Last December, Governor Ayodele Fayose presented before Ekiti Assembly the 2018 appropriation bill, which was swiftly passed into law as the state’s budgetary provision for the 2018 fiscal year.
The budget tagged: Budget of Accomplishment, was for the sum of N98 billion. For the 2016 and 2017, the governor christened the budgetary provisions for those two years as budget of recovery and budget of consolidation respectively.
Governor Fayose only waxed philosophical by those budgetary nomenclatures, taking cognizance of the pathetic economic situation he found Ekiti in 2014 upon assumption of office.
At that time, the state could not pay salaries of workers as and when due. It would be recalled vividly that two months salaries were outstanding when he came on board. Painfully enough, he also inherited several months of outstanding pension arrears and several years of unpaid gratuities to retirees.
All these parameters accounted for why the 2018 budget was fashioned to make Ekiti recover from all the past economic malaise, so that we can consolidate and accomplish all our set goals for Ekiti to move to greatness in all spheres of life.
To some skeptics, the N98 billion budgetary provision might look bogus and unrealizable because of the parlous economic situation of our dear state. This erroneous thinking might come to minds because this may be a herculean task to achieve in a state that constantly receives a paltry sum of N2 billion monthly from the federation account. The internally generated revenue had also slumped to as low as N120million monthly owing to the fact that the state is majorly a monolithic civil service economic structure, which can only blossom when salaries are paid.
It was not the quantum of the budgetary provisions that actually attracted attentions and commendation, but the focal points, which were to complete the ongoing projects and pay all outstanding salaries and other emoluments.
A critical dissection of the budget would reveal that it was heavily anchored on human capital development, which took about N 65 billion portion and a sum of N 33 billion as capital expenditure to complete the ongoing projects like the record-breaking fly over in Ado- Ekiti, Oja Oba market, the State ultra-modern judiciary complex, the new Governor’s office and dualization projects in over 10 towns across the 16 Local Government areas of Ekiti State.
Speaking frankly, Governor Fayose deserves accolades for the way he had handled Ekiti in spite of the harsh economic situation. In 2017, it was widely advised that the governor should drop all ongoing legacy projects to give way for the payment of outstanding salaries. But the governor, who has unwavering belief in the masses averred that less than 5 per cent of the state total population are civil servants and that it would be tantamount to insensitivity and crass failure for his government to desert the 95 per cent population that are in the other sectors. At that point, he promised to continue to fund those projects alongside paying attention to the welfare of the workers.
Today, a visit to the flyover project, Oja Oba market and the new Governor’s office conveys a success story. This landmark achievement confirmed that it requires valiance, selflessness, innate ability, administrative astuteness and intelligence to record success in a state with lean resources like Ekiti and that Governor Fayose had demonstrated for Ekiti to be where it is.
I strongly share the view that this government will accomplish the task of not owing a dime by the time Governor Fayose will bow out on October 15, 2018. I also hold the unflinching hope that all ongoing projects shall be completed before this administration winds up if the 2018 budget is strictly implemented with Ekiti populace showing understanding as they did in the past, which the governor himself had acknowledged and commended.
Dalimore Aluko, a class teacher at Ikere High School, writes from Ikere-Ekiti.