By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has presented an Appropriation Bill of N172 billion for 2023 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for its close scrutiny, consideration and approval.

Presenting the bill to the House at the Speakers’ Lodge on Wednesday in Lokoja, the governor said that the budget had an estimated recurrent revenue and capital receipts of N172,090,787,292.

He said that the total estimated revenue (recurrent revenue and capital receipts) stands at N172,090,787,292 just as the total estimated expenditure (Recurrent and Capital) for the year 2023 stand at N172,090,787,292 making the 2023 Draft Budget a balanced one.

He said that the proposed 2023 budget tagged: “Budget of Transformation” with an estimated out of N172,090,787,292 was N4,788,825,095.00 (2.86 per cent) higher than the 2022 Revised Budget of N167,301,962,197.00.

“This total budget outlay of N172,090,787,292.00 is divided into Recurrent Expenditure of N101,299,129,341 representing 58.86 per cent and Capital Expenditure of N70,791,657,951 representing 41.14 per cent”, the governor said.

Bello said that his administration had tried to ensure that its good governance aspirations found expression in the 2023 Budget, with the specific fiscal objective of effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and projects.

“This budget proposal is expected to help us significantly reduce the cost of governance, enhance the ease of doing business, attract more foreign direct investments and block all leakages in our finances.

“It is also expected to help prioritise completion of all on-going projects and even make room to undertake a few new ones which are too crucial to be left undone by this Administration.

“It is in consideration of these and other objectives that we have tagged our 2023 Budget, the ‘Budget of Transformation.’ It focuses on continued provision of physical infrastructure, human capital development, job creation, wealth creation and poverty eradication in our dear State”, he said.

Bello promised to accomplish these through significant upscaling of expenditures in Health, Education, Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment, Housing and Support for Women and Youth Empowerment programmes.

The Governor commended members of the House for its partnership with the Executive and Judiciary saying it had helped to give legal bite to the gradual unfolding of the New Direction Agenda.

Bello said that the state annual budget for the first time was being presented outside the “Purpose-built” facilities of the State House of Assembly due to the inferno that engulfed and burnt down the legislative chamber and gallery on October 10.

He assured that the complex would be reconstructed soon saying, “Let me make an undertaking that your destroyed Chambers will be built back better and that you will soon be able to sit there again to discharge your duties.”

Speaker of the House, Prince Matthew Kolawole earlier in his speech commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the massive infrastructural development being witnessed in the state and promised to accord the bill accelerated passage.

The Assembly also at Wednesday’s plenary adopted a motion to name the first ever flyover constructed in the state capital at Ganaja Junction after Governor Yahaya Bello as moved by the Speaker, Kolawole.

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