Kogi Budget 2015: The Challenge Of IGR And Poor Fiscal Policy
EXPERTS have expressed worry over Kogi State Government’s plan for alternative sources of revenue, in the face of dwindling revenue accruing to states from the Federation Account.
The state has the potential to increase its stake in oil and gas as oil, since the discovery of oil in Ibaji local government area of the state. Also, the state has a unique potential to make the country a destination for steel production if the Ajaokuta Steel Complex receives requisite attention. Yet, it is bugged down by the fact that it’s yearly budgets draw the major chunk from federal allocation and very little from internally generated revenue. This is critical, as it poses a major threat to the need for rapid development of the state.
The Guardian in Lokoja sought to critically x-ray this challenge, considering that the oil wells may dry up one day. If that were to happen, what will states like Kogi depend on?
According to government, the challenge to shore up the state’s Internally Generated Revenue has been uppermost and the challenge has been to use budgets to systematically and gradually lay the foundation to attract investors.
The Kogi State Governor Captain Idris Wada, while presenting the proposed budget of N110.2B to the State House of Assembly for the 2015 highlighted the precarious economic challenges facing the economy.
According to him, “coupled with the negative impact of criminal activities like pipeline vandalism and theft of crude oil, which has hampered the nation’s ability to meet its daily production quota, the future looks challenging. More so, as new technologies have now been developed and are being used to extract crude oil from shale, resulting in the loss of Nigeria’s former major buyer – the United States of America.”
“I hereby present the 2015 Budget, titled “Budget of UTTER REALITY”. This budget was prepared in line with International Public Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which outlined key initiatives and what is expected to be achieved by key spending ministries, Departments and Agencies in the State.”
Describing the 2015 appropriation bill as a balanced Budget, the Commissioner for information, Hajia Zainab Suleiman Okino , while explaining the budget, said the various inputs in the budget have taken cognizance of the challenges the state would likely face due to the fall in the prices of crude oil worldwide.
According to her, government, “would ensure that 2015 budget is realistic and solid,” adding that projects would not be abandoned hence, the government tagged it ‘’Budget of Stability.’’
She therefore called on the people to support the government’s transformation agenda in order to minimize the level of poverty in the state.
The Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Ali Ajuh, said the 2015 budget was aimed at making the state a model of good governance.
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