Niger Assembly passes N164.5 billion budget

Niger State on Nigerian Map
Niger State on Nigerian Map

Niger House of Assembly on Thursday passed the 2019 appropriation bill of over N164.5 billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figure showed an increase of over N4 billion from the over N159.5 billion presented by Gov. Abubakar Bello on November 6.

The passing of the bill followed the presentation of a report of the House standing Committee on Appropriation and Planning.

The budget set aside over N65.4 billion for recurrent expenditure while capital expenditure would gulp N99 billion.

The assembly set aside N65.413 billion for recurrent expenditure as against N63.324 billion and N99.037 billion for capital expenditure as against N96.205 billion presented by the executive.

Presenting the report, Muhammad Lokogoma, chairman of the committee, said the House interfaced with various Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) while scrutinising the budget.

Mr Lokogoma said adjustments were made in some areas considered critical with believe of sourcing for more revenues to finance them.

“Mr Speaker, Hon. members, as much as it is the desire of the committee to accommodate increment recommended by various standing committees of this assembly, we were constrained by inadequate funds to entertain such increment.

“However, adjustments were made in some areas that are considered critical with the believe of sourcing for more revenues to finance them,” he added

He said the committee observed that there were late and inadequate release of state counterpart funds to development partners and that has affected the state’s growth.

“The committee is of the view that refusal or delay in releasing counterpart funds for development organisations has affected the growth and development of the state.

“The committee, therefore, urge this House to appeal to the state government to ensure prompt release of counterpart contribution to development partners.

“This will enable them commence and finish their projects before the end of the year for the benefits of Niger people,” he added.

The chairman further decried the low patronage of government printing press by MDAs which according to him has negatively affected the revenue base of the state.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Ahmed Marafa, commended the committee for speeding the process that enabled the assembly to pass the budget.

Mr Marafa assured that the budget when fully implemented would accelerate urban and rural development.

“The people of Niger state have been waiting for this important moment and believe this budget would have a direct bearing on their lives.

“I want to assure them of our resolve to always put them first in all considerations,” he added.

The speaker directed the clerk to forward copies of the budget to the governor for his assent. (NAN)

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