Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has presented a budget proposal of One Hundred and Thirty-Nine Billion, Three Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million, One Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Naira, Thirty-Eight Kobo (N139,357,144,980.38) for the 2023 fiscal year.
Laying the Appropriation Bill before the Plateau State House of Assembly, the Governor said the budget consists of Seventy-Seven Billion, Six Hundred and Fifty Million, Six Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Thirty Naira, Eight-Five Kobo (N77,650,642,030.85) only as recurrent expenditure representing 55.72% of the total budget, and Sixty-One Billion, Seven Hundred and Six Million, Five Hundred and Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-Nine Naira, Fifty-Three Kobo (N61,706,502,949.53) as capital component which represents 44.27% of the total budget.
He said the budget shows an increase of Thirty-Two Billion, Six Hundred and Forty-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-Eight Naira, Twenty-Six Kobo (N32,649,877,338.26) from the 2022 approved budget.
The Governor said the 2023 budget estimate tagged “Budget of Infrastructural Consolidation and Transition” will focus on completing major projects of the Rescue Administration and ensuring that government machinery continues to operate in a most efficient and productive manner.
He said “Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, you will recall that having completed many inherited and abandoned projects from previous administrations, this Government initiated many projects many which have been completed. Among them are the Legacy Projects comprising of world standard schools and hospitals spread across the 17 Local Government Areas of the State. Although the Legacy Project suffered a setback as result of the failure of the previous contractor to deliver the project within agreed timelines, I am happy to say that the project having been terminated has been re-awarded to a new contractor and advance payment made. The Contractor is to to complete the project for commissioning before the end of this administration”.
Other projects which are being completed and will soon be commissioned according to the Governor include the Plateau High Court of Justice Complex which is more than 95 percent completed and currently being furnished. Also, the British American Junction Flyover and Dualisation to Lamingo Road Junction will be completed and commissioned before the lifespan of this administration.
The General Hospital Mabudi, Langtang South Local Government and General Hospital Kwall, Kanke Local Government are equally being furnished and will soon be commissioned. Similarly, the completed Shendam internal roads and bridges as well as the Angwan Dadi – Kalong Bridge (being the longest bridge in Plateau State) will also be commissioned soon. Others include the Potato Value Chain Processing Centres in Bokkos, Mangu and Barkin Ladi, Riyom Water Works among others.
Lalong said the Rescue Administration will continue to operate under a prudent, accountable, and transparent manner in line with the commitment to give value for money and improve the lives of the citizens.
While urging the Assembly to give the proposed budget desired attention, the Governor said he has already directed all heads of MDAs to fully cooperate and make themselves available for the defence of the budget as well as provide necessary details that may be required.
In his speech, Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda said the House will give the budget all necessary attention in order to ensure its passage into law for the good of the citizens.
He added that the accelerated passage of the Budget after all the legislative process will also demonstrate their continued partnership with the executive in the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people.
Sanda advised heads of MDAs to cooperate with the House by appearing promptly to defend their estimates.
Deputy Governor Prof. Sonni Tyoden, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, Member Representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam Federal Constituency Yusuf Gagdi, APC State Chairman Hon. Rufus Bature were among dignitaries that graced the budget presentation.