The All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has faulted the content of the state’s N118.9 billion 2016 budget proposed by Governor Olusegun Mimiko, saying it was designed to mortgage the future of the citizens as the tenure of the present administration winds down.
A statement by the party’s spokesman in the state, Steve Otaloro, on Wednesday, said the decision of Mr. Mimiko to use a good part of the budget to service debt and not to embark on any capital project this year was wrong.
“A situation where the government will be spending N15.850billion, which represent 31.08 percent of this year’s budget to service debt repayment shows how the PDP government had mortgaged the future of Ondo State.
“This is the result of the unwarranted several loans received by the PDP led government.
“The allocation of N50billion for capital projects in this year’s budget estimates, which is planned to be used for the completion of ongoing projects like the Dome, Ondo township roads and the Fiwasaye- Oba-Ile to Airport Roads, is nothing but fraudulent.
“These projects had already received monetary votes in previous budgets without appreciable progress,” he said.
Mr. Otaloro remarked that instead of learning from the pro-people budget of the APC controlled federal government, Mr. Mimiko stated categorically before the House of Assembly that his government would not embark on any new projects.
“When this happens, the already poor standard of living will fall because capital projects are what impact on the standard of living of the people because most plans are dependent on capital releases of government.
“And if there is no execution of capital projects in the state, investors, businesses and people who depend on the allocation for capital project will suffer.
“In the past seven years of this administration, waste, fraud and mismanagement by the PDP-led State government has denied the people value for more than one trillion Naira the state has earned since 2009 with a budget performance rate of about 15 percent in all,” Mr. Otaloro said.
He added that the government’s inability to control spending and plan for the rainy day had plunged the state into its present financial problems, which would have been checked by proper oversight function by the legislature, and careful reviews.
Mr. Mimiko, while presenting the budget, noted the drop in the budget from N131billion in 2015, a situation he attributed to the current economic realities.
He said recurrent expenditure would gulp N68 billion, while N50.9 billion would be for capital expenditure, majorly ongoing projects.
Mr. Mimiko said the budget would be funded through “aggressive independent revenue drive by all ministries, departments and agencies, just as it “would ensure blockage of revenue loopholes and allocation of funds to economically viable projects”.