By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has presented the 2017 budget to the state’s House of Assembly.
The appropriation bill tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation’, was presented to the lawmakers on Friday in Minna, the state capital.
Mr Bello told the Assembly that he plans to spend N108 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, pointing out that the budget was designed to give priority attention to youth and women empowerment; completion of on-going projects; enhancement of IGR; re-introduction of teachers’ colleges; transformation of education and development of waterworks.
According to him, the budget proposal of N108,074,298,251 is N22,982,176,118 or 21.27 percent higher than the outgoing fiscal year of N85,092,122,133.
He added that the budget will be financed from Statutory Allocation of N50,695,206,724 and the sum of N22,781,770,370 is expected from Capital receipts made up of expected drawn-downs from development partners projects grants and loans.
Other sources are N12,403,874,117 from internally generated revenue (IGR), the Value Added Tax (VAT) of N8,793,447,040 and N13,400,000,000 from refund of proceeds from Paris Club loan being carried over to the new year.
Like the out-going budget, the capital expenditure of the 2017 appropriation bill is to gulp N60,026,337,973 which is 55.55 percent of the budget size while the recurrent expenditure will consume N48,047,960,278 or 44.45 percent of the budget.
Sectorial allocation showed that the Economic sector has the lion share of the capital expenditure with a proposal of N34,447,707,984 followed by the social sector with an estimate of N17,849,444,257 while administration sector is allocated N6,649,185,732 and law and justice with N1,080,000,000.
A breakdown of the bill further showed that education sub-sector has a proposed capital allocation of N4,155,074,176; health care delivery is expected to gulp N2.05 billion, the sum of N1.3 billion is earmarked for infrastructure and transport while water suply and sanitation is allocated N1.16billion.
Mr Bello also proposed the sum of N1.09 billion for women development while youth and sports development is allocated N2.1 billion.
A retrospect of the 2016 budget by the Governor showed that the national economic crisis affected the efforts of the state government at meeting its projected revenue target for the year.
According to him, the approved revenue between January and October this year stood at N55.98 billion, representing 67 percent which implies that the outgoing budget recorded a 33 percent revenue shortfall.
The Governor then appealed to business organizations and individuals in the state to live up to their civic responsibility by paying up their tax promptly.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Mr Ahmed Marafa, promised that the legislators will ensure the passage of the bill in a shortest and record time adding that they will intensify commitment in ensuring Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) comply to the budget provisions.
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