Within the last one year that the Abdulrasaq administration was inaugurated in Kwara State, a lack of public confidence in the state budget process and implementation has been observed.
In a Flash Report released by the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative, a non-governmental organization that focuses on good governance and transparency, the state government under the All Progressive Congress needs to go extra length to restore public trust and ensure performance oriented budgeting process in the state.
The report titled “Reconstructing Processes and Repositioning People for Budget Estimates and Implementations towards Sustainable Inclusive Growth in Kwara State” observed poor public trust in the budget performance in Q1-Q4, 2019 and Q1 2020. It noted the state fixation on federal allocation supported by the meagre internally generated revenue. The study, for instance, averred that a trending analysis of the state government’s attempt to generate revenue from Q1, 2019 to Q1, 2020 shows that Kwara’s main source of revenue was statutory allocation from the Federal Government. This, according to the report, has made the state economy tied to the vagaries of the oil prices and exposes the state as not being capable of survival without the handouts from the national government.
Again, the report also indicated an uncoordinated and insufficient approach to raising revenue from within the state. It posits that there is no steady growth of the funds that accrued to the state from the IGR. There was a rise between revenue generated from Q1, 2019 from N6.2 billion to N9.8 billion in Q2. However, there was a revenue drop to N7.9 billion in Q3, 2019 followed by further descent to N6.6 billion in Q4, 2019. The rise of the revenue by less than N1 billion in Q1, 2020 highlights the government’s poor performance in engineering a continuous growth from its internally generated revenue even with Value Added Tax.
The report discerned a continuous mismatch between budget policy thrust and objectives from the former administration of Governor AbdulFatai Ahmed and the incumbent administration of Governor Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman. The study which factored in a change of government in 2019 did a comparative analysis of budget performance of the two administrations. It concluded that there was a measured restraint to deploy resources on capital expenditure when compared with recurrent expenses.
In its recommendations, the report suggested expansion of revenue bases, diversification of the state economy as well as engagement of the right personnel to drive the budget processes of the state from conception to implementation and monitoring. There is also a suggestion that leakages must be blocked if the state government must be weaned from the handouts coming from the federation accounts. There should be more focus on human capital development with improved spending on education, entrepreneurship, empowerment and social protection programmes. These measures would not only go a long way to ensure a match between budget provision and policy thrusts/objective but also restore public trust in the government budget processes that would facilitate a sustainable delivery of socio-economic benefits to the populace.
Download the full report and read to gain more insights here