Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has said his administration’s investments in basic education and healthcare sectors, rural development and workers’ welfare will continue uninterrupted in 2022.
“These priorities, among others, are what would form the basis of resources’ allocation in the new fiscal year. And these are clearly spelt out in the fiscal strategic statement that has been developed to guide allocation of resources and procedures for preparing the 2022 budget,” AbdulRazaq said at the 2022 budget policy direction meeting held in Ilorin on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by members of the Kwara State House of Assembly led by Deputy Speaker Raphael Adetiba, cabinet members, government officials, and senior bureaucrats from across government ministries, departments and agencies.
Represented by the Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, the governor disclosed that the administration will in 2022 focus on completion of ongoing infrastructural projects and commencement of new ones.
“As a result, the administration will focus on completion of ongoing infrastructural projects and commencement of new ones. These include the innovation hub, visual arts centre, garment production factory, the two campuses of the Kwara State University in Osi and Ilesha Baruba; the 33km Ilesha-Baruba-Gwanara Road; cottage industries; and a few others,” he said.
“Attention will be on industrialisation and widening of the state’s economic and revenue base through investments in and support for small and medium scale enterprises. These huge investments in SMEs, as would be made in the new fiscal year, will create thousands of jobs, widen the tax net, and reduce poverty. These ultimately will lead to economic diversification.”
AbdulRazaq added that allocations to various MDAs in the 2022 budget would be guided strictly by the strategic policies of the Kwara State Economic Sustainability and Delivery Plan (KW-ESDP) 2021-2024 — a new document which the Governor said contains short-term development strategies of the administration.
Adetiba urged the MDAs to ensure that their budgetary lines are verifiable and inclusive in nature, saying the legislature will continue to work with the executive for the benefit of the people.
He said the Assembly, which appreciates the good work of the administration, will be alive to its duty at all times while cooperating with the executive.
For her part, the commissioner for finance Mrs Florence Oyeyemi said the programme was organised to strengthen budget preparation and boost inclusive growth in line with the constitution.
“In compliance with some sections of the 1999 constitution, there is the need to be properly guided on the fiscal and monetary policy directions for the preparation of realistic 2022 budget. A carefully prepared budget will spell out government’s policies aimed at improving the quality of lives for the citizens through the promotion of economic growth, development and provision of employment,” she said.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Strategy Alhaji Sa’adu Salau sought special focus on security, agriculture and general economic wellbeing of the populace.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Retired Brigadier General Saliu Tunde Bello called for improved and a more robust security arrangements because of the emerging security issues in neighbouring state and the presence of international borders in Kwara State.
He lauded the current efforts of the administration to protect lives and properties, urging that the synergies between the government and security agencies be sustained.