Governor Abubakar of Bauchi State presents N168 billion Naira 2018 Appropriation Bill to the state house of assembly, tagged ‘budget of consolidation,’ comprising of Recurrent Expenditure of N69 billion Naira or 41% while Capital Expenditure receives the sum of N100 billion Naira or 59%, on the priority areas of Health, Education, Agriculture, Water Supply, Youth and Women Empowerment and Infrastructural Development.
The governor said, the 2018 Budget has been predicated on the assumptions of an oil production of 2.3million barrels per day; a bench mark oil price of US$45.00 per barrel; an exchange rate of N305 to US dollar and a robust and efficient system of internally generated revenue collection.
He said government has in the course of the preparation of the 2018 Budget considered achieving a recurrent to capital expenditure ratio of between 40:60; creating efficiencies in personnel and overhead expenditure to allow greater resource for capital development; growing IGR by a minimum of at least 20% per annum and allowing 4% of revenue (CRF) for contingency reserve; while using loans for capital expenditure projects.
The governor said the budget targets long term funding of all recurrent expenditure through revenue of a recurrent nature (IGR, VAT and Non-mineral component of Statutory Allocation) and all other sources of capital receipts and financing outside of loans (e.g. Aids and Grants, Private Public Partnership etc.
He said priority attention will be accorded to completion of on-going capital projects and commencement of new projects that are crucial and necessary and making sure that projections for revenue items, especially from the federation account were conservatively arrived at from the arrays of forecasting options, and to reflect real economic status of the State.
He said that the five-point health agenda aimed at restructuring the sector, establishment of a State Health Care Insurance Agency and the provision of 1% of the entire State Consolidated Revenue Fund for Basic Health Care delivery are clear manifestation of the administration’s endeavour in tackling healthcare delivery problems in the State.
Furthermore, we will continue to honour obligations through the payment of the required funds, implement the National policy guideline for primary health care under one roof as well as the allocation of over 15% of our Budget to the sector.
With success recorded so far, this administration will continue to place more emphasis on the rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools as well as the tertiary institutions. Upgrading some courses in our institutions of higher learning to a degree awarding status by both the university of Maiduguri and ATBU will further expose the institutions to higher student’s intake, thereby overstretching the existing infrastructures. Accordingly, Government will invest heavily in the provision of conducive learning environment, construction of additional structures as well as increasing the manpower capacity. Training and retraining are the key ingredients in uplifting the quality of teaching thereby impacting positively on the students through competitive results and sound moral character.
The governor said it is the desire and commitment of the administration fight poverty and provide employment for the teaming population of the state to accord attention to the agricultural sector in 2018 Budget. The objective is to ensure availability of enough agricultural produce for both subsistence and commercial purposes. Further to this, the administration believes that it will have a multiplier effect in creating jobs and wealth.
In order to realise this dream, government has decided to take to purchase 1,000 units of power tillers, facilitate the empowerment of small scale farmers through Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme Loan from CBN, rehabilitate 3 model farm training centres in the State, implement the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme Project that will empower about 10,000 youths across the State through the acquisition of N1.5bn loan from CBN, establish farm produce processing products clusters that comprises all related activities for quality improvement, marketing, training and other skill acquisition programmes.
Each Area Veterinary Office across the 20 LGAs will have one or more Veterinary Doctor by 2018, provide drugs to reduce livestock diseases outbreaks in the State, strengthen the tractor hiring unit and refurbishing or maintaining existing the tractors.
The governor revealed that Bauchi State has been selected as one of the pilot states for the implementation of the National Egg Production Scheme that will empower 180 poultry farmers in the State, saying, “With improved seedling, availability of agricultural commodities and the relatively stable raining season, the harvest season is hopefully going to improve, and agriculture is therefore taking its necessary and rightful position in the socio-economic development of our State.”
This is premised in the fact that Agriculture is the genuine foundation for industrialization. Industrialization in this regard does not mean the existence of a big industrial complex, rather it has to do with engaging our farmers in micro, small and medium Agricultural processing value chain addition enterprises.
To stimulate industrial growth in the State, Governor Abubakar said government will continue to provide a friendly environment for investors and will reactivate dormant/ailing industries and resuscitate them for onward privatization or commercialization so as to achieve best performance for effective industrialization of the state.
He said interested investors will be invited to participate in the promotion of industries using Public Private Partnership initiative, while Special Credit Facilities will be made available through acceptable finance institutions to intended Small Scale Investors at affordable interest rates in order to boost commercial activities in the State.
The governor said the realization of Export Production Village will be pursued in order to boost local production of raw materials, encourage production for export, improve income earnings of the people and generate more employment, and Inland Container Depot will be actualization to boost Export activities in the State will be vigorously pursued.
Development is measured in both qualitative and quantitative terms, while human capital development indicates improvement in social indices, physical development on the other hand is the key to achieving human development. This Government is convinced that the people of Bauchi State deserve better and that is why we are embarking on a robust infrastructural development. Government is committed to the completion of all ongoing road projects in the State as well as embarking on others that are critical to the socio-economic development of the state.
The budget is projected on Recurrent Revenue Estimates of the sum of 115 billion Naira, made up of: 14 billion Naira as Internally Generated Revenue and 105 billion Naira from Statutory Allocation, while 69 billion Naira is earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure.
He said the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges comprises 7.5 billion Naira Pension and Gratuity, 4.4 billion Naira for Public Debt Charges/Debt Servicing and 919 million Naira for Public Officers’ Salary.
Governor Abubakar said N54 billion Naira is projected as Capital Receipts, comprising 315 million Naira as Opening balance, 15.2 billion Naira as Internal Loans 13.2 billion Naira External Loans, 11.2 billion Naira as Aids and Grants and 13. 3 billion Naira as Other Capital Receipts.
The capital expenditure, according to the governor, are 7.3 billion Naira for administrative sector, 52 billion Naira for economic sector, 1.7 billion Naira for law and justice administration, 3.5 billion Naira for regional sector and 35.3 billion Naira for social sector.
Despite inheriting an empty treasury and an economy that was almost collapsing, we have succeeded in not only turning hopelessness to hope, uncertainty to brighter and assuring future and indeed raising the confidence of our people to achieve higher goals in their various human endeavours.
He said the administration is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that peace reign supreme throughout the state, while giving serious attention to local security outlets for intelligence gathering and crime control.
On the civil service, he said Bauchi State is among the few States in the Federation that are paying salaries to their workers as at when due, while reviewing the accumulated gratuity arrears with a view to settling it to the limit government resources can afford to alleviate the sufferings of retired civil servants, adding that government has prepared to start the payment of gratuity with the sum of one billion naira about two months ago.
The governor however, lamented that when the total figure was requested, the sum of about 26 billion naira was forwarded against the sum of fourteen Billion Naira the government inherited two years ago. This figure was considered abnormal as two years of the administration could not account for the difference of about 2 billion naira.
He therefore explained that the government has been trying to find out the cause of this discrepancy so as to commence payment as the money is still available.
Governor Abubakar disclosed that government has given attention to the digitalization of the Bauchi State Television to beat the June 2018 switch-over dateline, “We have equally given attention to the rehabilitation of some vital equipment of BATV and BRC for better service delivery.”
On Tourism, the governor said, a sole administrator was appointed for Yankari Resort and Safari including Sumu Wildlife Park, which was to improve tourism services and generate revenue for the state.
“I am happy to report to this Honourable House that a Staff of Yankari Resort and Safari representing the World Conservation Society has recently received an award in South Africa, to which I led the team from this State and used the opportunity to discuss with South African potential investors in the sector,” the governor said.
Open the state’s economic potentials to generate more revenues were undertaken in 2017 by signing of MOU with NAIC/NPK, NSITF to participate in the production of one million metric tons of NPK fertilizer in the country; opened discussions on a Private Public Partnership arrangement with three different investors who are interested in acquiring equity in the Bauchi Meat Factory; a leasing arrangement of Galambi Ranching Company is being discussed and evaluated with interested investors.
Others are ensuring efficiency and economies of scale the Bauchi Plastic Company is merged with Recycling Plant; Government has also approved the transfer of N300, 000,000 worth of shares to BIC Securities as requirement for a Stock Broking firm. A license for this has been secured, which makes it the only trading floor in the North East.
The governor further revealed that Bauchi Investment Promotion Agency has been established and a Director General appointed, which has since swung into action by sourcing for potential investors both at home and abroad.
He explained that in order to improve transportation in the state, government has approved the supply of 60 units of 18–seater Toyota Hummer Buses, and N10m soft loan for the refurbishment of the existing fleet.
Governor Abubakar said the State has identified the most suitable way of accelerating industrial growth through industrial clusters. The objective is to expand rural export and to generate new products for exports through rural production, ensure price stability and improve the living conditions of the rural dwellers.
In line with Nigerian Export Promotion Initiatives, Governor Abubakar said four locations were identified as viable for export production villages in Alkaleri LGA for Kaolin and Gum Arabic, Kirfi LGA for Water melon, Dass LGA for Vegetables and Zaki LGA for Onions.
Governor Abubakar said the infrastructural development being executed by have reached appreciable levels of completion, noting that through the Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, government has constructed 7 solar power motorized Boreholes, 556 Hand pumps and 280 Latrines, while 62 solar power Boreholes, 884 Hand pumps were repaired and certified a total of 2,840 communities were Open Defecation Free.
Abubakar Al-Sadique is Press Secretary to His Excellency, Governor Mohammed Abubakar, 28/12/2017
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