With accountability and fiscal discipline as the strengths of his administration, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, is giving leadership an entirely different meaning, writes Onuminya Innocent
Sokoto State under the leadership of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has witnessed remarkable level of financial discipline, probity, transparency and accountability lately, borne out of the governor’s burning desire to keep the state within the range of steady progress for socio-economic and political advancements.
As a former speaker, House of representative, who supervised ministries, departments and agencies, Tambuwal through his vision, steadfast and innovation, has made steady progress and engineered far-reaching reforms geared towards restructuring, re-engineering and reinvigoration of the state’s economy. This is in keeping faith with his campaign promise to pilot the affairs of his the state to the satisfaction of the masses that voted him into office.
Today, the effects of the dwindling federal allocation to states and local governments due to the downturn in the oil sector has made it imperative for governments at all levels to review several issues hindering development and proffer solutions on how best to service the people.
This, perhaps, has informed the new thinking in Sokoto State in line with the Governor’s desire to give the state quality leadership and render selfless service in an atmosphere of peace, accountability and fiscal discipline.
Tambuwal, in tandem with the state’s economic team headed by the Commissioner of Finance, Abdusamad Dasuki has been working tirelessly for the implementation of the 2020 budget despite Covid-19’s devastating effect.
To make the budget a reality, the state government in its wisdom, downsized the budget by 21 per cent.
Currently, the state’s monthly federal allocation stands at N3 to 4billion, out of which N2.5billion goes to workers’ salaries, N288million for the monthly settlement of pensions, 129million for allowance of political office holders, N80 to 100million for treatments of water by the state water board, and N600million for the service of the loan taken by the previous administration.
With this financial engineering, the state is able to meet up with its monthly financial obligations due to transparency and probity imbibed by the governor.
Recently, in acknowledging the state’s financial prudence, the office of Accountant General of Federation (AGF), rated Sokoto 8th best state in fiscal sustainability and prudence in public fund management. It also rated the state best in meeting monthly recurrent, expenditure and loan repayment in 2019.
The independently verified and quality assurance agency of World Bank rated the state 93 per cent in financial discipline and due process.
The state recently secured an approval for N6billion grant from the World Bank due to its commitments to financial stability, tax reduction and due process during Covid-19 challenges.
Before Tambuwal’s assumption of office, the state internally generated revenue (IGR) stood at N200million monthly, but with the reforms brought into the system, the IGR has increased to N600million monthly.
Despite the financial crunch in the country, especially with a second recession in view, Sokoto is one of the states that had approved the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage to its workers, while workers’ salaries and pensions are paid 23rd to 25th of every month.
The state had invested N1.5billion in the Bank of Agriculture and industry, while injecting N500million in the state’s micro finance bank, Taj Bank.