Minna — Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and their Nasarawa State counterpart, Abdullahi Sule, yesterday signed the over N211 billion, N145.8billion and N110billion appropriation bills into law after passage by the respective state houses of assembly.
Governor Sani-Bello signed the bill into law at the government house before the commencement of the weekly executive council meeting in Minna.
The governor had in November presented a budget of over N198 billion with the capital expenditure of N124 billion while recurrent expenditure at N74 billion.
The budget was passed by the state assembly on December 22, with an increase of N13 billion.
The governor appreciated the lawmakers for the timely passage of the bill, noting that his administration had been enjoying a cordial relationship with the legislative arm of government.
“I have seen reasons in their stubbornness sometimes and I must confess I really appreciate it because most times they are right and that is how it should be. So when we have our differences we come back and we reconcile,” he added.
Sani-Bello said that his administration was poised to fund the budget as it is the last full budget to be implemented by the present administration, saying the Board of Internal Revenue was also determined to improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue in addition to the other sources of revenue to the state.
“On our part, we will try and see that we implement the budget but of course, it is subject to availability of funds. As we are all aware, the budget is just a statement, we hope that we will be able to fund it 100 percent,” he said.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bawa, said the responses from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, were encouraging during the budget screening process.
Kogi’s N146bn budget
In Kogi, Governor Bello while signing the bill in Lokoja, assured the people of the state of greater performance in 2022.
According to him, the budget tagged, ‘Budget of accelerated Result’, was made up of N90.1 billion, representing 61.79 percent recurrent expenditure, and N55.7 billion, representing 38.21 percent capital expenditure.
“Today marks another milestone in the history of Kogi State with the signing into law of the 2022 budget. This is because my administration has tried to stem corruption to the barest, to give better service to the people of the state with good accountability.
“We will continue to guarantee zero corruption in Kogi State. Corruption will never lead us anywhere. We will try our best to stem it to the barest, if not at zero level in Kogi State. I want to assure you that we will continue to be transparent in our governance and financial dealings. We will continue to show a high level of probity and accountability.
“We will continue to improve on our security because without security, there can’t be any meaningful economic development in the state. As we all know, Kogi State still remains the best in terms of security. My appreciation goes to all law enforcement agencies and the citizens of Kogi State for always responding properly whenever there is any challenge.
“Just like the year 2021 that is rounding up, we are the best in all ramifications, by all world and local ratings, we don’t intend to fall to the second position in the year 2022,” Bello added.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lafia, Governor Sule lauded the House of Assembly members for passing the budget within the shortest period of time despite their busy schedules.
Sule said that he presented the budget on December 9 but the assembly members denied themselves weekends and holidays to ensure that it was passed.
“The assembly at first passed it on December 22 with the increase to N114 billion, but after going through and based on the realities on the ground I sent it back for amendment and they sat again and passed it into law on Wednesday, 29 December.
“This kind of commitment by the honorable members is the first of its kind since the state was created in 1996,” Sule added.
He explained that the budget performance of the administration in 2021 was 64 percent, adding that he is determined to surpass that performance in 2022.
The governor expressed optimism that with the caliber of persons appointed and inaugurated as Commissioners and other aides, the administration would perform better than previous years.