By Muhammad Nasir Bashir
Dutse, Nov. 4, 2020 Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa on Wednesday presented a budget of N156.58 billion for the state’s 2021 fiscal year to the state’s House of Assembly.
The budget was tagged “Budget of Sustained Economic Growth and Social Transformation-Meeting the Next Level Agenda II”.
Badaru said that it is higher than the 2020 Original and Revised Budgets by 2.4 per cent and 29 per cent.
“Based on the aggregated proposed revenue and expenditure estimates, the 2021 Appropriation Bill is seeking the consideration of the Honorable House to appropriate the sum of 156,580 billion for the services of the Jigawa State Government during the period of January 1 to December 31, 2021.
“This is higher than the 2020 Original and Revised Budgets by 2.4 per cent and 29 per cent respectively,” he said.
The governor said of the total proposed estimates, N78.346 billion was earmarked for recurrent expenditures, including provisions for contingency and stabilization funds, while N78.241 was for capital investments.
“With a difference of only about 0.1 per cent, the recurrent to capital expenditure ratio is almost exactly 50:50.
“It is worthy of note that despite the rising cost of personnel cost due to the new minimum wage and the rising cost of service delivery due to inflationary trends, we try to ensure that as much resources as possible are earmarked for capital investments.
“Based on the parameters used in the MTEF projections and considering current trends, we consider this budget size as very realistic and achievable barring any fiscal uncertainties.
“The proposed budget is envisaged to be funded from the following major sources, and while most of these are self-explanatory, I would add that, some of the key Capital Receipts and Reimbursements include Refunds to the State in respect of PAYE Deductions by the Federal Government.
“Refunds in respect of the defunct PHCN Ground Rents, World Bank Grants in respect of SFTAS and the new CARES Programme. Others are UBEC and TETFund Grants for Primary and Tertiary Education respectively and World Bank Grant for Better Education Service Delivery for All.
“And the African Development Bank Grant for Agricultural Transformation and Islamic Development Bank Loan for Agricultural Development”.
Highlighting the proposed expenditure estimates, Badaru said the amount earmarked for personnel cost includes provisions for staff promotions, annual increments and recruitments in critical arrears particularly in the education and health sectors.
“It also includes provision for J-Teach under which we plan to engage up to about 4,000 unemployed tertiary education graduates with a minimum of NCE Certificates.
“Secondly, the provision for other recurrent expenditure consists of a number of major expenditure items such as operational maintenance of public utilities, including urban street lights and water supply schemes, maintenance of educational institutions, including students payment and Payments for National Examinations, payments of internal and external scholarships, and Payment of Vehicles Advances to Civil Servants.
“Thirdly, in accordance with the priorities of the budget, almost 50 per cent of the total proposed budgetary provisions are earmarked to the two most critical human development sectors namely education and health.
“The total provisions for recurrent and capital expenditure across these two sectors amount to about N78.25 billion equivalent to almost 50 per cent of the total budget.
“While the education sector accounts for 36.4 per cent of the total budget, the health sector allocations amount to about 13.5 per cent- about one point below the target mark of Abuja Declaration.
“This is largely due to the transfer of some recurrent expenditure aspects to the Local Government following their financial autonomy.
“Moreover, it is gratifying that the health sector is a major recipient of development assistance such that if support to the sector by the FCDO for LAFIYA and SUNMAP programAmes are to be quantified and factored into the budget, these would significantly offset the one per cent shortfall,” he said.
Responding, the Speaker of the assembly, Alhaji Isa Idris, commended the governor for presenting the budget on time, pointing out that it would give the house an ample time to scrutinize it.
Idris promised to ensure passage of the bill in line with procedure and provisions of the house standing rules.