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Aregbesola presents N138b budget, Fayose signs appropriation bill


 Rauf Aregbesola

Rauf Aregbesola

Ekiti gov blames INEC for election violence, agency disagrees

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has presented a 2017 budget estimate of N138,232,946,670 to the House of Assembly for consideration.

A breakdown of the appropriation bill tagged, “Budget of Recovery’’, showed that recurrent expenditure would get N75,823,942,I60 while N62,409,004,510 go to capital expenditure.

The document was tendered on behalf of the governor by the Permanent Secretary, Budget and Economic Planning, Segun Olorunsogo. The 2017 estimate is N3,143,175,579 less than the 2016 figure of N141,276,122,240, representing a decrease of two per cent.

The governor advised the lawmakers against unnecessarily increasing the size of the budget, adding that the executive arm of government had meticulously captured the proposals of all ministries, parastatals and agencies.

A further review revealed that the economic sector took the lion share of N24,911,168,470 followed by general administration and other services which got N21,014,525,570.

Also yesterday, Governor Ayo Fayose signed Ekiti State’s 2017 budget of N94 billion into law. The piece of legislation was a billion naira higher than the N93 billion proposal presented to the House of Assembly two weeks ago.

The speaker, Kola Oluwawole said the additional sum was included in the capital expenditure estimate.

Meanwhile, the governor has blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for the renewed electoral violence in the country, saying: “Violence returned to our electoral process because of INEC’s partisanship and manipulation of the system.”

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor argued: “There were elections in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015, and those elections were credible, such that Nigerians were sure that popular candidates and parties would emerge victorious because votes were allowed to count.

Then, violence was no longer part of our electoral process. But sadly, this present INEC has destroyed all those gains and returned Nigeria to the era of ballot box snatching.”

But the spokesman to the INEC boss, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, faulted the allegation, saying it was uncharitable for anybody to blame the commission for the violence recorded in recent time. He noted that desperate politicians were the orchestrators of the skirmishes.

Oyekanmi went on: “Look at the recent Rivers re-run elections which were marred by violence and killings in certain areas, which of course were largely instigated by politicians. The situation was very clear for all Nigerians to see. Can anybody blame INEC for that? Certainly not. Nigerians should not be deceived. Some politicians who are desperate to win elections at all cost are the ones instigating, sponsoring and directing their foot soldiers to disregard electoral laws and unleash violence on both INEC staff and innocent voters.”

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