Edo Earmarks N99.25bn For 2010

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Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole Friday in Benin City presented the 2010 budget estimates of N99.25 billion to Edo State House of Assembly. The Appropriation Bill christened: “Budget of consolidation,” exceeds the 2009 Budget by N18.66 billion representing 23 percent. The 2010 fiscal policy comprises capital projection of N60.54 billion and a recurrent estimate of N38. 71 billion. A sum of N61.358 billion is proposed as recurrent revenue which is made up of internally generated revenue (IGR) of N18 billion representing 29 percent, statutory allocation of N29. 75 billion or 48 percent and excess crude and other oil revenue put at N13.60 billion representing 22 percent. In the financial estimates, the balance of N37.89 billion will be funded with N6.6 billion from the ValuEAdded Tax (VAT), N9.23 billion from grants as well as the contribution from loans and the opening balance from the current 2009 Budget. On capital projects priorities for 2010, the Governor said the combined-proposed allocation to roads with flood and erosion control and environmental beautification is N32.6 billion which constitutes 54 percent of the total, budget proposals, adding that the primary attention on Benin City would be sustained while road construction and rehabilitation would be extended to the 18 local government areas of the state. According to Comrade Oshiomhole, there would be commencement of a new primary drainage system within Benin City that would properly channel floods into natural tributaries based on the new Benin City Storm Water Master Plan, just as the Benin Moat will experience up-grading through stone-pitching to enhance its durability for the purpose of flood control and its presentation as a tourist heritage. He said government would embark on a massive aforestation programme in 2010 starting with the raising of one million tree seedlings. Another priority area is the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures in the education sector for which the sum of N7.5 billion is proposed. To boost agricultural productivity, N120 million is allocated for the purchase of additional tractors and implements to support farmers and farming communities in addition to other key initiatives in the agricultural sector. New fleet of mass transit buses would be acquired to strengthen the Edo Transport Service to ease the pains of commuters in a partnership arrangement with the private sector for which the initial Edo State Counterpart Funding of N372 million is provided in the 2010 budget. Also in the transport sector the State Government proposed to set up traffic management and Accident Rescue Corp while 250 million has been proposed for the purchase of emergency relief materials and N120 million for the rehabilitation and development of markets. The governor emphasized that as promised last year, the capacity of the Edo State Broadcasting Service (EBS) and The Nigerian Observer would be enhanced, hence the allocation of N100 million for the purchase of Outside Broadcasting Service (OBS) vans and other facilities to improve performance while N70 million had been proposed to acquire state-of-the art printing equipment for The Nigerian Observer. Ben-Ose Ogbemudia, Benin