budget , government intends to establish standardized and functional equipments for drivers testing, as well as equipping of fire service stations in the state.
The budget also seeks to also improve the speedy dispensation of justice delivery as well as determine to eradicate illiteracy, build infrastructures in schools,upgrade facilities and sustain the payment of WAEC fees for final year secondary school students.
Also, the state government intends using the 2015 budget to ensure quality health care delivery service, increase the attention of government to primary health care as well as improve, upgrade and build facilities that will aid health care services in line with MDG’s goals.
With a promise to use the 2015 budget to improve girl child education, the budget also places priority attention on women, children, persons living with disabilities and the elderly people in government’s effort to transform their lives, socially integrate them by making them economically. Productive.
In the youth development sector, the budget’s major thrust in 2015 is to empower the youths through the provision of sound education and economic empowerment activities that cut across all sectors. sports also would occupy a vantage in the state this year. In the budget presented, focus will be geared towards identifying budding talents who are athletes as well as provision of modern equipments to enable youths and athletes from the state participate in international competitions.
The 2015 budget which is a balanced budget, by the policy thrust of the Capt Wada’s administration since it’s inception would be prudently managed to achieve a reasonable measure of success. In 2014 the budget made about 80% success.
It would be recalled that the state in the past years walked tight rope, as there was a widening variance between projections for statutory allocation and actual receipt. This has no doubt greatly affected the availability of funds for capital projects. A worry that would be addressed in the 2015 budget.
For a budget to however be realizable, the cooperation, patience and understanding of the citizenry must also be needed. While 2015 has been predicted by economists as one that will be a challenging year, the people must not only demonstrate and persevere amidst the policies been introduced, they must show support to the Capt Wada administration and shun corruption, laziness in work places, falsehood, rumour mongering, rather they should contribute their quota to the new task of state building. The policy direction of the Capt Wada administration as encapsulated in the 2015 budget proposal, is a commitment that his transformation agenda which has remained on course is people centered. With the cooperation, no doubt the required effort for the sustained payment of workers salary, upgrade in infrastructures and the all year round peace in the state will remain a hallmark of the state in 2015.
Amidst expected challenges in 2015, Kogi State from the budget will remain a work in progress. And without mincing words, the suffering of the people and improvement in their living standard remains a top priority and will be improved upon. Government commitment to therefore place the well being of the people in its topmost agenda as done in the 2015 budget estimate needs to be applauded. It is the fervent belief that if the budget which would no doubt be carefully implemented by government gets the massive support in discipline, the gains at the end as stated by the governor will be all about the people.