ARMSTRONG ALLAHMAGANI, Bauchi –
Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, has signed a budget of N213,914,559,427.00 for the 2021 Fiscal Year into law.
Recall that governor Mohammed presented the 2021 budget proposal of N213,914,559,427.00 tagged: “Budget of Consolidation” to the Bauchi State House of Assembly for consideration and subsequent passage.
The budget which was passed by the Lawmakers 10pm on Tuesday night, two weeks after it was submitted to them.
Speaking shortly before presenting the budget to the governor for assent, the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, said that the Lawmakers, upon receipt of the bill, suspended all other activities and commenced action immediately and successfully completed work within a reasonable time.
According to him, the quick consideration and passage of the budget was because of the cordial working relationship between the two arms of government.
He said: “Your Excellency, we are here to present to you the approved 2021 budget for your assent as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended). The approved 2021 budget estimates which has a total of N213,914,559,427, was presented to the Honourable House on the 15th of December, 2020 for legislation.
“The total amount consist of N92,994,971,655 which represents 43 percent expenditure while on the other hand, Capital Expenditure took 57 percent of the total amount which N120,919,587,773.
“The timely passage of the law was not unconnected with the Honourable Members’ commitment, patriotism, mutual cooperation and understanding that exists between the Legislative and Executive arms of the state.”
Suleiman commended the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning which ensured the speedy passage of the budget.
He also commended the governor for the equitable distribution of projects contained in the 2020 budget stressing that “each of the 20 local government areas in the state has at least, one or more projects, we really commend Your Excellency and the executive arm for this.”
He however said that “the Honorable House was able to observe that the revenue generating MDAs performed poorly. This is despite the recent passage of the Revenue Harmonization Bill into law by the House. Your Excellency, am sure you will agree with me that this is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed urgently.”
The Speaker informed the governor that the Lawmakers will diligently scrutinize the implementation of the budget saying that their action should not be seen as a witch-hunt.
“I want to assure the executive not to misunderstand our efforts to ensure the strict and full implementation of the budget through oversight functions as an attempt to witch-hunt the Chief Executives of MDAs or as a way of enriching ourselves,” he assured.
The governor while responding to the Speaker’s concern on the low level of revenue generated in 2020 by relevant agencies, after assenting to the budget into law, said that the government has engaged the services of a commercial Bank to help the government generate more Internally Generated Revenue.
He said: “We are generating less but when you look at it generatically (sic), increasing our generation from the N200 million to N700 which makes it less possible to make to be able to do these works. But certainly, most of the revenue generating agencies including our informal sectors, out markets and Local Councils.
“We have already made arrangements with a bank, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to make sure they come and raise our IGR from the current status of about N700 million monthly to N1.5 billion every month by employing about N4,000 youths at all the revenue generating points.
“They will be paying these 4,000 to collect our IGR. Through that, we will not bombard the state with too much borrowing rather than just establishing a robust cash flow where we will use our IGR and the little remnant from the federation account to be able to execute all these projects and programmes.”
He was full of praises to the Lawmakers for the quick passage of the budget into law.
“I wish to seize this opportunity to thank Members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly for working round the clock and working very hard in synergy with the State Executive Council to bring out this budget on a record time of 10 days,” he said.