By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State government has proposed a budget of N159.5 billion for the 2019 financial year.
The Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who presented the budget to the state House of Assembly in Minna Tuesday, said N61.6 billion would be generated from the federation account, the Value Added Tax (VAT) would bring in N12.04 billion, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) would fetch the government about N15.2 billion, and Paris Club refund would bring in N22.27 billion.
According to Governor Bello, the state also expects to get a refund of over N3.8 billion from the National Electricity Liability Company, N300 million as dividend from North South Power Electricity Company and N4 billion from the Pension Fund Administrators.
He said the government would also generate over N50.2 billion from the capital market.
He said the recurrent expenditure was projected at N63.3 billion, while the capital estimate would gulp more than N96.2 billion, adding that the economic sector got the highest allocation of N56.02 billion.
The governor said agriculture would be given more impetus in the fiscal year with government planning to clear not less than 200 hectares of land to be allocated to able bodied youths and fresh graduates, adding that government would also open up 408 kilometres of rural roads to facilitate the movement of agricultural products from the rural areas to the urban centre.
In addition, he disclosed that government would complete the payment for the 130 tractors it procured in the outgoing fiscal year.
Similarly, Bello said N11.037 billion would be spent in the health sector, adding that routine immunisation would be given more priority even as the administration would ensure the people of the state has easy access to health care facilities.
He said government would give due attention to the retirees and other statesmen, pointing out that “despite the huge challenges inherited in the pension system, we have worked assiduously in the last three years to correct most of the anomalies and pay pensioners promptly”.
“Government will continue to pay pensions, gratuity and other emoluments as at when due. To this end, the sum of N6 billion is proposed for pension matters in the 2019 budget estimates,” he said.
The speaker of the assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa Guni, in a remark said the cordial relationship between all the arms of government was responsible for the successes recorded by the administration in the last three and a half years.
Guni assured the governor that the budget would be given expeditious treatment to ensure its early passage.
Top government officials, traditional rulers and politicians attended the budget presentation.