The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has signed the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill pegged at N164.7bn into law, after due passage by the Edo State House of Assembly.

Obaseki said the budget christened ‘Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) budget’ is anchored on robustly responding to the dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, whilst building a workforce of the future.

The governor, who signed the budget at the Exco Chambers in Government House, Benin City on Wednesday, said his administration prioritised recurrent expenditure in the budget following the economic challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Stressing that the budget would address challenges in critical sectors of the economy, Obaseki said the 2021 budget is primed at strengthening the state’s healthcare system across board, sustaining gains in the education and social sectors, providing needed stimulus to drive food security, supporting the weak and vulnerable in the society and actively engaging the youths.

Obaseki said funds have been raised to ensure a successful implementation of the budget for the benefit of the people and state.

He noted: “The Assembly earlier approved that the state goes to the market to raise money and finance a part of the budget. We have successfully closed a N25 billion 5-year bond at a record price of nine per cent. The resources will be available to commence the funding of this budget.

“We are working on improving tax collection to enable us have all the resources needed to finance this appropriation act. We are cutting down on waste to grow Edo economy in the right direction.”

Obaseki commended the leadership and members of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) for the prompt attention given to the bill and its speedy passage.

Presenting the budget estimates, Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Marcus Onobun, noted that the Assembly deemed it fit to review the estimates upwards from the initial 153.4bn.

Onobun said the budget passage was prompt and speedy to ensure that the governor continues with his developmental strides in the state to ensure that the people enjoy the dividends of democracy.