Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Thursday presented N176.7 billion as the proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for approval.
Tambuwal said that the Appropriation bill included capital expenditure of N95.5 billion, personnel cost of N36.2 billion and overhead cost of N30 billion.
Others expenditures are Interest payment on debt N9.1 billion, pension and gratuity and public debt service N4.2 billion and internal debt service N1.6 billion.
The Governor said the budget, tagged: “Budget of consolidation and Socio-economic emancipation,” would focus on reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructures damage and destroyed by flood disaster.
He said that it would also focus on the completion of projects started in 2020 as well as the execution of new ones.
He said the budget was carefully formulated in tandem with the State government desire to address the fundamental needs of the people in all parts of the State.
“Sokoto State is one of the few states in the country that fully adopted the principles of realistic and all-inclusive budget, where citizen’s observation and inputs are harnessed during stakeholders’ Town Hall meetings.
“This is borne out of our desire to carry the people along in the derivation as to how their resources are expended.
“In the coming 2021 fiscal year, the government will lay emphasis on legacy projects, dry season farming, irrigation and reconstruction of infrastructure affected by flood in order to safeguard and solidify our achievements,” he said.
He said that the sectoral allocation for the year 2021 showed that 22 per cent of the proposed budget would go to education with N38.9 billion and Health, N17.9 billion representing 17 per cent.
Speaking on the performance of the year 2020, the governor said that the year was characterised by the challenges of insecurity occasion by banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and armed robbery.
“Indeed, the year 2020 has been a challenging year not only for Sokoto state and Nigeria but for the World as a whole due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
“It is gratifying to note that despite the gloomy picture we have been able to manage our situation at government level and the people while responding to the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic, which has an effect on the health and economic activities of our teeming population.
“This is by laying emphasis on containing the spread of the pandemic in our society,” he added.
Tambuwal further explained that the policy thrust of the 2021 budget was to ensure sustainable economic development through substantial investment in critical sectors.
He listed the sectors as Education, Agriculture, Healthcare delivery, exploration of mineral resources, investment in renewable energy and infrastructure.
“We will prioritise effective resources management and seek intervention in areas with high potentials to create job opportunities, generate income and improve revenue generation,” he said.
The Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida, assured the Governor of the lawmakers’ commitment to ensuring speedy passage of the bill to maintain the frequency of development in the state.