By Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi.
Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, has signed the 2020 revised budget of N99.7 billion naira.
Speaking at the event Gov. Bagudu said the revised budget was down with more than N38 billion, from the nearly N138.13 billion naira earlier presented to the State House of Assembly, for passage.
The governor stated that the downward review of the budget was occasioned by the negative toll of the raging Coronavirus pandemic which as affects the global economy of the countries.
Bagudu further explained that, the obnoxious trend had forced the Federal and state governments to effect downward reviews of their various budgets for the 2020 fiscal year.
Bagudu said: “The sad development had necessitated the Federal Government and the members of the Nigerian Governors Forum to reduce their respective budgets. Adding that the compulsory action had led to the reduction of the expected revenues and the downsizing of the planned activities, sequel to sliding revenues.”
The Kebbi Governor however noted that, in Nigeria, the problem was alleviated by the commendable action of the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, in the health sector for instance, the setting up of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 ,had greatly assuaged the negative impact of the pandemic, alongside the evolution of the nearly N2.3 trillion economic stimulus package by the Federal Government.
The Governor also lauded development partners like the IMF and World Bank that had offered to assist both the Federal and State governments.
Bagudu further explained, that The World Bank is to specifically assist the states with a $750 million stimulus package but as “Part of the conditions given are the downward review of budgets, assenting to them and publishing same, on or before July 31,2020, and which we have met today.”
Bagudu extolled the invaluable contributions of the various stakeholders in the state, hence, reduced the effect of the pandemic in the state. He therefore acknowledged the contributions of the state Task Force on COVID-19, coordinated by the Deputy Governor and headed by the Commissioner for Health, State House of Assembly, The health workers, the Media, traditional rulers, the security and other key stakeholders.
He also commended his wife, Dr Zainab Bagudu for tirelessly mobilizing drugs, medicaments and facilities from various partners.
The Governor noted that inspite of the economic downturn brought about by Covid-19 pandemic, both the Federal and the state governments have recorded some remarkable achievements.
He spoke about the ongoing laying of gas pipelines from Ajaokuta to Kano through Kaduna, the ongoing exploration and exploitation of oil in Bauchi and Gombe state which will soon make them become oil producting states as well as the ongoing road reconstruction from Koko to Yauri, Illo to Bami road, and Maga to Unashi among others.
Bagudu announced that the 20 billion-naira Tomatoes processing factory has started operation in Ngaski local government in spite of the covid-19 pandemic.
The governor also announced that of recent, he presented 4.5kilogram gold bar produced from gold deposit mined in Yauri, Kebbi State worth 719 thousand dollars to Mr. President, he expressed optimism that tones of gold would be produced before the end of the year.
He further stated that his administration has signed an agreement with a professional private firm for the construction of 5000 housing units in the state and work will start within a month.
On the revised budget, Bagudu commended the members of the State House of Assembly for diligently passing the amended budget in record time.
In his remarks the Speaker, Kebbi State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Samaila Abdulmumin Kamba, said, the state legislature attached greater importance to the revised budget and that was why it was passed within two weeks it was submitted to the house.
Kamba lauded all the members of the assembly, especially the members of the committees on finance , appropriation, budget, due process, among others.
Present at the budget signing ceremony were the state deputy governor, Alhaji Samaila Yombe Dabai, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Suleiman Muhammad Ambursa, Deputy Speaker, Muhammadu Buhari Aliero and members of the assembly.
Others include, the Chief of Staff Government House Birnin Kebbi, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad Argungu, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Babale Umar Yauri , the Acting Head of Service, Hajiya Fatima Sani Ango, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and other top government functionaries