By Laleye Dipo
The Niger State government has said that its 2020 budget is based on the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage.
This is just as the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has thumbed down the fiscal estimates describing it as “budget of nothingness and profound sleaziness”.
The state Commissioners for Planning, Alhaji Mamman Musa and that of Finance, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, while giving the breakdown of the budget in Minna on Wednesday, said like other aspects of the budget, the implementation will commence once the fiscal estimates are passed by the House of Assembly and assented to by the governor.
The commissioners declined to say categorically when the minimum wage payment will commence, but said: “This is 2020 budget. Everything in the budget will be implemented in 2020.”
They further submitted that the state will not have difficulty in paying the N30,000 minimum wage because “we are already paying N22,500, what we need now is N7,500, we have taken care of that in the budget”.
Abubakar specifically said: “Resources will move from investment to ensure payment of the minimum wage.”
According to them, education has the highest amount of N9.244 billion in the sectoral allocation, followed by agriculture — N8.3 billion, health — N6.3 billion and water resources –N1.170 billion.
“The process that led to this budget was inclusive because town hall meetings were held. We ensured that what went into the budget reflects the wishes of the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PDP has thumbed down the budget describing it as “a budget of nothingness, profound sleaziness”.
The PDP also said that it “finds the tittle of the budget rather ludicrous, as the content is not worth more than the paper it is printed upon”.
The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Tanko Beji, in a statement in Minna on Wednesday, said the budget proposal did not give “total summary of revenue received and expenditure, process of expenditures and on whom were the expenditures and for what impact.
“It also didn’t show the percentage of budget performance to determine whether it was balanced, surplus or deficit budget”.
The statement said: “The PDP finds it bizarre that the governor claims he has trained 3,500 youths on skills and another 25,000 beneficiaries of the public workfare (PWF), these we believe is another joke taken too far? We therefore challenge the government to make the list of beneficiaries public or we term it another scam like the bandied 2,500 teachers’ recruitment of SUBEB.
“The PDP is also perturbed that a whooping N2.19 billion is expended on unverifiable projects including the House of Assembly extension building that has gulped so much even though the contractor is anonymous.”