The Kwara State House of Assembly has commenced debate on the general principles of the 2018 budget estimate before it.
It would be recalled that the State Governor, Alhaji Abdul Fatah Ahmed,had last Thursday presented 2018 budget estimate of N181,086,056,055 for consideration and approval of the Parliament.
Leading other members in the debate, the House Leader, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke urged members to ensure the passage of the Appropriation bill, saying that the budget was zero based and premised on the completion of on going projects and the commencement of new ones, which according to him, would improve the wellbeing of the people of the state.
Hon Oyeleke noted with delight that the state had improved its Internally Generated Revenue in the out-going year and urged the state government to write off loans to councils in the state to enhance developmental efforts at the third tier of government in the state.
Members representing Ilorin Central, Omupo, Edu, Irepodun and Afon constituencies Hajia Segilola Abdul Kadir, Hon Mashood Bakare, Hon Ishiaku Aliyu Adams, Hon Matthew Olaitan Babaoye, and Hon Mohammed Bolaji Amosa in their separate contributions, emphasised the need for the House to intensify its oversight functions to ensure proper implementation of the 2018 budget.
They equally called for increased performance by the state government in the areas of critical infrastructure like roads, water, health, Education to improve on the standard of living of the people of the state.
In their views, members representing Kaiama/Kemanji/Wajibe, Oke Ero, and Patigi Constituencies, Hon Ahmed Ibn Mohammed, Hon. Victoria Bunmi Afolayan and Hon Shuaib Abdul Kadir, emphasised the need for the state government to give priority to payment of counterpart funds of International donor agencies, reconstruction of Hospitals, Water Dams and rural roads in the state for improved quality of lives of the people of the state.
The members while calling for improved performance in the execution of capital projects in the State, enjoined Local Government Councils to look inward by venturing into agriculture to complement dwindling federal allocation to fast track socio – economic transportation at the grassroot Level.
They also called on the State Ministry of Agriculture to submit list of beneficiaries of the N1b CBN agricultural loans to farmers in the state to enable the legislature verify the beneficiaries of the agricultural loan.
Responding, the Deputy Speaker, Elder Matthew Okedare who presided over the Wednesday’s sitting praised members for their modest contributions and assured that issues raised by them, would be reflected in the budget to further make democracy more meaningful to the people of the state.