By Abdul Ahmad Burra
Summary of proceedings during the plenary of the Bauchi State House of Assembly presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman, today, Thursday 18th November, 2021:
- Votes and proceedings of Tuesday 16th November, 2021 were adopted by the Honourable House as moved and seconded by the Deputy Majority Leader Hon. Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu (Azare/Madangala Constituency) and Minority Leader Hon. Bakoji Aliyu Bobbo.
- Report of the House Commitee on Budget and Appropriation on the Bauchi State Government of Nigeria Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU) Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and Budget Policy Statement (BPS) to cover period of 2022-2024, was laid by the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Abdulkadir Umar Dewu (Kirfi Constituency).
According to the findings of the Committee, the Bauchi State Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2022 is based on the estimated national variables of oil benchmark of $57 per barrel, daily oil production of 1 88mb and exchange rate N410.15 to 1 US dollar, inflation rate of 13.0% and Gross Domestic Product of growth rate of 4.29%, the Bauchi State Statutory Allocation is projected to increase by 20%, VAT by 17% while internally generated revenue is estimated to increase by 15%, capital receipts is projected to decrease by 28% owing to the reduction in securing loan facilities to finance capital projects and the recurrent expenditure of the State is projected to increase slightly by 2.5% and capital expenditure will increase substantially largely due to government effort to complete ongoing projects and initiation of new ones.
The Committee therefore recommended that the State Government should focus attention on eliminating waste and ensuring prudent and efficient use of scarce resources and unnecessary extra budgetary spendings by MDAs should be sanctioned.
The Appropriation Committee also recommended that budget submissions for capital projects must include full time capital investment requirements and sources of funding if grants or loans are being used to partially or fully fund project.
The committee therefore recommended that the Honourable House should consider and adopt the EFU l, FSP and BPS to cover the period of 2022-2024 to provide legal backing for the implementation of these outlined laudable government policies, programmes, projects and priorities for the betterment and improvement of living standards and conditions of its citizens.
The Honourable House adopted the recommendations of the Committee.
- Speaker Abubakar Y Suleiman requested the approval the Honourable House to allow the Executive Governor of the Bauchi State His Excellency Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammad to come into the chamber for the presentation of the Bauchi State 2022 Appropriation Bill.
The Honourable House unanimously approved the motion.
- Presenting the budget, the Governor thanks the Speaker, the principal officers and the Honourable members of the House for the continued support they have received in the discharge of their constitutional mandate of serving the people and acknowledges the citizens of the State for the confidence they have reposed in them and assure them of their unequivocal commitment toward s serving them to the best of their ability and with the fear of the Almighty Allah, unto whom we shall all return.
According to the Governor, over the last two years they made concerted efforts towards improving the social- economic lives of our people and they have steered the affairs of the State onto a trajectory of sustainable development and continuous progress.
Governor Bala Mohammad stated that: “the global economy is set to expand by 5.6 percent in 2021 – its strongest post-recession pace in 80 years. This recovery is uneven and largely reflects sharp rebounds in some major economies. In many emerging market s and developing economies, obstacles to vaccination continue to weigh on activity with recovery expected to be slower than in advanced economies, leading to a widening rift in incomes. This divergence is expected to persist through the medium term—partly reflecting different access to vaccines, but also stark differences in the availability of policy support.
“The outlook remains extremely uncertain, and risks are tilted to the downside including the possibility of additional covid-19 waves and financial stress amid high debt levels . In particular, the recovery depends on the path of the global pandemic and vaccination effort, and is also vulnerable to disruptions in global activity and financial markets . There is thus the need to balance the support for recovery while safeguarding price stability and fiscal sustainability.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa , the economy is set to grow by 3.8 percent in 2022. This rebound is most welcome and largely results from a sharp improvement in global trade and commodity prices. Regional activity is expected to expand modestly. Positive spill-overs from strengthening global activity, better international control of C ovid-19, and strong domestic activity in agricultural commodity exports are expected to gradually help lift growth.
“The growth is however envisioned to be fragile, given the legacies of the pandemic and the slow pace of vaccinations in the region. In a region where millions of people are estimated to have slipped into extreme poverty, per capita income growth is set to remain feeble, reversing only a small part of losses incurred over the last year. Increases in food prices could further worsen food insecurity, rising internal tensions and conflicts, thereby causing deeper-than-expected long term damage from the pandemic.
“The economic growth for Nigeria has been projected a t 2. 7 percent in 2022 , up from 2.6 per cent growth for this year arising mainly from the recovery in non-oil sectors and the rising price of crude oil even though oil production is expected to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels . Growth will remain at this level over the medium term, allowing GDP per capita to stabilize at current levels, notwithstanding long-standing structural problems and elevated uncertainties .
“Re – opening of borders is anticipated to increase access to inputs , and ease pressure on domestic prices and inflation. Downside risks include reduced fiscal space, should oil prices remain depressed. In addition, flooding and rising insecurity could hamper agricultural production. Depletion in foreign reserves could also lead to sharp exchange rate depreciation and inflationary pre ssures. High unemployment at 27%, poverty at 40% and growing inequality remain a major challenge. A potential relapse in C ovid-19 cases could exacerbate these risks.”
The Governor added that in Bauchi, exploration activities by the NNPC at the Kolmani River at Alkaleri LGA had revealed huge deposits of oil and gas with oil prospecting licences (OPL) 809 and 810 advertised by the NNPC which is expected to usher in a lot of economic activity that should reverse the pervasive narrative of poverty and underdevelopment of the people.
Senator Bala Mohammad highlighted that the massive infrastructural development embarked upon by the State Government especially in roads had opened up hitherto productive but inaccessible areas with a potential to create wider markets . Similarly , the massive housing development projects embarked upon across the major urban areas has not only impacted to reduce the huge housing deficit , but has also created hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs to mitigate against the job losses brought about by Covid-19 and stimulate commercial activities in the markets.
“We are at the final stages towards the commencement of the implementat ion of the Nigeria-Cares Programme ; an interventionist measure initiated with the World Bank aimed at improving the lives of our people from the crutches of poverty, economic losses and deprivation exacerbated by the pandemic. The programme will be built on three key result areas . The first focuses on Social Transfers, Basic Services and Livelihood Support to Poor and Vulnerable Households. The second component will address the issue of Food Security and Safe Functioning of Food Supply Chains. The third area will support initiatives aimed at facilitating recovery and enhancement of capabilities of Micro and Small Enterprises.
Each of these components will further have a number of implementing platforms that will develop and monitor social infrastructure ; service micro projects; deliver inputs an d services to farmers; invest in various types of agricultural assets and infrastructure; improve food supply chains in underserved areas ; and support programmes that will increase the employment of our graduates.
“Furthermore, the project will seek to provide quick financial intermediation to needed enterprises in order to promote and facilitate household micro and small enterprises among others. It is gratifying to note that we are on course to meeting the eligibility criteria for participation , with the project due to start within the coming year.” He explained
On the implementation of the 2021 budget, the Governor stated that the rebound of the economy from the challenges brought by the pandemic has been weak and had therefore brought with it a number of challenges in the implementation of the 2021 budget.
“Inability to meet projected revenue streams had consequently affected the overall performance of the budget. In spite of that , we have prudently manage d the resources available to a considerable degree of performance.
“For the Recurrent Re venue comprising Statutory and Independent Revenue sources; out o f t he sum of N126,797,091,114 .00 projected; the sum of N67,2 02,678,578 .00 representing about 53 % was realized as at the end of the third quarter . In terms Capital Receipts; out of the N 61,784,718,660:00 projected , the sum of N 41,047,921,731:00 or 66.4 % was realized as at September, 2021. For Recurrent Expenditure; the sum of N58,110,388,904.00 was realized from the projected sum of N92,994,971,654.00 during the same period. This represents a performance of 62.5%.Related to Capital Expenditure performance ; the sum of N66,863,378,977.00 w as realized from the budgeted sum of N120,919,587,772.00 representing 55.3%. We remain optimistic that our Budget implementation will attain 85% at the end of the fiscal year .
“The Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, We have remained committed working with the security agencies, towards maintaining social order, peace and security across the State and will continue to take every step to ensure that the security of l ives and property of the citizens is guaranteed and that the State remains acknowledged as one of the most peaceful .
“Let me reiterate, for the umpteenth time, that m y Administration i s determined to ensure the sanitization of the State’s payroll in order to free resources for other important activities in the overall public interest . We are overly optimistic that the measures we have taken will yield the ultimate results and therefore call for further understanding of the intention of the Government to ensure the right things are done.
“Mr. Speaker, Honorable members, we have consistently made commitments over the last two years to make improvements in Agriculture, Education, Healthcare delivery, Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene as well as the development of Natural Resources among others . Infrastructure has in fact been at the centre of o ur developmental efforts and has received considerable attention. Road s construction all across the State have been completed or are at advanced stages of completion. Similar ly, we have invested heavily in housing and urban renewal projects which are aimed at giving the citizens a new lease of life
The Governor told the Assembly that the 2022 budget is prepared based on the Medium -Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF ) in compliance with Bauchi State Fiscal Responsibility Law (2009 ) and the National Format and C hart of Accounts, to improve the quality of financial reporting in line with the International Public-Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and it has been predicated on the national assumptions of oil production of 1.88 million barrels per day ; bench mark oil price of 57 US dollars per barrel ; an exchange rate of N 410.15 to the US dollar and an improved and efficient system of internally generated revenue collection.
He further said that the Government has in the cours e of the preparation of the 2022 Budget taken the following measures into consideration: –
“Ensure the completion of on-going projects only . Propose new projects only on the basis of critical need and the immediate impact it would make on the lives of the people.Ensure r eduction in non-essential overheads. Compliance with Budget guidelines issued by the Nigerian Governors Forum to ensure peer review and comparability . Maintenance of critical spending on core Government services. Compliance with debt servicing or repayment agreements in order to meet up our obligations. Application of loans only to finance critical capital expenditure projects and target favourable sources of Capital Receipt s and financing such as Aids and Grants, PPP, etc.”
According to the Governor, the sum of N195,355,607,143 :00 has been budgeted for Capital and Recurrent services during the 2022 fiscal year. This comprises of Recurrent Expenditure of N 8 4,375,180,518 :00 or 43% while Capital Expenditure receives the sum of N 110,620,426,625 :00 or 57%.
“The 2022 proposed Budget is 8.5 % lower than that of this year. The reduction was arrived at in order to align our projections with the current economic realities especially related to our ability to meet anticipated revenues . This conservative approach was adopted to ensure that projects and programmes captured are implemented.
“Mr Speaker, Honourable members, the process of the preparation of the budget has been all inclusive. Budget Public Hearings were conducted in the three Senatorial Districts where input s from Stakeholders were elicit ed and incorporated into the Budget.
“The sum of N 100,893,132,559.25 is estimated as Recurrent Revenue. This is made up of the following:
Internally Generated Revenue 24,494,940 , 253
- Statutory Allocation 66,938,107 , 748
- VAT 15,608,321 , 097 107,541 ,369,098
(b) Recurrent Expenditure Estimates
A total sum of N 84,735,180 , 519 is earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure. The breakdown as follows:-
- Personnel Cost 37,004,732 ,2 26
- Overhead Cost 47,730,448 , 292
TOTAL 8 4,735,180 , 519
It is projected that the State will realize Capital Receipts in the sum of N 71,926,293,53 7 in the following areas:
- Loans (Internal & External) 37,359,24 4 , 994
- Aids and Grants 27,035 ,467 , 936
- Other Capital Receipts 7,531 ,580 , 607
TOTAL 71,926,293,53 7
(C) CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
Capital Expenditure has been proposed in the sum of N 110,620,426,625 in the following sectors :
- ADMINISTRATIVE SECTOR 7,485 ,890 , 598
- ECONOMIC SECTOR 57,074,81 4 , 525
- LAW AND JUSTICE SECTOR 1,86 0,0 00,000
- REGIONAL SECTOR 13,967, 62 6 , 982
- SOCIAL SECTOR 30,232,094 , 520
TOTAL 110 ,620,426 , 625.”
The Governor solicits the continuous support and cooperation of this Honourable House as usual in their collective efforts towards the development of their dear State and in improving the lives of its citizens .
He appreciates the House for rapt attention to the presentation of the 2022 Budget which he tagged the ‘ BUDGET OF CONSOLIDATION and CONTINUOUS COMMITMENT ’ and appeal to the Honourable House to expedite action towards passing the Budget into law to enable Government implement the programmes and projects that will have significant impact on our people .
Thereafter, the Governor laid the proposed Budget to the Honourable House.
In his response, Speaker Abubakar Y Suleiman welcomed and extended the Assembly’s sincere appreciation to Hi Excellency, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammad CON, Kauran Bauchi, for coming to the House to present the Budget in fulfilment of the obligations of his office as provided by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The Speaker recalled that it was just like yesterday when just over a year ago,they gathered in the Hallowed Chamber to receive the 2021 budget proposal.
“You may recall, we made commitments to the good people of Bauchi State and promised to pass the budget promptly and we fulfilled that promise.
“I therefore thank my Hon colleagues for the dedication and commitment they exhibited last year during the process of appropriation. I recall, during that period, that Hon Members and Staff of the Assembly worked tirelessly day and night with a view to ensuring that we achieve our commitment of passing the Bill into law before the end of December.
- Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I want to assure you that we are ready to exhibit the same commitment for the good of the people of Bauchi State.” He said
The Speaker assured that the Honourable Members will dispassionately scrutinise the budget and ensure its timely passage, saying they cannot afford a return to the old practices and they must do everything within the powers conferred on the by the Constitution to avoid such an outcome.
“Let me at this juncture, on behalf of my colleagues, assure Your Excellency and the good people of Bauchi State, that we will work with Ministries, Departments and Agencies to deliver a budget that meets the yearnings and aspirations of the good people of Bauchi State. While doing this, we will insha Allah maintain highest standards of integrity so that our deliberations and contributions will be motivated by considerations of the best interests of the good people of Bauchi State.
“Your Excellency, distinguished Honourable Colleagues, from the available records on oversight functions by the various standing committees of the House and other reliable sources, the implementation of the 2021 appropriation law, which is about 58.4% as at the end of 3rd Quarter, has attained a significant milestone towards the development of the State. This may not be unconnected with the zeal, determination and commitment of His Excellency, the Executive Governor and of course the close monitoring of the State Assembly, to ensure an equitable distribution of resources accrued to the State for the benefit of the entire citizenry.
“I thank and commend His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State an indeed my Distinguished Honourable Colleagues for our sustained demonstration of an untiring commitment to the delivery of public good through peaceful co-existence and harmonious working relationship.” The Speaker further stated.
- Majority Leader Hon. Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu moved that the Honourable House should allow the Executive Governor of Bauchi State His Excellency Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammad to take his leave. He was seconded by the Minority Leader Hon. Bakoji Aliyu Bobbo.
After the Speaker puts the motion to voice vote, the Honourable Members approved.
The Governor left the Chamber.
- Majority Leader Hon. Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu moved that the Bauchi State 2022 appropriation Bill should be allowed to undergo second reading. He was seconded by the Minority Leader Hon. Bakoji Aliyu Bobbo.
After the Honourable Members voted in favour of the motion, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House Umar Yusuf Gital Esq to carryout the second reading.
Majority Leader Hon. Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu suggested that the Honourable House should refer the Bill to Appropriation Committee and the Committee should give all House committees two weeks to engage all MDAs and report back to the House and the Bill should be
Minority Leader Hon. Bakoji Aliyu Gusau suggested that the House Commitee should come up with a time table for the engagements with ministries.
The Honourable House referred the Bill to the House Committee on Budget and Appropriation a d directed it to come up with time table for various standing committees of the House to engage ministries, departments and agencies.
- The Honourable House adjourned to Tuesday 23rd November, 2021 as moved and seconded by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader.
Refineries Not Created To Reduce Petrol Price, Kyari Tells Senate
Forty eight hours after being summoned by the Senate, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has now appeared before the joint committee on appropriations.
The Senate had issued a 24-hour ultimatum on Wednesday to the NNPCL boss after an observations that he had in previous occasions, shunned summons by the Senate to appear before its ad-committee probing over 11 trillion naira expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.
Responding to questions by the senate committee on appropriations on the potential drop in pump price of petroleum owing to the expected functionality of refineries, Kyari clarified his comment after he was interrogated again. He explained that it might be possible to have a reduction, but it is not the main objective of the refineries.
He buttressed that maintaining the energy security target has fostered the confidence that in 2024, Nigeria will become a net exporter of petroleum products.
The NNPCL boss affirmed that no subsidy is charged to the federation, adding that the NNPC has contributed 4.45 trillion naira as direct revenue into the federation in a combination of taxes, royalties and dividends and paid 406 billion naira as dividend to Federal Government’s account from July 2023.
According to him, Nigeria does not have credible data for PMS consumption in the country because of the absence of the instrument to measure.
The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, had on Wednesday, directed Kyari to appear before the committee in 24 hours.
Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.
They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government. Channels TV.
Labour Leaders Meet To Work Out Living Wages
Ahead of the expected resumption of negotiation between the Federal Government and the organised labour on the new Minimum Wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is meeting in Abuja to brainstorm so as to arrive at a living wage that is commensurate with the prevailing cost of living.
This came as the NLC has vowed not to be deterred by the recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State, which it said poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
These were contained in the welcome address by the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, at the Opening Session of the NLC 2023 Harmattan School with the theme: “Building Workers’ Skills for Policy Engagement” in Abuja.
Ajaero, represented by the Congress Deputy President, Benjamin Anthony said: “In the face of adversity and brutality encountered while advocating for the rights of workers to earn their legitimate income and benefits, our resolve remains unwavering. We are motivated to continue our efforts towards achieving decent work and improving working conditions in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“The recent assault on workers and their leaders in Imo State poses a grave threat to freedom of association and collective bargaining as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining, and should unequivocally be condemned by all people of goodwill.
“The only thing that can assuage our pains is for the Imo State Government to address all labour issues and return the so called ‘ghost workers’ to their jobs, pay all outstanding salaries and pensions and call back all victimized workers to their jobs.
“It has become very necessary for governments at all levels to recognize that life and living conditions are exceedingly difficult, especially for working people in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.”
“The removal of subsidy on petroleum products has further exacerbated the challenges faced by working people, unleashing severe pain and contributing to galloping inflation and increasing inequality and poverty.
“We must reckon that a well-motivated and well-remunerated workforce has a positive impact on productivity and national development,” he added.
He implored participants to approach the training programme with a quest and thirst for knowledge through asking of questions and sharing of experiences with the facilitators and with one another.
He thanked the representative of the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Country Director of the ILO for the English Speaking, West African Countries, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, the Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES, Country Director of the Solidarity Centre, members of the NAC, CWC and NEC of the NLC for finding time to attend the Opening Session of the 2023 School.
Operatives Of NDLEA Uncover Illicit Drugs Concealed In Dolls, Local Soap, Milo Tins
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have uncovered illicit substances bound for Europe, United Arab Emirates and Asia.
Disclosing this in a statement on Sunday, NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said the illicit substances intercepted included various quantities of methamphetamine and opioids concealed in hems of new jeans trousers, dolls, buttons, local soap and tins of milo beverage.
Noting that the operation was carried out by operatives of the Directorate of Operations and General Investigation (DOGI) at courier houses in Lagos, he said some of the items seized included tramadol 225mg concealed in hems of new jeans trousers heading to Cyprus; shipment of cannabis sativa hidden in heads of dolls going to Dubai; sachets of tramadol 225mg buried in tins of milo beverage going to UAE; and another set of same drug hidden in local soap also going to UAE.
Others were a consignment of methamphetamine concealed in buttons heading to Hong Kong; and a shipment of another illicit substance coming from Florida, USA.
“Operatives in Lagos on Friday 1st December also arrested a drug kingpin, Okechukwu Ogala, 56, who specialises in exploiting and recruiting young citizens to export meth to Asian countries.
“He was arrested at Blue Moon Hotel in Okota area of Lagos with 60 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.009 kilograms.
“In another operation in Lagos, operatives on Friday 1st December recovered 393kgs of cannabis in a shop at Akala, Mushin while a suspect, Justin Enuonye, who deals in Canadian Loud was arrested by the police at Victoria Island and transferred to Lagos Command of NDLEA on Friday 1st December with 154 parcels weighing 92kgs.
“A team of NDLEA operatives also intercepted a vehicle at Oyingbo area of Lagos and recovered 108kgs of cannabis from it, while 675 kilograms of the same substance were recovered from the store of a wanted dealer, Wahab Olota at Adedoja area of Mushin, Lagos,” Babafemi said. Channels TV.
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