By Wole Mosadomi
Minna—Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, yesterday, presented a N159,529,728,377 budget to the state House of Assembly for the 2019 fiscal year for approval.
Christened Budget of Sustenance and Continuity, Governor Bello said the budget estimates will focus more attention on completion of ongoing projects in the areas of infrastructure, education, water resources, agriculture and social development, to stimulate economic growth through investment inflows and higher by 5.43 percent than that of 2018.
Sources of funds
He said the budget would be financed through statutory allocation of N61,676,175,300; Valued Added Tax, VAT, N12,024,221,257; Paris Club Refund, N12,273,897,415; internally-generated revenue, IGR, N15,174,243,716; dividends from North-South Power, N300,000,000; refund from Pension Fund Administrators, N4,000,000,000 and capital receipts, N50,256,220,689,00.
Governor Bello pointed out that the total projected capital expenditure for the year 2019 is N89,543,981,070.
The breakdown of the budget shows that water supply got the highest allocation of N13.7 billion, followed by health, which got N11.037 billion and agriculture, N6.711 billion.
He said his administration has resolved to ensure that electricity is extended to all nooks and crannies of the state, adding that N1 billion has been earmarked for the completion of various rural electrification projects across the three Senatorial zones of the state and provision of dedicated 33KVA line in Minna, Bida and Kontagora water works and some communities.
He also emphasised the need to open up rural areas, pointing out that 408 kilometres of ongoing rural roads have been penciled down for completion, while N265 million has also been earmarked for tourism development and cultural promotion in the 2019.
On pension, Bello promised that his admi-nistration will continue to give due attention to retirees and other statesmen, adding that N6 billion is proposed for pension matters next year.
He told the House, “I present the 2019 Budget of Sustenance and Continuity of N159,529,728,377, with recurrent expenditure estimates of N63,324,292,994 (39.69 percent) and capital expenditure estimates of N96,205,435,383 (60.31 percent) for consideration.”
Spends N1bn on security
The governor also told the House that the state government has spent over N1 billion on procurement of vehicles and communication gadgets for security agencies in the state.
His words: “We have distributed patrol vehicles with modern communication facilities to the Police, Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, NDLEA, Nigeria Immigration Services, to enable them perform optimally.”
He urged traditional and religious leaders to compliment the efforts of the state government by mobilising residents to volunteer information.