Don’t Lose Hope On Economy, Ajimobi Urges Nigerians

Don’t Lose Hope On Economy, Ajimobi Urges NigeriansThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has called for a renewed hope from the country’s citizens on the ability of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to salvage the country from the pervading economic challenges.

The Governor made the call in his New Year message issued by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, in Ibadan.

Although the Governor said he was not unmindful of the telling effect of the recession on the populace, he, however, said they should continue to trust in the Federal Government’s ability to put the economy back on track judging by the ongoing rejigging efforts.

While expressing happiness with the success so far recorded by the military in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East, the Governor appealed to the Niger-Delta militants to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign in the zone.

Ajimobi saluted the gallantry of the country’s army and other security agencies, calling for prayers and support for the families of officers and soldiers who paid the supreme price or lost limbs in the patriotic fight that culminated in liberation of the dreaded Sambisa forest.

The Governor said: “The economic recession currently staring us in the face in Nigeria called for concerted efforts on the part of all and sundry to play the roles expected of us to ensure that the country survives these trying times.

“Part of these efforts is for the restive Niger-Delta youths to cease fire and allow peace to reign. They should stop the sabotage of oil installations and embrace dialogue. They should realize that it is only in an atmosphere of peace that the desired development can be achieved.

“To the good people of Oyo State, I want to assure you that with your cooperation and support, the administration under my leadership will continue to work towards the recovery of our economy.

“Recall that in my budget speech on Thursday, I reported how much work had been done to enhance our revenue base by expanding the tax net; by blocking financial loopholes, fixing leakages and institutionalizing prudence in all spheres of the administration.

“May I, therefore, urge you to play your part in this direction.”

The Governor thanked the people of the state for maintaining peaceful co-existence and for their commitment to the growth and development of the state.

He, however, restated his warning that any attempt to plunge the state into chaos and lawlessness would be crushed with the full force of law.

Ajimobi said that his government would not relent in its efforts at ensuring the sustenance of the ongoing infrastructural revolution and economic re-engineering aimed at improving the general wellbeing of the citizenry.

Ajimobi Presents N207bn Budget Of Self-Reliance In Oyo

Ajimobi Presents N207bn Budget Of Self-Reliance In OyoThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi has presented a total budget of N207.671 billion for the 2017 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly, which represents an increase of 19.13% over the 2016 budget.

The Governor, while presenting the budget titled “Budget of Self Reliance”, explained that the recurrent expenditure will cost N126.87 billion which is 61.09% of the budget while the capital expenditure will take N80.80 billion or 38.91%.

Governor Ajimobi stated that Personnel Cost, made up of salaries, allowances and promotion arrears stands at N56.04 Billion or 26.99% while overhead cost accounts for N20.04Billion which is 9.75%, adding that N50.79bn or 24.45 is meant for the Consolidate Revenue Fund Charges to sum up the total Recurrent Expenditure of N126.87 billion.

Ajimobi said that the budget has been designed to be Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) driven, emphasizing that N107.23bn or 51.64% of the proposed N207.671 billion Budget is to be funded from IGR, N66.49bn or 32.01% from Federation Account while N33.97bn or 16.35% is expected from capital receipts, which is restructuring and reallocation of funds to priority areas.

The Governor stressed that the state’s restructured Board of Internal Revenue was poised for enhanced performance to ensure a realistic budget tenure adding, “in the face of the challenges in the outgoing year, arising from almost complete reliance on Federal Allocation which has grave consequences, as Federal Statutory Allocation itself is dependent on extraneous factors, this budget has been designed to be Internally Generated Revenue driven.

“In the Informal sector, the Board is targeting 20% of the population which is presently pegged at 6million individuals with presumptive tax rate of N3000 per annum.”

Governor Ajimobi noted that the government anchored the 2017 budgetary proposals on Infrastructure, Agriculture and its value-chain framework, Education and Health, pledging that other sectors would be given adequate attention in order to ensure that the budget achieves it theme as budget of self-reliance.

He reiterated the conduct of the local government elections in the state in 2017, saying, “I wish to reiterate and remind us, that February 2017 is around the corner when we shall all have the opportunity to elect our leaders at the grassroots level.

“The leaders that are expected to emerge are those that will be able to key into and consolidate our developmental agenda.  I, therefore, solicit your support for the successful conduct of the elections.”

The Governor gave the assurance that the government would pursue projects and programmes that will “attract Assistance and Sponsorship from Development Partners, Promote Public-Private-Partnership initiative as a vehicle in the delivery of infrastructure and services, Stimulate Citizens’ interest in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurships as well as Efficient and Effective Utilization of Resources through rigorous monitoring of the implementation and evaluation of the impact of projects and programs on the citizenry”.

While lamenting the poor revenue of the state in 2016, Governor Ajimobi said that as at September 30, 2016, the overall budget performance was 46.09% or N79.939bn out the N173,429bn approved estimates for the present fiscal year.

“It is no gainsaying that the laudable “Agric-Oyo” programme implemented in 2016 has raised the level of food production in the State by 27.5% and GSP by 1.5%.

“Consequently, Government will extend “Agric-Oyo” activities to the remaining Local Government Councils that have shown a willingness to collaborate with the state Ministry of Agriculture,” the Governor pointed out.

Responding after the Governor’s presentation, the state House of Assembly commended the Governor Ajimobi for ensuring that there is a cordial relationship among the arms of government in the state.

In his remarks, the Hose of Assembly Speaker, Micheal Adeyemo said that the 8th Assembly has enjoyed great support from the present administration as expected, calling for the urgent need to review the rates and taxes in the state to ensure that the government realizes its vision of funding the budget through IGR.

In his own words, Hon. Oyebamiji Joshua, an Accord Party member, representing Akinyele 1 described the Governor as a courageous person, adding “despite not being in the same party with you, I commend the governor for his vision.

“Only those with vision will have mission. This budget proposal has shown that despite the low revenue, the governor is ready to ensure that Oyo is setting the pace again”

The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo representing Oriire State constituency commended the Governor for providing adequate security for the people, for his infrastructural development insight as well as creation of Local Council Development Areas to bring government closer to the people.