Gov Bello presents over N238b 2023 budget to Assembly

From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna

Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello has presented N238,924,457,782.47 2023 fiscal year budget titled: ‘Budget of Consolidation and Transition’, before the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The governor said this serves as the last budget presentation by the administration, and the fiscal estimate is designed to consolidate its past achievements, in moving the state forward.

He called on the incoming administration to seriously explore the abundant opportunities available in agriculture, tourism, and mineral resources to boost the state’s internal revenue.

The 2023 budget, which is 2.96% higher than the 2022 appropriation, is made up of N91,044,745,351.31 or 38.11% recurrent expenditure while N147,879,712,431.16 or 61.89% is proposed for capital expenditure.

Governor Bello disclosed that the proposed budget is expected to be financed by the Statutory Allocation of N61,094,737,097.00 representing 25.57%; Value Added Tax (VAT) of N35,616,260,802.00 or 14.90%; Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N22,519,483,986.00 or 9.43%; Excess Crude/Other Revenue of N4,257,726,144 or 1.78% and Capital Receipts of N115,436,249,753.47 or 48.30%.

While emphasizing on the need to look inward to grow the state’s economy, the governor reiterated the necessity for the review of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), stressing that attention would be given to infrastructural development to attract private sector investment to enhance earnings.

In this regard, the Economic Sector has the highest estimate of N98,786,069,351.92 or 66.80%  of the capital expenditure. The social sector is earmarked N38,442,105,896.73 (26.00%), Administrative Sector has N9,326,537,182.51 or 6.30% while the Law and Justice Sector gets N1,325,000,000.00 representing 0.90%.

The governor stated that the administration will continue to support farmers and boost agricultural productivity, in view of the sector’s obvious, strategic importance as the major occupation of the state’s teeming population and the backbone of its economy.

“We will intensify effort to complete the Bobi Grazing Reserve and revamp others. As a potential source of revenue, the state government will continue to solicit the support of appropriate federal government agencies and private investors to develop our tourism potentials. We will also encourage solid minerals development, in order to diversify the state’s economy,” he added.

He said the state government will, in the 2023 fiscal year, prioritize the completion of the numerous road projects that have attained 80-90% completion level, as well as conclude those already initiated, while directing contractors to resume back to their respective sites immediately.

The governor appreciated members of the state Assembly, as well as the judiciary for their continued cooperation with the executive arm, in an effort to collectively improve the quality of life of the people of the state.

He also expressed gratitude to all Niger citizens or their abiding faith in his administration.

In his remark, Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Wuse commended the executive arm for the presentation of the 2023 budget estimate and assured of commitment to ensure quick passage of the appropriation bill.

The Speaker also promised to collectively work with the executive and relevant agencies to vigorously improve on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state for the betterment of all.

In another development, Niger state Assembly approved the sum of N14 billion term loan in a letter sent by Governor Bello which was read during plenary by the Speaker of the House before his presentation of the 2023 budget.

The governor, in the letter explained that the state is desirous to breach the funding gap created by the shortfall in the monthly cash flow from the federation account allocation committee.

According to the letter “it stipulated a tenure of 60 months of exposure that payment translated to manageable cost, hence to facilitate structure to  ease the securement with comfort for repayment.”

However, the House unanimously approved the loan without referring to the relevant committee for scrutiny.

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