PRESENTATION OF THE YEAR 2018 APPROPRIATION BILL AND BUDGET PROPOSALS TO ZAMFARA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ZAMFARA STATE, HONOURABLE ABDUL AZIZ ABUBAKAR YARI, SHATTIMAN ZAMFARA, ON MONDAY, 4TH DECEMBER 2017, AT THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, GUSAU
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members,
2. It is with great pleasure and gratitude to Allah subhanahu wata’ala that I present before this Honourable House the Appropriation Bill for the Zamfara State 2018 budget proposals for consideration and passage.
3. The 2018 budget is being presented at the time economic activities are gradually picking up following a debilitating recession experienced throughout 2016 up to the third quarter of 2017, when the country finally emerged out of it.
4. The experience of the past one and a half years was so grim that economic activities across most of the states of the federation were almost grounded. Many states could not even pay salaries of workers for several months. The soared prices of commodities that accompanied the period of the recession, low purchasing power among citizens of the country, and low output from the sectors of the economy pushed many families into the abyss of poverty, hunger and penury.
5. It is gladdening however to note that we have emerged out of the harrowing experience with new survivalist skills and strategy, and many lessons and experiences that will help in shaping our future, building a more enduring economy, and bringing prosperity to our people.
6. It is even more assuring to note that the indices released by the National Bureau for Statistics on the performance of the economy shows significant improvement of agriculture by 7.5% in the recent times as well as the encouraging trend in the oil market, which we hope will avail the three tiers of government the opportunity to deliver more on the needs and expectations of our people in the coming fiscal year.
7. On the home front, following the peace efforts between the State Government and armed bandits, the first quarter of 2017 witnessed a relative aura of peace in our rural communities which paved the way for our farmers to return to their abandoned farmlands. The rural economy was gingered by the peaceful atmosphere and picked up with amazing pace, thereby giving our farmers a bountiful opportunity most especially in rice production.
8. Sadly, from the second quarter of the year 2017, some undesirable groups of the armed bandits who earlier agreed to lay down their arms and embrace peace resumed attacks on villages across the state, which resulted in wanton loss of lives, property, and mass desertion of many villages, with the most recent attack in Maradun and Shinkafi Local Government Areas.
9. Let me use this spectacular opportunity to commiserate with our people especially those affected by the various incidents of kidnapping, cattle rustling and robbery that occurred in the year under review. Notably, my heart goes to the people of Maradun and Shinkafi Local Government Areas who recently became the victims of the nefarious activities of armed banditry.
10. As I keep on saying time and again, security is the utmost concern of our administration. In our line of duty, we shall leave no stone unturned in the restoration of peaceful co-existence among our people who are known for tolerance, hospitality and industry. We must also engage ourselves in prayers for divine intervention. May Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala continue to restore normalcy and bring prosperity to our state and our beloved country.
11. It is worthy of note that the Federal Government has responded decisively by staging the 2016 Nigerian Army Day in the state, massive deployment of troops under the established 1 Brigade Command, and stationing of 207 Quick Response Group of the Nigerian Air Force in Gusau, following the recent upsurge in the activities of cattle rustlers and other criminal elements in the state.
12. On this note, I would like to register our appreciation to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his continuous support in the protection of lives and property of the good people of Zamfara state.
13. The state has also experienced government-labour industrial dispute, as a result of some grievances by labour and trade unions in the state. As a step towards addressing some of the issues raised by the organised labour, we have come up with a policy of decentralisation of workers’ salaries which will help in ensuring control and discipline of the labour force by the ministries, departments, and agencies.
14. In furtherance to this, Government has also appointed a committee of stakeholders drawn from various trade unions and government towards amicable resolution of workers’ grievances.
15. Despite the fact that the economy is just rebounding after the recent crisis, and the resurfacing security issues, our administration has been able to record a number of achievements in terms of execution of public projects. Some of the projects were started within the past two or three years, but completed in 2017. Many of these projects were inaugurated in the days running up to the 6- year anniversary of our administration. The projects include:
104- kilometer Federal Road from Daki Takwas- Gummi to Sokoto State border, with spur to Mallamawa -Bukkuyum, and Gurusu to Nasarawar Burkullu; and Daki Takwas to Gadar Zaima – Kebbi border roads, which were constructed at the total cost of N7,569,744.195.94;
128-kilometre federal road from Magami- Dangulbi- Dankurmi- Sabon Birni- Bagega- to Anka being undertaken at the cost of N15,369,719,179.50;
20-kilometre Maradun township roads, constructed at the total cost of N2,764,067,827.50;
5-kilometre township road in Moriki, constructed at the cost of N733,976,336.87;
11-kilometre Danfanfo-Yarkofoji road, constructed at the total cost of N1,195,530,656.70;
educational projects undertaken at Government Girls’ Unity Secondary School, Kotorkoshi executed at the cost of N690,622,040.00;
complete reconstruction of Government Day Secondary School, Danturai at the cost of N380,343,765;
solar powered water project at Gamji village of Bakura Local Government Area, constructed at the total cost of N314,094,112.00;
projects undertaken at Bakura General Hospital at the total cost of N420,820,055.11;
projects undertaken at Government Girls’ College, Talata Mafara at the total cost of N937,689,209.00;
projects undertaken in Girls’ Comprehensive Secondary School, Moriki, executed at the total cost N239,374,836.05;
Command Science School (Girls), Gusau at the cost of N185,013,970.48 and Command Science School (Boys) Talata Mafara at the cost of N152,392,689.35;
electrification projects at Tsamiya, constructed at the cost of N31,434,416.00; Rakuma constructed at the cost of N43,548,536.00; Gwargawo at the cost of N39,251,162.00; Adarawa constructed at the cost of N44,622,992.00; Rafin Dankure at the cost of N49,052,728.00; and Gidan Dikko at the cost of N31,434,416.00;
renovation projects at Moriki General Hospital executed at the cost of N 495,558,321.83;
water projects at Furfuri, Garbadu, Morai, Rini, Gora, Kasuwar Daji, Kuryar Madaro, Kanwa, Dauran, Maradun South, and Moriki, each constructed at the cost of N314,094,112.00;
release of the sum of N400 million as counterpart fund for implementation of a UNICEF/DFID intervention in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene;
Garbadu Primary Healthcare Centre, constructed under the 2013 MDGs Conditional Grant Scheme at the cost of N55,160,666;
Mosques constructed for communities of Rini, Tunfafiya, Danfako, Dunfawa, Kwangwami, and Tungar Dada at the total cost of N74,532,239.05;
Anka jumu’at mosque, was constructed at the cost of N154,868,719.
16. In the area of security, we have been making efforts to address the huge security challenges. Only recently government procured and distributed 50 brand new Ford Ranger Pick-ups to the various security agencies to enhance surveillance, crime detection, and rapid response to various forms of security challenges across the state.
17. Before the end of this financial year, the following projects would insha-Allah be completed and inaugurated:
Dauran- Birnin Magaji- Kaura Namoda, awarded at the cost of N4,349,534,298.25;
Nahuche to Kyambarawa road, at the cost of N2,149,351,977.00;
Magami- Dangulbi- Sabon Birni- Bagega- Anka, at the cost of N15,369,719,179.05. Phase one of this road, that is Magami to Dankurmi, has been completed already;
Gusau Bypass Road being reconstructed at the cost of N2,298,368,167.80
18. At this point, let me state here that even though most of these projects were executed by the State Government, some of them were carried out through State and Local Governments Collaboration as well as counterpart funding with some donor agencies such as the Sustainable Development Goals Projects.
19. In realisation of the dream of the good people of Zamfara State and educational policy makers for establishment of a state university to cater for the university education needs of our teeming youths and professionals, the state government is more than ever before committed to the establishment of a Zamfara State University which will insha Allah take off in 2018/2019 academic session.
20. The committee appointed to fashion out all the necessary formalities for the take-off of the University has submitted an interim report and will round off its assignment in a few weeks’ time. A provision has therefore been made in the 2018 budget to carter for the financial requirements for the take-off which include both capital and recurrent expenditures.
21. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, let me clarify that in the course of implementation of the 2018 budget, we expect refund of the monies expended by Zamfara State Government for reconstruction of Federal Roads across the state, spanning over 610 kilometres. The road projects cost the State Government a total sum of Fifty-Six Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Four Million, Four Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Seven Naira, Twenty-Five Kobo (N56,974,478,357.25). Already, committees from both the executive and legislative arms of government at the federal level have visited the state to verify our claims. Some of these projects were commissioned by their Excellencies President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCON.
22. On this note, I am happy to inform the Honourable House and good people of Zamfara State that Mr President has graciously directed the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank to issue Promissory Notes, which is equivalent to cash payment, to the state in respect of reimbursement for the Federal Roads reconstructed by the State Government. On behalf of the people and the government of Zamfara State, I wish to use this opportunity to express our most profound appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for this kind gesture.
23. It is gratifying to note that the Federal Government has always been on its toes to ensure that the economies of the states of the federation remain steady. The various interventions of the Federal Government in ensuring economic stability in the states of the federation include: the bail out, Infrastructure Development Loan, facilitation of loan restructuring, London and Paris Club refunds, as well as Budget Support. Since the assumption of office of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Budget Support is being disbursed to the states whenever the Federation Account falls below six hundred billion naira, the Federal Government will release Budget Support to the states to augment the shortfall.
24. Similarly, the Federal Government has given the assurance to pay the balance of London and Paris Club deductions to states. Therefore, the 36 states of the federation have agreed with the President to factor it into their 2018 budgets.
25. As the year 2017 draws to an end, one of the key issues dominating debates across all parts of the country and particularly within the political spectrum is the issue of restructuring. We have no better time than now to make proper evaluation of state-of-affairs in the country and direct our energy towards building a formidable base for the state’s economy that will provide cushioning mechanism and viable alternatives for our people in the wake of possible outcomes of the current political agitations.
26. Within the past six years, our administration has invested heavily in the provision of rural and urban infrastructure, educational and health facilities, rural and urban water, and electricity in all parts of the state. It is my belief that if not for the intractable challenges of security in recent years, our state would have witnessed an unprecedented spate of agricultural revolution that will significantly uplift the living standard of the rural populace.
REVIEW OF 2017 BUDGET
27. Mr Speaker, distinguished Honourable Members, you may wish to recall that in the 2017 financial year, I presented a total estimate of N107,759,293,045, with the sum of N37,720,164,105, representing 35.01%, earmarked for recurrent expenditure and the sum of N70,019,000,000, representing 64.98%, dedicated to capital expenditure.
28. By the end of August, the 2017 Budget performance in both revenue and expenditure stood at 57.39%. This indicates that the sum of N66,200,856,789 was expended from January to August. Within the same period under review, the recurrent expenditure to the tune of N34,802,532,748 was carried out, while the capital expenditure to the tune of N30,688,576,434 was also carried out.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PROPOSED 2018 BUDGET
29. The 2018 policy measures will focus on consolidating our gains and therefore all our existing policy objectives will be maintained. It is therefore a budget of consolidation. We intend to consolidate our initiatives on cost efficiency and effectiveness in all areas of government’s fiscal operations through:
i. Improved internal revenue generation to reduce overdependence on federal allocations and short-term loans;
ii. Creating sustainable development in urban and rural areas through the construction of access road networks, improvement of secondary and tertiary education, healthcare facilities to reduce diseases, child and maternal mortality, and malnutrition as well as provision of other basic social services such as water supply, electricity and affordable housing;
iii. Redefining of government’s role in the economy through looking at options of liberalizing state-owned companies and changing the value and culture system towards entrepreneurship; and
iv. Sustenance of good governance through budgetary and public finance reforms, promotion of transparency and accountability by ensuring due process in government businesses as well as improving security of lives and property of our people.
30. Mr. Speaker, distinguished Honourable Members, the proposed 2018 budget is estimated at N130,791,068,950 which has an increase of N23,031,775,905 against the 2017 budget. The proposal is based on the projected revenues of N46,449,068,950 and N84,342,000,000 for recurrent and capital for the year.
31. Out of N130,791,068,950 proposed 2018 estimates, the sum of N46,449,068,950, which represents 35.5%, is earmarked for recurrent expenditure; while the sum of N84,342,000,000, which represents 64.5%, is for capital expenditure.
Sectoral Allocation of Capital Expenditure
32. The sum of N84,342,000,000 is allocated to the Capital Expenditure, representing 64.5% of the total proposed budget, is distributed among the main sectors of our economy as follows:
i. Economic sector: This sector consists of agriculture, livestock, forestry, manufacturing, power-supply, transport, commerce, cooperatives and finance. The sector is very crucial to the wellbeing of our people, and growth and development of the state in general. Based on this consideration therefore, the sector receives the sum of N33,486,000,000, which is further distributed to the subsectors as follows:
Transport – N20,830,000,000
Agricultural Sub-sector – N5,921,000,000
Power Supply – N3,000,000,000
Manufacturing – N2,130,000,000
Livestock – N985,000,000
Forestry – N300,000,000
Fisheries – N200,000,000
Commerce, Cooperatives and Finance – N120,000,000
ii. Social Sector: This sector covers education, health, information, youth and social welfare. This sector is allocated N21,344,000,000 with Education sub-sector receiving the highest allocation of N13,323,000,000 and followed by Health with N5,130,000,000, Information N1,306,000,000, Youths N820,000,000 and Social Welfare N765,000,000.
iii. Environment Sector: The sum of N22,195,000,00 is allocated to this sector to carter for water, drainages, housing, town planning and community development. The Town Planning takes the highest allocation of N15,800,000,000 followed by water supply with N4,345,000,000, Housing with N1,430,000,000, Drainages with N320,000,000, and Community Development with N300,000,000.
iv. Administration Sector: As the machinery for the implementation of government policies and programmes, the sum of N7,317,000,000 is earmarked for the sector.
33. Before I end this presentation, I would like to once again thank Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members for the continued support and cooperation which makes it easier for us to discharge our responsibilities to the people of Zamfara State. We are indeed very appreciative of the understanding of this hallowed chamber to our government at all times.
34. It is our sincere hope and prayer that the Honourable House will expedite action in the quick passage of this appropriation bill, so that we can start implementing the budget at the beginning of the first week of January 2018.
35. Let me also use this medium to express my profound appreciation to the good people of Zamfara State for their prayers, goodwill, support, and understanding which is always key to the successes recorded by this administration since its inception in May 2011.
36. Finally, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I have the pleasure to present before you the Appropriation Bill for the 2018 Budget estimates to the tune of N130,791,068,950 which is made up of N46,449,068,950 and N84,342,000,000 as recurrent and capital expenditures respectively for your consideration and passage into law.
37. I thank you very much and pray to Almighty Allah to guide you in all your deliberations.
38. Wassalamu alaikum