Oyo government clarifies downward review of 2021 budget
Says no evidence of padding
The Oyo State Government, yesterday, explained that the downward review of the N273.7b budget earlier approved by the House of Assembly to N268.8b became imperative due to the need to achieve its fiscal sustainability.
Reacting to insinuations in some quarters that the executive arm rejected the 2021 budget due to some irregularities, it stated that there was no evidence of padding in the 2021 budget, which the House of Assembly revised and passed last week.
It said contrary to the insinuations that the executive rejected the budget because the House of Assembly padded it with N7.1b, reviewing it downward to N268.8b was to enhance overall budget performance.
A statement issued by Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, quoted the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Adeniyi Farinto, as saying that the executive only called the House of Assembly’s attention to consider downward review of the N273.7b budget, which it passed into law based on some critical ratios required for its sustainability.
It explained that although the House of Assembly justified the need for an upward review of the budget proposal to accommodate more development projects, the need to ensure adequate budget performance following the COVID-19-induced recession, led to the lawmakers’ advice to revise the budget to enhance its performance.
“If the earlier approved budget of N273.7b was not revised, the state will likely experience lower savings and income and higher interest payments on loans that will likely lead to large tax increases, spending cuts and decrease in the state’s ability to respond to economic challenges,” the statement reads.
It added that the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning had advised the House Appropriation Committee to revisit the budget with a view to having a realistic financial plan, which implementation could achieve an impressive budget performance in 2021.
The state government also explained that the loan components allocated in the N273.7b earlier approved have since been reduced and a budget of N268.8b was passed on December 18, 2020, representing an increase of N2.2b over Governor Makinde’s proposed budget proposal submitted on November 24, 2020.
The statement added that the increment was made to further reflect development at the grassroots level across the state. It expressed satisfaction with the good working relationship between the House of Assembly and the executive arm of government, stating that there was a cordial and amiable relationship among all arms of government in demonstration of the commitment to good governance, growth and development of Oyo State.