Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Katsina and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and his counterparts in Katsina, Aminu Bello Masari, Jigawa, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar and Osun, Rauf Aregbesola yesterday presented budget proposals to their respective state Houses Assembly for considerations.
While Bauchi State budgeted N145,447,258,160 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, Katsina State budgeted N140,162,092,690, while Jigawa proposed sum of N127.87 billion and Osun State budgeted N138.2billion.
In Bauchi State, the budget proposal tagged: ‘Budget of sustainable development’, consists of recurrent expenditure of N58,845,256,77 billion which represents 40 percent of the budget and N86,602,02,86 billion as capital expenditure, representing 60 percent of the total budget.
Abubakar, who presented the budget proposal on the floor of the state assembly, said the health sector has been allocated 16 per cent in the budget while efforts would be made to renovate and improve the operations of hospitals in the state.
On agriculture and industrial development, the governor disclosed that the state plans to purchase grains from farmers while plans are in the pipeline to establish a cement plant in Gwana village of Alkaleri Local Government Area; Mango processing plant in Kirfi and rice processing company in Dass council area.
He recalled that as a result of the economic crisis facing the country, his administration had introduced measures aimed at reducing the cost of running government’s activities while the number of government ministries was reduced from 28 to 16.
The governor assured the people that all ongoing projects in the 2016 budget would be completed while the new ones in the 2017 budget are expected to be adequately executed for the development of the state.
He commended the state assembly for its support and cooperation to the executive and hoped the gesture would be sustained.
In Katsina State, Governor Masari said the budget, tagged: ‘Budget of Stabilisation’, in aggregate term, is higher than that of 2016 by N28, 710,088,420, according to the governor who specifically noted that the appropriation was designed to tally with the three-year development plan of the present administration.
A sectoral breakdown of the proposed allocation is restoration agenda sector N14,533,780,250 or 15.7 per cent; agriculture N8,590,504,945 or nine per cent; works (roads) N15,517,679,500 which is 16.8 per cent and environment N7,765,749,940 or 8.74per cent.
“In line with the ‘Restoration Agenda’ of this administration, education, health, water resources, agriculture, environment, works and housing, transport and solid minerals will continue to get attention of the government in the allocation of funds and execution of policies.”
According to him, the budget would be financed with a total recurrent revenue of N75,629,296,549 comprising N10,838,112,660 as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); N8,694,183,880 as other internal revenue and N56,100,000 as revenue receivable through federation account.
In Jigawa, Governor Abubakar, who tagged the expenditure, ‘Budget of Economic Diversification and Self-sufficiency’, said it would be based on the consolidated position of the revenue projections within the next year.
He said: “The total amount is to be derived from various income sources and expended on the various expenditure components of the budget.”
The governor said the sums of N800 million is set aside for stabilisation and contingency funds, and “we have a total retained revenue of N127.07 billion shared among the recurrent and capital expenditure components.”
Badaru said the budget projection would be based on the expectation that the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2017 would be N12,439,000,000 billion while the Statutory Allocation and Value Added Tax is N45,908,000,000 billion.
He said local government contributions for primary education personnel and primary healthcare staff have N17,417,000,000 billion.
The governor said the opening balance for 2016 fiscal year, including funds in project accounts such as the Universal Basic Education Grant, stands at N19,066,000,000 billion while internal and external loans stands at N9,150,000,000 billion.
In Osun State, Governor Aregbesola, while presenting the budget tagged: ‘Budget of Recovery’, said the economic sector, including agriculture, rural development, rural and urban electrification, commerce, industry, finance and transportation, would gulp N24,911,168,470 billion of the total budget.
The governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Segun Olorunsogo, also said the social service sector, including education, health, information and culture, youths, sports and social development would gulp N11,168,089,260 billion of the budget.
The regional planning and environmental development sector, which includes water resources, environmental sanitation, housing, town planning, according to him, will gulp N5,315,221,210 billion while general administration and other services will gulp N21,014,525,570 billion.
Accordingly, he said the main focus of the budget would include “provision of enabling environment that will ensure increase in food production.
“It focuses on consolidation of social infrastructure that will expand the economic and industrial base of the state; creation of conducive, productive, and active socio-economic environment that ensures job creation and empowerment of youths and women.
“It will also focus on development of opportunities for wealth creation through tourism and culture; improving basic education infrastructure that promotes functional education and enhancement of the capacity of teachers at all levels.”
He said in the course of implementing the budget, new revenue sources would be pursued, while the existing mechanism of internal revenue generation would be improved on.
Adding that the government was determined to leverage on the revenue generating potential of both formal and informal sectors, he said the government would ensure non-reliance on the revenue from the federal allocation.
He also said the government would ensure blockage of leakages in revenue collection through effective monitoring of collectors by all officials in charge of such collections.
Receiving the budget, the Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Najeem Salaam, said the estimate would be properly scrutinised to be in line with the needs of the state and its people, and do justice to all the budget heads.
Commending the administration of Aregbesola for working hard to formulate policies and programmes that would improve the living standard of the people, he said the assembly would not be the clog in wheel of progress of the state.
The speaker, who stressed that the presentation of the budget had been taken as first reading, noted that the estimate would be committed to the Committee of Finance and Appropriation for consideration.