Executive Summary of the 2021 budget speech delivered at the State House of Assembly by Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on December 14, 2020.
I am here this afternoon to lay the fiscal proposal for year 2021 before this Honourable House. This is a tradition in every democracy and the essence is to ensure that public funds are allocated and spent in manners that serve the best interest of the people. I have however elected to give only some highlights of the document in this brief remark while the full budget speech, including its underlying assumptions, will be published on the state website later this afternoon.
On 18th December 2019, I presented the 2020 budget of ‘reconstruction and reformation’ estimated at approximately N162bn. That document was later reviewed downward to N114bn owing to economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdowns and the disruptions to revenue generation, the drop in the global price of crude oil and its huge impacts on revenue inflows. Even so, I am glad to note that our administration succeeded in rolling out infrastructural projects and interventions that align with the theme of the budget.
The 2021 fiscal plan is built on the modest successes of the outgoing year, with strategic emphasis on reforms and inclusive growth. However, its fundamentals are dictated by the global economic realities, low revenue projections, and a need to prioritise basic needs of the people as we recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19. I will therefore be laying before you a budget estimate of N123,091,307,468. That is 7.35% bigger than the revised 2020 budget.
Our priorities in the new fiscal year would include payment of the new minimum wage, cash-backed promotion for workers who passed the recent examination, tech-driven reforms in the education sector through our Kwaralearn initiative, social security for the vulnerable, cottage industries, rehabilitation of sporting facilities, and investments in the ideas of our youths through Kwapreneur. Ongoing and new infrastructural projects such as the Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, courtrooms and school rehabilitation, and upgrading of health facilities will also be funded.
Agriculture remains top priority as part of our strategies for food security. Appreciable sums have been allocated to irrigation system, and purchase of fertilisers and farm implements. At least 10,000 rural women are to benefit from the Noiler programme which we are keying into.
And nearly two years into the new administration, we have made provisions for purchase of vehicles for political office holders within reasonable limit.
Given the huge infrastructural gaps across various sectors and our agenda for inclusive growth, we may take bonds in the new year to fund critical projects to attract investments and widen the economic base of the state.
Our commitment to prudent management of public resources remains unshaken. We will also at all time prioritise the welfare of the people who have entrusted us with their mandate, while every segment of our society is accorded their right.
On this note, Mr. Speaker and members of this hallowed chamber, I present to you our budget of ‘reformation and inclusive growth’ for your kind review and approval.
Thank you and God bless you!
Governor, Kwara State
15th December, 2020.