By Adefolarin A. Olamilekan
(Political Economist and Development Researcher)
Budget and budgeting processes remain tangible elements in the 22 years of return to democratic rule in Nigeria.
The essence of yearly budget ritual and its aftermath is well dissected at the various levels of government in Nigeria.
State government budgets are characterized with some elements of reservation that economists, financial and development experts find as a challenge of inconsistency.
Interestingly, in Nasarawa state since the inception of Engr AA Sule administration in 2019, he has demonstrated a new thinking and transparent ways on state budgets’ management in Nigeria.
Critically, the state government’s commitment to its blueprint document, the Nasarawa State Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), speak expressly to what the 2022 budget holds in sectoral allocations’ importance for the overall development of the state.
A breakdown of the 110 billion naira budget showed that the sum of N73,868,482,458.05 was approved for recurrent expenditure, while N40,418,965,066.01 was earmarked as capital expenditure.
Governor Abdullahi Sule signed the 2022 budget into law with great expectation. And the role of the State House of Assembly in ensuring a timely passage of budget point to a robust executive-legislative synergy and partnership in the state that is commendable. This is a pointer to the goals of the state government in achieving the collective responsibility to provide leadership and execute policies and programmes for the progress and development of the state.
One key factor this piece would draw out is ensuring full implementation of the budget as against what obtained in the 2021 budget which regrettably, achieved less expectation though the challenge of funding was a major obstacle.
What need to be done.
On the 2022 budget, we trust the AA Sule administration is not relying on the FAAC funding alone.
The state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has been a driving force why the state government is all out to woo investors to the state.
Meanwhile, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) drive is still an upper most task that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state must equally devote top priorities to.
For us we see this as the core value and better way to understanding the mode the state Government can objectively fulfil its policies and programmes thrusts to indigenes and residents.
The state House of Assembly members’ oversight functions is the leeway in our estimation, in getting the budget translated into tangible development indices. The task of developing Nasarawa state is a collective responsibility.
The role of maximizing the state budget to its full implementation is tied to financial fidelity.
Olamilakan is a columnist With Nasarawa Eye.