Ogun State to embark on extension of Blue, Red Rail Lines from Lagos to Kajola, Agbara

…Okubadejo says 2023 budget packaged to prosper Ogun residents, increase value

 The Ogun State Government would soon embark on the extension of the Blue and Red Rail Lines from Lagos to Kajola and Agbara axis of the state.

This revelation came, even as the Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration has also resolved to embark on an Independent Power Project (IPP) in partnership with the private sector to generate and distribute electricity to industries, public and private concerns in the state.

The Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser in the state, Dapo Okubadejo, who disclosed these, said the state’s 2023 Budget was packaged to improve the quality of life of the people in the state.

Fielding questions from journalists at the 2023 Budget Breakdown/ Media Parley, held at the Olusegun Osoba Press Centre, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, on Wednesday, Okubadejo said that in the area of transportation, the Blue and Red rail lines from Lagos will be extended to the State from Kajola to Agbara respectively.

He disclosed that multi-modal transportation strategies involving road, rail and water transportation would be fully pursued to cater for the envisaged status of the state as industrial and logistics hub of Nigeria.

Describing the approach of the state to budget as inclusive and holistic, the Chief Economic Adviser said “this is reflective of the deep thinking that goes into the making of the budget and policy formulation and execution since 2019.”

He added that the government deliberately focused on certain reforms to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and in a manner that will prosper the people.

For instance, he said construction of roads in the economic hubs across the state has “not only increased the value of land but quadrupled it along the Atan-Agbara-Lusada axis of the state, as a result of the ongoing reconstruction of the 19km road being embarked upon by the incumbent administration.”

He added that the construction of the Epe-Mojoda-Ijebu-Ode road has increased the value of land along the axis by 300%.

Okubadejo, flanked by his counterparts in the Ministries of Budget and Planning and Information and Strategy, Olaolu Olabimtan and Waheed Odusile, respectively, explained that Governor Abiodun-led administration decided to earmark the large chunk of the 2023 budget to infrastructure, in order to make the state more attractive to investors.

According to him, the huge investment by the current administration in the provision of roads and other critical infrastructure has started yielding positive results, adding that “the socioeconomic development going on around the Agro Cargo Airport in Ilishan is humongous”.

While scoring the state high for recording 71% budget performance in 2021, Okubadejo expressed confidence that the N472 billion budget of 2023 would be pursued towards expanding development and creating more prosperity for the people.

The Commissioner added that the state government would look for investors that can help the state explore oil and bitumen, and continue to partner private sector in the provision of critical infrastructure capable of making life more meaningful for the people of the state.

Okubadejo, however, said that the Abiodun-led administration adopted the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) in contrast to what he described as “cash accounting” being used by the immediate past administration.

He stated that the method of accounting adopted by the last administration in the state did not indicate liabilities, which according to him was not only confusing but fraudulent.

The Commissioner further disclosed that Ogun State would partner Independent Power Project (IPP) providers, not only to generate electricity, but be involved in the distribution of power to industries, public and commercial entities in the state.

He also said that Solar Energy option would be fully explored to power street lights and markets spread across the state.

The N472 billion 2023 Budget already signed into law by Governor Abiodun, represented a 4.7 percent increase over the N450. 7 billion budgeted for 2022 fiscal year.

The budget, christened “Budget of Continued Development and Prosperity”, stands on the five Iseya Developmental Agenda of the state government encompassing Infrastructure, Social Welfare and Wellbeing, Education, Youth Empowerment and Agriculture and Food Security.

The areas of priorities in the allocation of funds and resources are focused on completion of existing projects aimed at preventing the occurrence of white elephants or abandoned projects, focusing on projects with high revenue potentials, projects that are consistent with priorities articulated in the State’s Economic Development Strategy and projects that enhance employment.

A sectoral analysis of the budget showed that Infrastructure got the biggest allocation of N129 billion, representing 27 percent of the total budget, followed by Education with N72. 256 billion or 15 percent of the budget, while state-wide got N63.215 billion or 13 percent of the total budget.

The Health Sector came fourth with N51.480 billion, representing 11 percent of the 2023 budget.


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