The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, signed the state’s 2023 Appropriation Bill pegged at N321.4bn into law after the bill was passed by the Edo State House of Assembly.
Signing the bill at the Government House, Benin City, Governor Obaseki said most of the projects in the budget will be funded from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said, “The budget for 2023 is a watershed budget because as we reviewed the year 2022, we found out that we broke every record in the year 2022.
“In terms of budget performance, we hit more than 90 percent, which is considered excellent. This means that we got more than 90 percent of our estimated revenue of N220bn in the finance budget for 2022.
“We also insisted and emphasized a lot more on capital expenditure than recurrent. Unfortunately, we had a very long rainy season but as you can see now, contractors are on site and work is going on in a lot of roads across the 3 senatorial districts of the state and some of these works will spill over into the New Year.
“More of the resources we have earned has gone into serving the people of Edo state to build infrastructure, whether road or electricity, among others that the people need so that their businesses can thrive. We have also not neglected investments in education, skills development, job creation and health. These items cut up the bulk of what we earned and spent in the year 2022.”
Obaseki continued: “Clearly, we now see that we can achieve what we are estimating for the year 2023, provided that the citizens of the state cooperate with us.
“Bulk of these projects will be funded by internally generated revenue and because of the improvement in the economic environment, businesses are thriving, particularly in the areas of construction and real estate services. We expect that those businesses that are doing well will pay the taxes due to them. Government is doing its best to boost the economic environment so we expect that citizens must also contribute by paying their tax revenues.
“We are going to be emphasizing revenue collection in 2023 for those who are making money. We know them and have their data. We believe we will earn all what we have estimated. We are not relying solely on oil receipts from the federal government but on ourselves and our citizens. We want to assure you that every Kobo of tax revenue spent will be on capital development.”
The governor further commended the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun and other members of the Assembly for the speedy consideration of the budget.
Earlier, while presenting the bill to the governor, Onobun said the Assembly slightly reviewed the estimates upwards from the initial N320bn to ensure equitable distribution of projects across Edo’s three senatorial districts.
He noted, “Your Excellency, you recall that you presented a budget size of N320bn to the Edo State House of Assembly. We looked at all you proposed and agreed that you mean well for Edo State.
“We have approved N321.4bn. There is a slight increase of a billion naira which cuts across the three senatorial districts for roads and bridges with N400 million to Edo South, N300 million to Edo Central and N300 million to Edo North
“We expect that with this, we would have been able to achieve all that you plan to achieve and bring about dividends of democracy to Edo people.”