OYO State government has said the 2021 budget was not padded.
Speaking on behalf of the government, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said there was no evidence of padding in the budget.
He said: “The Oyo State Government has declared that there is no evidence of padding in the 2021 budget, which was revised and passed by the House of Assembly last week.”
The government noted that the downward review of the N273.7billion budget earlier approved by the assembly to N268.8 billion only became imperative due to the need to achieve the fiscal sustainability of the budget.
The House of Assembly, who passed a budget of N273.7billion last Tuesday, had to recall it before passing it again into law last Friday.
A top government source hinted that the budget was ‘rejected’ by Governor Seyi Makinde on the grounds that it was allegedly inflated by the lawmakers.
But a governor’s spokesperson said there was nothing like padding in the revised budget passed into law.
Makinde had presented a budget of N266.6 billion as 2021 Appropriation Bill before the House of Assembly, but what was passed by the lawmakers and sent to the governor was higher than what the governor presented, to the tune of N7.1 billion.
The Chairman, Committee of Public Finance and Appropriation, Mr. Akeem Mustapha, said there was nothing like padding in the budget passed last Tuesday.
He said the House had made provision for the government to obtain loans in the proposed budget to enable it finance the budget, but that the House realised that what was allocated to the government as loan was high, adding that the situation called for a revisit of the budget.
Mustapha, however, said in order to pass a budget that would be realistic, there was need to reduce the loan components already allocated in the budget, “which was what we did by re-presenting the budget and passing it again.”
However, a sum of N268.8 billion was eventually passed by the Assembly as the 2021 appropriation, against N273.7billion passed earlier last week.