Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Thursday presented the state’s 2017 budget estimate of N204.3 billion to the State House of Assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the estimate was about N 29.9bilion above the state’s 2016 budget of over N 174 billion.
For the second year running, the education sector got the highest allocation of over N38.43 billion, representing 27.3 per cent.
Of the estimate, 69 per cent was dedicated to capital projects, while 31 per cent was dedicated to recurrent expenditure.
According to Mr. Tambuwal, the policy thrust of the budget is to ensure sustainable economic development through substantial investment in critical sectors.
They include: education, agriculture, healthcare delivery, exploration of mineral resources, investment in renewable energy and infrastructure, he said.
“We will prioritise effective resources management and seek intervention in areas with high potentialities to create job opportunities, generate income and improve revenue generation,” the governor said.
Tambuwal added that though the financial state of affairs in the country was facing huge challenges, the state’s 2017 budget would address key policy issues.
These will include the promotion of peaceful coexistence and protection of lives and properties.
“We will work to strengthen capacity building of scheduled ministries to ensure they perform better in their tasks.
“Of great importance to us will be the promotion of partnership with the private sector in areas of strategic importance to our development objective.
“We will promote value chain through agro-processing and diversification by way of giving incentives to farmers and producers.
“ We will also create backward and forward linkages between and among institutions, partners and other stakeholders to accelerate economic growth,” he said.
Allocations to other sectors in the budget proposal showed that the ministry of works and transport got N16.2 billion.
Also, the ministries of water resources and environment got N10.7 billion, the health sector got N7.7 billion while the ministry of housing, lands and survey got N8.2 billion.
Others such as the ministry rural and community development (N5.6 billion), the ministry of solid minerals and natural resources development (N1.7 billion), while the sum of N4 billion was appropriated to the ministry of commerce, industries and tourism.
Mr. Tambuwal , while urging the lawmakers to do a diligent job in handling the budget document, said his administration, as shown since it assumed office, would prioritise meeting the aspirations of the people of the state.
“I want to emphasise the need for us to work as a team so that together we can move our dear state forward,” he said.
The Speaker, Salihu Maidaji, promised that the legislators would give a speedy consideration to the appropriation bill to sustain the tempo of development in the state. ( NAN)