From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi
Benue State Government yesterday presented the 2013 budget to the state House of Assembly, proposing to spend N130.9 billion in the next fiscal year, as well as a supplementary budget for the year 2012. Presenting the budget christened, budget of ‘development and growth effectiveness,’ Governor Gabriel Suswam said the budget sought to promote the continuity of the development objectives of his administration, adding that the budget in many ways was consistent with the demonstrable objectives of the 2012 budget.
He explained that the 2013 budget would ensure the payment of salaries and wages of public servants as at when due and meeting of state pension obligations, as well as continued to fund developmental infrastructure, social welfare, human capital development, quality of life and revenue base of the state. The governor disclosed further that his administration would make sure that each MDA was prioritized, such that those of highest priority were listed first and funded accordingly to completion, stressing that proposals of all new projects in the 2013 budget were aimed at achieving the development objective of ‘Our Benue, Our Future, showing focus and determination.’
While promising that his government would adhere to approved appropriation and principle of value for money in all spending, Suswam stated that the 2013 budget had reflected the critical projects that would ensure employment opportunities, wealth creation and social capital. Suswam predicated the 2013 on the assumptions that there would be no material change in current estimated statutory revenues and that there would be a significant increase in state government’s share of FAAC receipts due to improved and favourable inflows to the federation account.
The state government also expected improvement in internally generated revenues, taking into consideration, additional measures being put in place to rake in all revenues, pointing out that: “In 2013 we will ensure that all revenue collecting institutions increase their effectiveness and efficiency in collection and remittance to the state treasury.” Suswam also prayed for the continued funding of state government debt stock, increased economic growth and development through implementation of projects and programmes, leading to political goodwill, as well as political and economic stability in the nation.