Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, Tuesday, signed the state’s 2021Appropriation Bill of N213, 914, 559,427 into law.
Speaking shortly before signing the bill into law, the governor expressed gratitude to members of the state House of Assembly for working round the clock and in synergy with the State Executive Council to complete work on the budget within 10 days.
According to Governor Mohammed, the synergy between the executive and legislative arms of government in the state which is demonstrated by working for the common goal of serving the people collectively, despite the fact that the House of Assembly is dominated by the opposition, showed that Bauchi has set the pace of politics.
“I am always grateful to Allah for giving me the kind of state Assembly members who have recognized that we are guided by the fear of Allah and by one common thing, that is Bauchi project, the people who voted us into power,” the governor said.
He said he was happy that there were very little changes in the budget estimates submitted to the Assembly and what was eventually passed.
According to him, “what they did is what I would have even done to expand provision of projects and programmes across the local councils and all the villages and towns so that there will be equity and justice.”
Tagged the ‘Budget of Consolidation’, the governor said that the 2021 budget was larger than that of 2020, adding that the ratio of recurrent and capital expenditures is within the global best practice.
Governor Mohammed said that his administration was looking at the basic outcome of the budget to ensure that every sector was positively affected.
He declared that the people of Bauchi deserved better treatment, saying that this was the reason his administration decided to introduce Bauchi Urban Renewal Project to upgrade the state capital.
He informed that education and health sectors were also given the required attention because they are the sectors that would improve the state’s human capital.
The governor said the state government was also investing in agriculture, water supply, youths and women empowerment, adding that rural roads were being opened up with a view to ensuring connectivity between the rural markets and the urban centres.
He commended the state House of Assembly for its observation on the need to tighten up the government’s belt by increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs).
“Yes, we’ve been generating less, but when you look at it, we are increasing our generation from 200 to 700 million which make us focussed, not to look for capital outside to be able to do these roads,” he explained.
Speaking earlier, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Abubakar Sulaiman, recalled that the 2021 budget proposal was presented to the Assembly by the governor on the 15th of December, 2020 for consideration.
He said out of the total budget, N93,994,971,685, which represented 43 percent, was earmarked for recurrent expenditures.
According to him, capital expenditures took 57 percent of the budget, amounting to N120, 919,587,773 only.
Sulaiman said that upon receipt of the 2021 Appropriation Bill, the Assembly suspended all other activities and worked round the clock to complete the work on it within a short period of time.
He added that the timely passage of the budget was as a result of members’ commitment, patriotism, mutual cooperation and the good working relationship existing between the executive and the legislature.
He commended Governor Mohammed for the equitable distribution of projects in the 2021 budget, noting that each of the 20 local government areas in the state got at least one or more projects.
The Speaker said in the course of carrying out their oversight functions, the lawmakers noticed that the performance of the revenue generating MDAs was low despite the recent passage of the revenue harmonisation bill into law by the Assembly.
He described the state’s low revenues generation as a very serious issue, which needs to be addressed, as, according to him, revenue generation is the backbone of every development.
While calling on all revenue generating MDAs to tighten their belts with a view to increasing the IGR of the state, the speaker recommended that the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning should always and henceforth prepare and summit the annual budget of the state to the governor within convenient time for onward transmission to the assembly.