Governor Otu Signs N296 Billion ‘Peoples First Budget’ for 2024, Prioritizing Social Welfare

by David Okoye
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Governor Bassey Otu signed the 2024 budget totaling N296.985 billion, referred to as the ‘Peoples First Budget.’ Comprising N180 billion for capital expenditure and N116 billion for recurrent expenditure, the budget marked a significant increase of N96 billion from the initially submitted N250 billion to the State House of Assembly.

Governor Otu explained that the augmented budget aimed at providing substantial financial support to individuals with disabilities, emphasizing the moral imperative to address social imbalances within this vulnerable demographic. The additional funds were allocated to enhance access to healthcare, assistive technologies, education, and employment opportunities tailored to their capabilities.

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The budget also featured elevated provisions for gratuity payments, debt services, counterpart funds, nutrition activities, social protection, climate change initiatives, and a gender-responsive budget. Governor Otu underscored that these allocations were not merely fiscal decisions but reflections of societal values.

Expressing commitment to prudent spending and effective governance, Governor Otu emphasized the administration’s dedication to the welfare of the people. He directed an early submission of the 2024-2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper to further streamline financial planning.

Governor Otu highlighted the administration’s focus on revenue mobilization, with a pledge to surpass revenue targets. He urged revenue-generating agencies and all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure prompt and full remittances of collected revenues to achieve the budget’s objectives.

In conclusion, Governor Otu’s leadership emphasizes inclusivity and social welfare, as evidenced by the ‘Peoples First Budget.’ The budget not only addresses financial considerations but also reflects a commitment to values that prioritize the well-being of all citizens, particularly those in vulnerable groups.

(NAN)

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