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Paul Orude, Bauchi
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State, on Wednesday, signed into law the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N167.899, 220,800 billion passed by the state’s Assembly.
The proposed budget was submitted to the House by the Governor December 28, 2017, for passage.
Governor Abubakar signed into law the proposed “Budget of Consolidation”, in company of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Shehu Kawuwa Damina, and some state lawmakers, Secretary to Bauchi State Government, Muhammad Nadada Umar, Chief of Staff, Abdul Sule Katagum, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Uba Nana, newly sworn-in commissioners and special advisers (APC), among other top government officials at Government House, Bauchi.
He disclosed that education took the lion share of 19.22 per cent while the health sector will gulp 15.23 per cent of the budget entire in the year ahead.
He said that while recurrent expenditure would consume 40 per cent of the 2018 budget, capital expenditure would consume 60, saying, “for the second year running, Bauchi State has put together a budget in which the capital expenditure takes the pride of place over recurrent expenditure. This a rare occurrence in Nigeria, including the Federal Government of Nigeria’s budget.”
Governor Abubakar said that the state government would spend more for the entire people rather than a small segment like civil service.
He explained that the allocation of 19.22 per cent to the education is in line with the effort to revamp started p the sector saying the efforts have started bearing fruits with mass improvements in education from 3.5 per cent in 2015 to 27.8 per cent in 2017 in terms of percentage success in WAEC and NECO.
He said that the allocation of 15.23 per cent to health surpasses the Abuja Declaration which requests for government to allocate at least 15 per cent to health saying ours has consistently been above the 15 per cent mark”
He, however, expressed dissatisfy action with results so far achieved in the health sector, assuring that in 2018, there would be a marked difference between the way things were done and how things will be done. We have stared by injecting things and turning things around”
The governor disclosed that the implementation strategies will include the completion of all on-projects and the diversifying of the economy of the state in the area of in agriculture, solid minerals and tourism.
“By tomorrow (March 15) experts are arriving from the Czech Republic, Geologists that will go round the state with a view to ensuring that they conduct studies on the available minerals and putting together reports.
“We have the minerals but that will not fetch any money for the government unless we determine the availability and quantity and then support them with scientific findings to attract large scale mining to the state,” he said.
He commended the state lawmakers for the speedy passage of the 2018 Budget Appropriation and said that the N52 million reduction in the interest of the people and praised the commitment of members of the State Assembly for being at the forefront of advancing the interest of the state.
“We are lucky to have the type of legislation that we have. A lot of them are young men and woman but behave in mature manners when it comes to legislature and that is why we have enjoyed mutual relationship.