- I am honoured and thankful to sign the year 2022 “Budget of Legacy and Consolidation” into Law.
- This will be the last budget I will sign into Law as your Governor, and I am grateful to God for the opportunity to contribute to the development of our dear State. When I was sworn in as Governor for a second time in 2018, the title of my inauguration speech was ‘Reclaiming our Land, Restoring our Values.’ Looking back after over three years, I am reasonably satisfied that we have indeed reclaimed our land, restored our values, and set Ekiti State on the path of sustainable growth.
- Budgets, as you know, are important instruments in delivering on the priorities of Government. Over the last three years, our budgets have been aligned with the Government’s five-point agenda, and we have used various budgets as instruments to deliver on our development objective. I am pleased to report today that our five main road projects have all been delivered and inaugurated, with the most recent inauguration of the Ado-Iyin Road, earlier in the week. These roads reduce the travel time within the State, and improve the productivity of our people; I am sure over time, we will see the benefits of improving our infrastructure stock with an increase in commercial activities within Ekiti. We have also delivered on our plans to renovate and equip our schools and hospitals in fulfillment of our promise to prioritize human capital development.; and I am pleased to see this as being a catalyst for increased enrolment, and better healthcare outcomes, especially for our vulnerable people, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Also, even with the challenging fiscal environment, we continue to fulfill our promises to our workers, and only recently defrayed some of the outstanding obligations owed by our predecessors in office. This and the constant investment in our people by completing a number of secretariat blocks and office buildings, show our dedication to our engine room of governance, the civil service. Finally, we have also seen a significant growth in agricultural activity, driven by our investments in land preparation and irrigation, which will soon be complemented by a functional Polytechnic, with a focus on Agriculture.
- The 2022 Budget, which has been tagged “Budget of Legacy and Consolidation” is an estimate of One Hundred Billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty-three Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty – One Naira, and Sixty Kobo (#100, 753, 993, 241.60), with a 60% to 40%, recurrent to capital expenditure ratio. The budget has been designed to help us achieve our goal of finishing well, by consolidating the gains of the last three years, and handing over an enduring legacy to our successor government. It has been designed to ensure we complete most, if not all, of our capital projects, while also ensuring the day-to-day operations of Government continue to run smoothly.
- The budget will ensure we complete the projects including the Ekiti Passenger-Cargo Airport the Ado-Iworoko section of the Ado-Ifaki Road, renovation of township roads, and finally commence our construction of farms roads across the State. It will also ensure we continue to construct and renovate schools, while also providing learning materials for students, complete the construction and equipping of our Intensive Care Unit at EKSUTH, as well as various ongoing projects in many of our secondary and primary care hospitals. We will continue to focus on the environment, by completing our erosion and watershed management project, while also consolidating on our gains in agriculture by investing in more Public-Private Partnerships, to deepen commercial agriculture across the State. Finally, we will also lay the foundation for long term transformative projects like Ekiti Knowledge Zone and the Special Agriculture Processing Zone, two projects that will eventually deliver large scale opportunities to thousands of our young people, and give them an opportunity to develop exciting careers without having to migrate from Ekiti.
- Nation, and indeed State building, as I often say, is an unending search for perfection. It is our duty to build on work done by those who came before us, and bequeath a legacy for those who will come after us. Therefore, this budget has been prepared not just to consolidate on the work we have done in the last three years, but with one eye on the future, to ensure our successor Government has a clear blueprint of development to follow, with minimal burden of unfinished projects. We are not just keen to finish well, we are even more focused on providing a launchpad for a worthy successor Government to lift Ekiti into a period of sustained prosperity.
- At this juncture, let me express my profound gratitude to the Ekiti State House of Assembly, in particular, the Speaker, and indeed, all the Honourable Members, for passing the 2022 Appropriation Bill in record time. You will recall that, I presented the 2022 Appropriation Bill to the House of Assembly on the 28th October, 2021 to allow for a thorough review of the estimates, in addition to various stakeholder engagement by the Honourable Members. The House of Assembly successfully conducted the necessary public hearings, and also scrutinized the Bill by engaging with our various MDAs, who had to defend their respective estimates. It is a sign of their dedication that we are here, on Christmas Eve, to sign the Bill into Law.
- I appreciate the commitment of the members of the Fiscal Coordinating Agencies in driving our annual Budget preparation and execution. In particular, I commend the Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning and his team in the Ministry for their dedication, hard work and commitment in the preparation of the 2022 draft Estimates. The Honourable Commissioner will present a breakdown of the Budget at a future date, in line with our practice.
- I also acknowledge and appreciate the support of our development partners, who have walked this journey with us. Their support has been invaluable in achieving many of our goals, especially during a very difficult period where we have battled the challenges of a public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a fiscal crisis occasioned by the lockdowns and revenue losses suffered by Government. It is my hope and prayer that these partners show even more support to our successor Government, as we transform our dear State into an economic powerhouse.
- Thank you all for your kind attention. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year in advance.
- Alale Ekiti a gbe a o!
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON