… as stakeholders brainstorm on 2019 – 2021 MTEF
The Edo State Government has projected a positive economic outlook for the state between 2019 and 2021, as reforms across different sectors of the economy by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration is expected to drive investments and fast-track job creation in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic and Development Planning, Mr. Joseph Eboigbe, made the submission in a presentation on the Edo State Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2019 to 2021, during a Consultative Forum on the MTEF, held at Government House, in Benin City, Edo State.
Eboigbe noted that key features of the state government’s programmes in the last three years were educational reforms, investment in infrastructure and institutional strengthening, which grew the state’s economy by 1.5 per cent in 2018.
He said growth will slow down by one per cent in 2019 due to the elections but will rise again in 2020 to 1.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent in 2021, noting, “Unemployment is projected to gradually decline in the medium term as investment promotion efforts begin to yield results. Hence, number of unemployed people will drop from 18 per cent (756,000) in 2018 to 11.8 per cent (531,000) in 2021.”
Eboigbe noted that Governor Godwin Obaseki led-administration is set to transform the state into an industrial hub in the South-South through the development of industrial clusters and free trade zones.
“Edo State Government has created 77,200 jobs from 2017-2018. It forecasts to create 50,000 jobs in 2019, 75,000 in 2020 and 100,000 in 2021,” he added.
Declaring the forum open, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning in the state, Hajiya Mariam Abubakar, said the MTEF is aimed at providing an informed basis for budgeting from 2019 to 2021.
She said the forum was held to re-emphasise the need for efficient and effective allocation of available resources to strategic projects and programmes, adding that the MTEF will guide all stakeholders on decision making with respect to the direction of public expenditure.
According to her, “Budget implementation has continued to focus on the core priority sectors of infrastructure, education, health, job creation and investment in the economy of the state.”
Abubakar said that the forum will facilitate feedback from the public as the budgetary process is about people, noting “The input of the people is needed to enable the government capture the needs of the people in terms of programmes and projects that will drive and stimulate the economy of the state.”