NIGER ASSEMBLY PASSES 134.2 BILLION NAIRA 2018 BUDGET

The Niger State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the 2018 appropriation bill of N134.286bn into law.

Nigerwatch Newspaper correspondent reports that the figure showed an over N6billion increase from the N128.10billion presented by the state governor on December 14, 2017.

The passage followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Appropriation and Planning on the 2018 budget.

Tagged “The Peoples Budget,” the law set aside N53.244billion for recurrent expenditure as against N52.15billion and N81.42billion for capital expenditure as against N75.858billion budgeted by the executive.

Presenting the report on the Budget, Mr Muhammad Lokogoma, Chairman of Planning and Appropriation Committee, said that the House interfaced with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the course of scrutinizing the budget.

Lokogoma said the adjustments were made in areas critical to the policy direction of the present administration, with the belief of sourcing for more revenue to finance them.

“In as much as it was the desire of the committee to accommodate increases recommended by various committees, we were constrained by inadequate resources.

“However adjustments were made in areas critical to the policy direction of the present administration, with the belief of sourcing for more revenue to finance them,” he said

He noted that the committee observed lack of synergy between the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission in the area of information sharing, adding that it was seriously affecting the budget process in the state.

“The lack of synergy between the planning commission and ministry of finance is seriously hampering the budget process in the state.

“The committee is particularly concerned with the barrier created between the two organizations in the area of information sharing.

“There is therefore need for the two to work together to ensure effective budget process and financial management,” he added

The committee also decried the late submission of the budget which resulted in hasty scrutiny, urging the executive to always submit budget in the first week of october for thorough scrutiny and timely passage. 

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa, thanked the committee members for working tirelessly towards the passage of the law.

Marafa maintained that the budget when fully implemented will accelerate speedy urban and rural development.

He thereafter directed the clerk to forward clean copies of the budget to the governor for his assent. 

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