By Zubairu Idris
Katsina, Nov. 18,2020 Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State, on Wednesday presented a budget proposal of N282.7 billion for 2021 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for consideration.
Masari, while presenting the appropriation bill christened “Budget of Recovery and Consolidation,” said it was designed for the completion of ongoing projects and to initiate new ones that could be completed within the term of his administration.
He said that N196.2 billion representing 70 per cent of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure, while N86.4 billion representing 30 per cent would go for recurrent expenditure.
Masari said that the 2021 budget is N103.6 billion higher than that of 2020.
The initial approved 2020 budget of the state was N244 billion, but was revised to N213 billion and further cut down to N179.1 billion as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on crude oil price.
The governor said that the recurrent expenditure in the 2021 budget comprised of personnel cost, N30.6 billion, overhead cost, N42.9 billion, and consolidated revenue charges would take N12.9 billion.
He also revealed that for the capital expenditure, N135.9 billion had been earmarked for the Economic sector, Social sector – N104.1 billion, Administration – N38 billion with Law and Justice getting N4.7 billion.
Masari added that the “Restoration Plan” of the administration included projects, policies and programmes to be implemented in education, health, water resources, agriculture, environment, works, housing and transport sectors.
He also said that even though coronavirus (COVID-19) devastated economies worldwide, the state recorded minimal impact.
“In Katsina State, we were able to continue with social services and other entitlements to the existing and retired workers as well as settlement of contractors.
“My sincere appreciation goes to the entire residents of Katsina state for maintaining peace and order during the trying period of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Masari said.
He also commended the people of the state for the understanding and maturity exhibited by not participating in the recent EndSARS protests in parts of the country.
The governor called on religious and traditional leaders to intensify prayer for God’s intervention to bring an end to banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling other criminal activities bedevilling the state.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Alhaji Tasiu Musa-Maigari, assured of the expeditious passage of the budget to enable the government deliver on its promises to the people.
Musa-Maigari, therefore urged Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to adhere strictly to the timetable that would be sent to them for budget defence.
He also urged the MDAs to intensify efforts toward improving their revenue drive.
According to him, the lawmakers would continue to perform their oversight functions to enable the government improve the living condition of the people and move the state forward.