Kwara State Budgets 119 Billion Naira For 2015

Abdulfatah-Ahmed-Kwara-SportThe Kwara State Governor, Abdul Fattah Ahmed, on Wednesday presented a budget proposal of 119 billion Naira to the State House of Assembly for the next fiscal year.

The Governor while presenting the budget proposal promised to ensure fiscal discipline and be proactive in spending.

He announced that the budget proposal tagged; ‘Budget of Introspection and Job Creation’ was prepared against the backdrop of an uncertain global economic outlook and the need to ensure more self reliant in revenue generation, promote private sector driven job creation and entrepreneurship.

He said the proposed budget had an increase of over four billion Naira above the 2014 budget in order to complete ongoing projects and improve the quality of life of the people of the state.

The Governor stressed that Internally Generated Revenue drive would be intensified in order to reduce dependence on the Federation Account allocation without increasing tax burden on the people.

After the Governor’s presentation, the Speaker of the House, Rasak Atunwa, promised that the House would give accelerated hearing and prompt passage to the budget proposal while commending the executive arm for implementing the 2014 budget to the satisfaction of the people.

With the dwindling revenue from the Federal Allocation, all eyes are on the executives to see how it will generate and improve on the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.

The drop in crude oil price has further deepened the reduction in revenue, with the government making concerted efforts to explore other sources of income and further diversify the Nigerian economy that hugely relies on crude oil sales.

Kwara House Of Assembly Members Defect To APC

Twenty members of the Kwara State House of Assembly have officially defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), bringing their total strength to 22 out of the 24 members of the House.

The official decamping, which took place at the floor of the House on Wednesday, was described by the Speaker, Rasak Atunwa, as historic, victory for democracy. He stressed the need for political leaders to always allow for internal democracy and rule of law. He also forecloses the return to PDP in future.

With the development, the PDP is left with only two members in the House, as two out of the remaining four members were elected under the APC platform.

Although the official decamping of the majority members of the State House of Assembly had been expected since the decamping of the state governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed, few weeks ago, it took many by surprise when the speaker, Rasak Atunwa, on resumption from the New Year break announced the defection of 20 members.

He said that they had officially written to denounce their membership of PDP thereby moving to APC.

Each member of the House that defected cited the crisis and factionalisation in PDP as factors responsible for their defection.

They also relied on section 109 of the constitution which they noted empowered them to change party in such situation.

“We have consulted widely in our various constituencies and we have no option than to dump umbrella for broom,” one of the defected members of the House said.

The speaker told reporters that complete collapse of internal democracy and failed efforts to settle the grievances of some members of the PDP was part of the reasons for dumping the party for APC.

Asked if there was a possible return of the defected members to PDP with a new party chairman appointed, the speaker foreclosed their return, saying that it was too late.

“The party has been damaged beyond redemption,” he said.

Kwara Govt. Sets Up Committee To Verify Claims of Christian Marginalization

The Kwara State Government has set up a committee to look into claims of marginalization by the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN.

This is in response to allegations by the organization that Christians in the State Civil Service are less favoured in the area of appointments, promotion and transfer.

Members of C.A.N. had earlier complained to the State Government, forcing several meetings with the organization.

The seven-member fact-finding committee inaugurated by the Deputy Governor, Peter Kizira, has been asked to look into the alleged favoritism in deployment of staff in the State Civil Service.

The committee has as members; the former Head of Service, HOS, in the state, Alhaji Yusuf Kawu Daibu as Chairman, while Mrs. Modupe Oluwole will serve as the secretary along with five others as members.

Gov. Ahmed Presents 124 Billion Naira 2014 Budget

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed has presented a budget proposal of over 124 billion Naira (about $775m) to the State House of Assembly for the 2014 fiscal year, with the education sector gulping the highest fund of over 19 billion Naira.

Presenting the budget christened “the budget of expansion for inclusive prosperity”, the governor noted that the budget proposal has an increase of 27% as against 96 billion Naira of last year.

While the recurrent expenditure will be 48 billion Naira, the capital expenditure is 58 billion.

The governor noted that the expected federal allocation will be 44 billion Naira while the internally generated revenue is 16 billion Naira with the excess crude account raking in 3 billion Naira.

The education sector is expected to gulp the highest amount of 19 billion Naira with the construction of schools, completion of the international vocational centre in Ajasse Ipo among other projects.

Purchasing of additional aircrafts for the aviation college, installation of closed circuit television and construction of roads will also be accorded priority.

The Speaker, Rasak Atunwa, while responding, promised to give accelerated passage to the budget proposal and defer the second reading of the bill till January 7, 2014.

National Conference Is Ill Timed – Kwara Speaker

Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly, Mister Rasak Atunwa believes that the timing for the National Conference initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan is wrong.

Speaking in Ilorin on Wednesday, the speaker observed that since the conference may not end before the next election in 2015, it therefore could not be justified.

“To have a National Conference, to sit to have a dialogue about the country when you’re moving towards a time where ideologies will be battling ideologies, pragmatism will battle pragmatism, my party will battle your party at the state level at the federal level, is ill conceived”

“What is to happen when we enter a conference of National Dialogue as different political parties, different ideas, different ethnicity and we come out, and the next minute we are attacking each other, jostling for position?”

“So for me, coming at the tail end of 2013, it is ill timed.”

His comment is coming days after the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomole also expressed some misgivings against the proposed national conference.

 

Ahmed Signs N96.4b 2013 Appropriation Bill

The Governor of Kwara State, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has signed the 2013 Appropriation Bill of N96.4b into law with a pledge that it will be implemented to the letter and ensure speedy service delivery.

Governor Ahmed described the quick passage of the Appropriation Bill by the State legislature and his signing in to law as major strides towards service delivery to the people of Kwara State.

He added that his administration would continue to review the implementation of the budget to determine when and if there would be the need for a supplementary budget.

Speaking about the budget which was increased from N94.4bn to N96.4billion, the Speaker, Rasak Atunwa explained that the projected budgetary figure was increased because the Legislature was confident that the current drive in Internally Generated Revenue and other sources of revenue will generate the extra amount needed to run the budget.

He recalled that the State Legislature carried out oversight functions on 2012 projects, particularly the five general hospitals being rehabilitated, construction of Patigi to Kpada road, renovation of numerous classrooms in various schools and the construction of a new main water works in Share among others and commended the state government for its aggressive infrastructural development.

He also added that the bulk of the extra expenditure was placed on capital projects with the potentials of delivering further dividends to the people of the State.