The Kogi state government in North Central Nigeria says it has committed 70% of it 2017 appropriation bill to capital expenditures.
The Director General, Media and Publicity to the state government, Mr. Kingsly Fawon in an interview with Voice of Nigeria described the 2017 budget as the best budget in the 25 year history of the state.
“Before now it has been recurrent expenditure going higher than capital expenditure but for the first time the governor said it is not going to service the pocket of party leaders and political appointees but the people of the state that is why we have capital projects to the tune of 70% and recurrent expenditures just 30%,” he said.
“The government is interested in constructing roads, building hospitals, building schools and leaving a legacy that will outlive the current administration,” Fawon added
Mr. Fawon reiterated that government would continue to improve the internally generated revenue of the state by blocking leakages in the system.
“We are already moving ahead of time, in December we generated over 1 billion naira revenue for the first time in the history of the state. No administration has gone beyond 400 million, we did not impose new taxes we only blocked loopholes and it has yielded a lot of result. as we keep blocking, we hope to get more to the extent that we will be able to fund our budget solely from what we can generate from this confluence of opportunities”, he emphasised.
Mr. Fawon explained that the state is also leveraging on the opportunities that abound in the state’s agriculture sector for growth and employment and has therefore declared a state of emergency in sector to boost food production and diversify the state’s economy.
“The agriculture sector has been one of the priority sectors of the new direction government, We are declaring state of emergency on agriculture in Kogi State, that is why we are attracting investors into the state,” he stressed.
“What we want to achieve is food sufficiency and food security as well as using the sector to employ a good number of youths and women, we also wish to ensure that the state becomes the food hub of the nation” Fawon explained.
Mr. Fawon further explained that the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Niger River Basin Development Authority to take over the irrigable land in Omi dam in the western part of the state, a facility that could create around 60,000 direct jobs and 200,000 indirect jobs when developed.
He also revealed that the government in its effort to provide employment for its youths, is training over 2,500 youth to become employers of labour rather than job seekers.