Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Tuesday presented a budget of N148. 211 billion for the 2020 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly.
the budget, which is 13.2 percent lower than that of 2019, was christened “Budget of Inclusion for Sustainable Development”
A break down of the budget showed that N78. 243 billion (52.79 percent) was allocated for capital Expenditure, while N69. 968 billion (47.21 percent) was earmarked for recurrent Expenditure.
The Administration sector was allocated N5. 472billion; economic sector, N51.836 billion; social sector, N19. 757 billion; and law and justice, N1.777 billion, all from the capital expenditure.
Bello noted that the 2020 budget is anchored on completion of projects in line with the wishes and aspirations of tee people as expressed during town hall meetings.
“As we strive to consolidate and improve on the gains recorded so far, we shall focus on completing all ongoing projects.
“Town hall meetings were organized to receive inputs from the citizens into the budget making process. This is in line with our commitment of enhancing people’s participation in governance,” he added
According to him, the budget would be funded with revenues from statutory allocation, capital receipts, Value added tax, Refunds from Federal Government roads, Refund from pension fund administrators, dividends from North-South Power and Refund from National Electricity Liability Company.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Abdullahi Wuse, lauded the achievements of the Bello-led administration in the last four years across all sectors.
Wuse said the legislative arm would ensure the passage of the bill in record time to enable the state government consolidate on its achievements.
He called for more concerted efforts to tackle security challenges ravaging parts of the state.
“I therefore urge the security agents in the state to maximally deploy their skills and tackle the challenges to enable our electorate return to their homes.
“It is my prayer that Niger state will come out of the security challenge in no distant time,” he added
In a reaction the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in a statement signed by its Chairman, Bar. Tanko Beji, said, it has perused through the 2020 budget proposals presented to the state House of Assembly by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, on the 10th December 2019, titled “Budget of Inclusion for sustainable development”
“The PDP finds the tittle rather ludicrous, as the content is not worth more than the paper it is printed upon.
The PDP therefore has decided to help the APC Government of Niger state led by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello rename it as a “Budget of Nothingness, profound sleaziness”
A flip through the Budget proposal shows that the year 2019 review shows no total summary of revenue received and expenditures, 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 budget review of 2019 show no figure expended on agriculture.
Item number 10 on the budget proposal shows 403 kilometers of road, the PDP is very much aware that these roads were projects carried out and funded by deveploment partners/donor agencies like the CSDP, while the Niger state Government tactically hide under it to claim credit and claim expending N4.7Billion.
A sincere Government ought to have made it clear and credit the financiers of the project but certainly not a Government that has a lot to explain.
It is not constestable that all road projects embarked on by the Niger state Government have either failed or non is at 20% completion 5 years after, while even the few potholes filled are now death traps, worse is the Minna – Bida road and the Minna-Suleja these are largely due to poor quality of work, yet the budget review says N1.5B has been spent and the “Zero potholes” has claimed N250M.
Another fairy tale is the Bobi grazing reserve where N240M is claimed to have been spent leading up to 101th MoU signed of fathom investment.
As if that is not enough, the state Transport Company gulped N850Million in 2019, but “SOME of the Busses have been delivered” says the Governor. Laughable!
The PDP finds it bizarre that the Governor claims he has trained 3,500 youth 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.
The worrisome part of all is that even where there is semblance of project, no due process is followed, projects are not advertised for competent bidders.
The PDP therefore invite the state House of Assembly to request the Governor to furnish it’s members and the general public with details of all necessary information with regards to all revenue generated in 2019 budget year, due process for expenses and and the projects it is carrying out if any.
The PDP reminds the state House of Assembly and Nigerlites, that if this is not done, the 2020 budget proposals will face the same fate. God forbid!”