Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Wednesday, signed the state’s 2020 revised budget of about N99.7 billion naira.
Bagudu said at the historic event that, 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 the raging Coronavirus Disease pandemic had taken on the global economy, including that of Nigeria.
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.
” This compulsory action had led to the reduction of our expected revenues and the downsizing of our 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.
Bagudu also happily noted 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 explained,” The World Bank is to specifically assist the states with a $750 million stimulus package .
” Part of the conditions 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 particularly acknowledged the contributions of the Task Force on COVID-19, coordinated by the Deputy Governor and headed by the Commissioner for Health, State House of Assembly, traditional rulers, the security and other key stakeholders.
He also commended his wife, Dr Zainab Bagudu for tirelessly mobilizing drugs, medicament and facilities from various partners.
The Governor noted that in spite 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 producing states as well as the ongoing road reconstruction from Koko to Yauri among others.
In Kebbi State, governor Bagudu also stated that his administration has paid leave Grant to certain category of workers as well as payment of gratuity to some retired civil servants.
He also mentioned the ongoing construction of Illo to Bami road and Maga to Unashi. Bagudu announced that the 20 billion naira Tomatoes processing factory has started operation in Ngaski local government.
The governor happily announced that just of recent, he presented 4.5 kilogram gold bar produced from gold deposit mined in Yauri ,Kebbi State worth 719 thousand dollars to Mr. President , expressing optimism that tones of gold would be produced before the end of the year.
He further stated 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 of House of Assembly for diligently passing the amended budget in record time .
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Samaila Abdulmumin Kamba, said that, the state legislature attached greater importance to the revised budget and that was why it was passed in about two weeks it was submitted to it.
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 other members of the assembly.
Others include, the Chief of Staff Government House Birnin Kebbi, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad Argungu (Jarman Kabi), 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.
Buhari Seeks Senate Approval for Fresh N2.3trn External Loan
The President, Muhammadu Buhari , has asked the Senate to approve another N2.3trillion ($6.18bn) external loan.
This is contained in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and read at plenary on Tuesday.
Buhari said the proposed loan which is equivalent to N2.3trillion is to finance the 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion.
Buhari said the loan would enable the Federal Government to fund critical infrastructural projects in transportation, health, and education among others.
This is coming barely a month after the Senate approved the sum of $1.5bn and €995 million external borrowings for the Federal Government.
The loans were part of the $5.5 billion and €995 million external borrowings Buhari had, in May 2020, asked the Red Chamber to approve to finance various priority projects of the federal government and to support the state governments facing fiscal challenges.
Armed Thugs Disrupt NLC Protest in Kaduna, Wabba Accuses El-Rufai
The protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday turned violent as armed thugs attacked the workers, throwing stones at them.
The workers had converged at the popular NEPA roundabout in the Kaduna capital city to continue the day two of their protest when the thugs invaded the area and started throwing stones and other dangerous weapons at them.
The attack forced many of the protesters to scamper for safety.
It is not known who actually sent the thugs, but the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba has pointed accusing fingers at the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Speaking with newsmen amid the protest, Wabba said he informed the DSS after he received earlier information of the plan to disrupt the protest.
“Today is a very sad moment in the history of democracy in Nigeria. Early in the morning today, we got credible information that El-Rufai has hired one Alhaji Hassan and some thugs to come and attack us.
“While we are here, they came but thank God we have chased them away because we have the number. We are not thugs And We Are Not Using Thugs we are Nigerian workers,” Wabba told Channels Television.
The armed thugs were dispersed by security operatives with teargas.
Wabba is leading day two of the NLC protest despite being declared wanted by the Kaduna State government.
Nigeria Receives £4.2m Ibori Loot
Nigeria has received the £4.2million seized from the associates of convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori from the United Kingdom.
This is according to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this on Tuesday via a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
He confirmed that the “Federal Government of Nigeria has received GBP 4,214,017.66 of the loot associated with the family members of former Delta State Governor, James Ibori.”
According to the statement, “the amount has been credited into the designated Federal Government account with naira equivalent value of the amount as of 10th May 2021.”
Malami was said to have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the Ibori loot on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Minister said the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian stolen in the execution of public-oriented projects.
On May 3, Malami had announced that the United Kingdom would repatriate the looted fund to Nigeria any moment from now.
He had explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was working tirelessly to ensure the return of looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries, adding that that the Federal Government of Nigeria was in touch with the UK government on the matter.
“Documentations with the banks in different countries often take longer than anticipated. We anticipated two weeks but we are not in control of the banks.
“There is neither complacency nor any delay as efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” he said.
He noted that the Federal Government is working assiduously to make sure that the transfer goes through successfully.
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