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Lalong signs N177.3bn 2020 appropriation bill into law

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has signed the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N177.3 billion into law.

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong (Punch)

The governor said on Monday in Jos that the budget as passed by the legislature showed an increase of N4.7 billion, representing 2.6 per cent over the executive proposal submitted to the House.

“We have examined and noted that the larger part of the budget adjustments was on capital expenditure and within the Annual Budget Growth.

“We shall in implementing the budget ensure fiscal discipline, especially as we envisage your ardent commitment to oversight for the common good.

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“Let me commend the Speaker, the leadership of the House and entire honourable members for giving the 2020 budget the desired expedited attention,” he said.

The governor directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, and all Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) to ensure effective implementation of the fiscal policy.

He stressed that government would spare no effort to meeting revenue targets especially the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which is crucial to funding the 2020 budget.

According to him, apart from setting new targets for the state Internal Revenue Service, government has approved the appointment of a reputable revenue expert to facilitate the maximisation of internally generated revenue accruable to the state.

He expressed optimism that more money would be generated through the engagement.

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This and more we must do if we are to implement the 2020 Budget and address the deficit which hovers in the region of N32 billion.

“Like I stated while laying the budget on the floor of the House, funds will be sourced locally and internationally to close this deficit gap as the need arises.

“We are also determined to continue to enhance our capacity and track record of prudence, accountability and transparency in expending public funds,” he said.

Lalong commended the assembly for partnering with him to return the budget circle to a normal calendar period.

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The governor said that efforts should be made to maintain the tempo in the 2021 fiscal year.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Sylvester Wallangko, presented a brief of the budget before the governor’s assent.

Wallangko said that the budget was made up of N98.7 billion recurrent expenditure and N78.5 billion capital expenditure.

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