Ogun State Government says it would be more proactive in the coming year by latching on this year’s experience to improve on service delivery, revenue drive and Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun who gave the indication at a virtual meeting with the representatives of the people of Ogun East Senatorial District in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, said his administration would give utmost priority to education, health, agriculture and road infrastructure, as it prepares for next year’s budget.
The Governor who decried the negative impact of the COVID-19 on the economy of the State, informed that the current budget was reviewed downward from N450b to N280b in tandem with the economic realities in the wake of the pandemic, adding that 20 percent of the 2020 Revised Appropriation was allocated to the Health Sector.
“To give life to businesses, various reliefs were given to business owners as part of palliative measures to assist them cope with the economic slide and ensure business continuity. These relief packages include a 6- month extension of the 2019 income tax returns deadline for self-employed residents from March 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
“We also granted an 8-month extension of filing of 2019 annual PAYE returns by PAYE operators/tax agents from January 31, 2020 to September 30, as well as complete waiver of interest and penalty for late filing for the extension period”, the Governor explained.
He said the hosting of the town hall meeting was a symbolic approach of inclusiveness, fairness, justice, equity and respect to the rule of law.
Prince Abiodun while enumerating some of the roads constructed by his administration to include; Awa – Iloaporu-Ibadan Express Road, Hospital Road, Sagamu, Bright Fashion Baruwa street, Sagamu, Ijebu Ode-Epe, Sagamu-Ore Interchange Flyover in Ijebu-Ode-Odogbolu LG, Molipa -Fusigboye -Ojofa Street, added that hospitals, primary healthcare centres, schools and other infrastructure were also given due attention.
“We will continue to sustain payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities within the limited resources. It is instructive that we have commenced the payment of new minimum wage in October, to demonstrate our commitment to workers’ welfare. We expect them in turn to reciprocate this gesture with improved productivity and service delivery”, he said.
While pledging to carry out downward review of overhead expenses with a reasonable percentage against revenue generation prospects of each MDA in the State, the Governor maintained that the gathering would cross fertilize ideas for the preparation of a more viable Year 2021 Budget that would ensure individual prosperity and improved economy of the State.
He called on the people to contribute and take maximum advantage of the platform to express their views, assuring that their comments, recommendations, proposals, feedback would be adequately and appropriately considered for the preparation of the Year 2021 budget.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan, said the aim of the administration is to eliminate poverty in the State. He lauded the people for their valuable support which has led to tremendous improvement in various sectors.
The Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Dapo Okubadeyo, in his remark, described this year as the most challenging on the economy of the State, noting that goverment would look inward for quick recovery of all sectors.
Some of the participants which included youth and women groups, religious leaders, elder statesmen and Labour leaders, who contributed at the meeting, called for the creation of more jobs, execution of more capital projects and employment of the youth and women.