Plateau: Lalong presents 148Billion Appropraition Bill Before Plateau State House Of Assembly

By, Giwa Alex,JOS

As part of Its yearly ritual, plateau state government Simon Bako lalong has presented before the state house of Assembly 148 Billion naira Appropriation Bill for 2019 fiscal year.

THE 2019 BUDGET ESTIMATE.
tagged “BUDGET OF RESCUE AND INFRASTRUCTURAL GROWTH”.

We appropriately tagged the 2019 budget to emphasize our Administration’s commitment to the principle of Continuity in Governance, Policy and Programme Implementation as well as sustainability in socio-economic prosperity and infrastructural development. In this budget, we shall be consolidating on the gains and achievements of this administration since the beginning of our Rescue Mission as a demonstration of our desire to leave a lasting legacy.

The Budget has a total size of One Hundred and Forty-Eight Billion, Seven Hundred and Twelve Million, Ninety-Eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Sixty-Five Naira (N148,712,098,565.00) only. This shows an increase of Two Billion, Three Hundred and Six Million, Twenty-Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Four Naira (N2,306,023,644.00) only from the 2018 budget, arising from increase in recurrent expenditures.

RECURRENT REVENUE.

The Recurrent Revenue in this budget is estimated at Eighty Billion, One Hundred and Forty-Seven Million, One Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Nine Hundred Forty-Nine Naira (N80,147,170,949.00) only. This consists of the following;

Internally Generated Revenue (IGR): Eighteen Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty-Eight Million, Five Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy Naira (N18,428,511,270.00) only.

Statutory Revenue Allocation: Thirty-Nine Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N39,850,000,000.00) only.

Re-imbursements for the Federal roads constructed by the State Government: Eighteen Billon, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy-Nine Naira (N18,868,659,679.00) only.

Others including NNPC Refund, Exchange Rate Gains, Petroleum Profit Tax is Three Billion Naira (N3,000,000,000.00).

CAPITAL RECEIPTS.

The sum of Twenty-Eight Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Eight-Four Naira (N28,620,468,684.00) only is estimated for Capital Receipts. This consists of:

Value Added Tax (VAT) of Thirteen Billion Naira (N13,000,000,000.00) only;

Draw Downs from Donor Projects amounting to Five Billion, Eight Hundred Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Four Naira (N5,800,468,684.00) only; and

External Loans of Six Billion Naira (N6,000,000,000.00) only.

This budget is in deficit of the sum of Thirty-Nine Billion, Nine Hundred and Forty-Four Million, Four Hundred and Fifty-Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Two Naira (N39,944,458,932.00) only. This represents 26.09% of the budget size. The deficit is to finance the expenditure side of the estimate and will be drawn from both internal and external sources, if the need arises during the course of budget implementation.

RECURRENT EXPENDITURE ESTIMATE.

The Budget has a Recurrent Expenditure estimate of Eighty-Three Billion, Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-One Naira (N85,375,925,271.00) only. This represents 56.07% of the budget estimate and is made up of the following;

Personnel Cost Estimate: Twenty-Eight Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Six Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty-Two Naira (N28,956,653,442.00) only;

Overhead Cost Estimate: Thirty-Four Billion, Six Hundred and Nineteen Million, Two Hundred and Seventy-One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Nine Naira (N34,619,271,829.00) only; and

Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges: Nineteen Billion, Eight Hundred Million Naira (N19,800,000,000.00) only.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ESTIMATE.

Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members, the proposed capital expenditure in this budget is Sixty-Five Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty-Six Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety-Four Naira (N65,336,173,294.00) only. This represents 43.93% of the total estimate. The breakdown of the capital estimate based on sectoral allocations are as follows:

Administrative Sector: Fourteen Billion, Five Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Eight-Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-Four Naira (N14,538,989,264.00) only, representing 22.25% of the capital estimate;

Economic Sector: Has an allocation of Thirty Four Billion, Two Hundred and Seventeen Million, Two Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand, One Hundred Naira (N34,217,255,100.00) only, representing 49.00% of the estimate;

Social Sector: Eighteen Billion, Two Hundred and Twenty-Seven Million, Eight Hundred Twenty Eight Thousand, Nine Thirty Naira (N18,227,828,930.00) only, representing 27.90% of the estimate; and

Law and Justice: Five Hundred and Fifty-Two Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira (N552,100,000.00) only, representing 0.85% of the estimate.

Having given the broad allocations based on sectors, it is necessary to give the detail highlights based on sub-sectors.

EDUCATION.

This administration is fully committed to improving the fallen standard of education in the State. Therefore, the sum of Ten Billion, Four Hundred and Fourteen Million, Three Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty Naira (N10,414,336,930.00) only, representing 15.94% of the capital budget is allocated for this purpose. Some of the major projects in the budget include:

Building and Renovation of fifteen Secondary Schools at five (5) per senatorial zone;

Renovation of Government Technical College Bukuru;

Building and Renovation of Science Secondary Schools at Kuru, Mangun and Shendam;

Equipping of constructed and renovated schools;

Construction of Lalong Legacy Projects for both primary and secondary schools.

The sum of one Billion, Seven Hundred Million Naira (N1,700,000,000.00) only is allocated as 2019 counterpart contribution from the State to access funds from National Universal Basic Education Board for the construction, renovation and equipping Primary and Junior Secondary Schools across the State.

The Plateau State University Bokkos has an allocation of Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Sixteen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N4,716,950,000.00) only for the provision of various infrastructural facilities.

The Plateau State Polytechnic has an allocation at Eight Hundred and Eighteen Million Naira (N818,000,000.00, only for its Capital Projects and Programs in this fiscal year;

College of Education, Gindiri and College of Art, Science & Tech, Kurgwi have allocations of Seven Hundred and Eighty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty Naira (N785,551,930.00) and Three Hundred and Seventy-Three Million, One Thousand, Naira (N373,100,000.00) respectively for their capital projects and programmes.

Equally important is the payment of students’ scholarship allowances in Tertiary Institutions within and outside the country. Government has committed over Two Hundred and Ninety-Six Million Naira (N296,000,000.00) only towards this exercise.

AGRICULTURE.

Agriculture is a sector that has been receiving serious attention. In this fiscal year, the sum of Two Billion, Two Hundred and Sixty-Nine Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N2,269,550,000.00) only is estimated for Agricultural Programmes, representing 3.47% of the estimate. Major projects and programmes under this sector include:

Subsidy for procurement of fertilizer: Five Hundred Million Naira (N500,000,000.00) only;

Livestock production and resilience support Project: One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira (N120,000,000.00) only;

Establishment and Management of Ranches arising from the National Livestock Transformation Plans: Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N250,000,000.00) only. This will, to a large extent, curb the activities of Herders, which is one of the major causes of crises with Farmers in the State and Nation at large.

The Plateau State Agricultural Mechanization Services has been allocated the sum of One Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand (N166,750,000.00) only for procurement of Tractors with Ridgers, which will be distributed to the 17 Local Government Agricultural Offices.

The Plateau State College of Agriculture Garkawa is allocated the sum of Four Hundred and Seventy-Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N474,700,000.00) only for its programmes of both Human and Capital Development.

Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP) is also given desired attention towards the implementation of agricultural policies. To further consolidate on this, Government recruited 400 Agricultural Extension Workers for greater efficiency in Extension Services Delivery.

HEALTH.

The estimate for the Health sub-sector is Four Billion, Six Hundred and Sixty-Three Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand Naira (N4,663,942,000.00) only, representing 7.14% of the capital estimate. Emphasis will be on the following:

Completion and equipping of on-going Construction and Renovation in all the General and Cottage Hospitals in the State as well as Plateau Specialist Hospital.

Support in the area of malaria and other diseases control with the intervention of World Health Organisation (WHO).

Primary Health Care Development Agency has been provided the sum of Six Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million, Three Hundred and Ninety-Two Thousand Naira (N638,392,000.00) only for the provision and renovation of Primary Health Care (PHC) Clinics and other healthcare projects such as the Legacy Prograame for Hospitals in all the 17 Local Government.

The three health training Institutions in the State, namely, Colleges of Health Technology Zawan, Pankshin, and College of Nursing and Midwifery have been allocated the sum of Five Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N572,500,000.00) only for their various programmes.

WORKS AND TRANSPORT.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, to further consolidate on the gains of this Administration, great emphasis has been laid on sustainable infrastructural development as indicated in the theme of the budget. The sum of Sixteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventeen Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N16,917,700,000.00) only, which represents 25.89% of the estimate has been allocated for the completion of the on-going roads, with the conviction that given available resources they will be completed before the end of our first tenure.

As earlier mentioned in the highlight of the budget performance, we have embarked on the opening up of new roads in all the Local Government Areas of the State to make urban and rural areas easily accessible. We hope to sustain this initiative.

Details of these roads will be highlighted in the Press Briefing on breakdowns by the Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning.

LANDS AND SURVEY; HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT.

The sum of Five Billion, Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N5,226,525,500.00) only, which represents 8.00% of the capital estimate cover programs in these sub-sectors. Since the take-off of the Plateau Geographic Information System (PLGIS), coupled with 50% reduction in the cost of land titles, the process of acquiring Land Titles have been less cumbersome.

Physical Planning.

The Ministry of Physical Planning in conjunction with Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will be engaging in the construction and rehabilitation of roads within Jos and Bukuru metropolis. Major areas of attention in the budget include;

Kabong Satellite Market- Tudun Wada with a spur to Mado Tourist Hotel and Sabon Gari;

Jenta Adamu to Jenta Mangoro to Catholic and COCIN Churches;

Angwan Rogo Road Network and dualization of Zaria crescent and Tafawa Balewa Roads;

Ama Street, Mallam Kure, Fatima Church and Gangare to Rikkos road network;

Akila Machunga (Utonkon to Keana) road, with spur to Abattoir; and

The Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) has an allocation of Five Hundred and Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N506,500,000.00) only for its capital project, which include rehabilitation of Roads within Jos and Bukuru Metropolis and other projects.

WATER RESOURCES ENERGY AND SANITATION.

The Sum of Four Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty-Four Million, One Hundred and Eighteen Thousand Naira (N4,384,118,000.00) only, representing 6.71 percent in the budget is allocated for Water, Energy and Sanitation sub-sectors.

We appreciate that there are still areas within Jos-Bukuru Metropolis and some Local Government Areas that are without portable water. Efforts are underway to ensure our people get portable drinking water. Major works to be done as captured by this budget include:

State intervention at the recently completed and commissioned Mangu Regional Water Supply (Network distribution and laying of pipelines). This is to ensure that the State compliments the efforts of the Federal Government that substantially funded the project;

Expansion of water pipeline Distribution Network in Jos-Bukuru metropolis and others;

Yakubu Gowon International Airport, Plateau State Polytechnic and Inland Container Port Water Supply Project;

Acquisition of Laboratory Equipment for water treatment;

Construction of Multipurpose Dams at Baushe, Dawaki and Kwall;

Electrification of various towns and villages in the State;

Green City Power Project for Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

We shall intensify our support to the Water and Sanitation Agency by providing water and sanitation in the rural areas. We will ensure that the UNICEF program of providing hand pumps and pit latrines in Riyom and Shendam is extended to other Local Government Areas through our own support of the counterpart contribution.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES.

The sum of One Billion, Two Hundred and Ninety Million, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand Naira (N1,290,725,000,000.00) only, representing 1.98 percent of the estimate is allocated to this sub-sector. Attention will be given to the following:

Fertilizer production to make farm input easily accessible to farmers;

Reconstruction of the Jos Main Market under the Private Partnership Participation (PPP) will be given priority in the fiscal year.

The Rukuba Road Satellite market project will be completed to enable Traders at Terminus Market move in, so that reconstruction of the Main Market will commence without hitches.

The Brewery Agricultural Research Company (BARC) farm will be fully taken over to be put to use.

Government will intensify its support to the Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (PLASMEDA), which has ensured that our small and medium scale business Men and Women now have the opportunities to obtain loans and other facilities to grow and diversify the economy.

TOURISM, CULTURE AND HOSPITALITY.

The Government is making concerted efforts to harness all the tourism potentials in the State. To this end, the sum of Three Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (N337,900,000.00) only, representing 0.52% is allocated in the budget. Arrangements have been concluded with some Chinese investors and other reputable indigenous companies to take over Jos and Plateau Hotels, Solomon Lar Amusement Park, Mado Tourist Hotel and other tourist sites on Public Private Partnership.

The Luka Bentu Indoor Theatre would be completed for full operation for the benefit of the Cultural Troupe and other Arts Works in the state and preservation of our culture and tradition.

WOMEN, YOUTH AND SPORT DEVELOPMENT.

The place of Women and Youth in this administration cannot be over emphasized. Accordingly, the sum of One Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Three Million Naira (N1,963,000,000.00) only, representing 3.00% of the estimate is allocated for their Programmes, which include:

Rehabilitation of Shendam and Pankshin Youth Centres;

Completion of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp;

Completion of the Multi-Billion Naira stadium at Goodluck Jonathan road. Government is committed to completing this gigantic and very important project for sporting activities to thrive in the State.

A proposal for the construction of accessibility for the disables to state government agencies has been made. Accordingly, provision has been made in the budget of the Disability Rights Commission for construction of a Rehabilitation Centre in Shendam to serve the Southern Zone.

ENVIRONMENT AND MINERAL DEVELOPMENT.

These Sectors have an allocation of Nine Hundred Five Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Four Thousand, Six Hundred Naira (N905,464,600.00) only for the preservation of environmental and mineral resources development.

With our commitments in terms of counter-part contributions to Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Program (NEWMAP), areas that are susceptible to erosion will have a face-lift. Thus, The Zoo, Jangkwano, Relevant Technology, and Dadin-Kowa in Jos Metropolis, Garkawa Pyache and Kurgwi in the Southern Senatorial Zone have been earmarked for erosion control. This will also include the dredging of dams already heavily silted by sand and mud.

The exploration, exploitation and exportation of Mineral Resources, which is in the Exclusive Legislative List and a major source of revenue will be given desired attention in this year’s budget. The Plateau Mineral Development Company (PMDC), which is expected to be self-sustaining will be recapitalized to become fully functional, while the Mineral Museum will be equipped for effective usage.

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, the achievement of the 5-Pillar Policy Thrusts of this Administration is dependent on the effectiveness of these sectors. They harness and coordinate human and financial resources for the day-to-day running of the state.

Accordingly, the sum of Thirteen Billion, Three Hundred and Forty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Four Naira (N13,349,970,764.00) only, representing 20.43 percent of the Capital Estimate only has been provided in the budget.

Let me reiterate that Government remains fully committed to sustaining the existing peace in the state. It will continue to support the Peace Building Agency to consolidate on the peace being enjoyed today throughout the State. I call on the Citizen to always remain proactive, cooperate with the Authorities, including the Traditional Rulers and report promptly any suspected subversive acts by individuals or groups.

FINANCE.

The sum of Nine Hundred and Thirty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand Five Hundred Naira (N939,947,500.00) only has been provided for this sub-sector.

The Office of the Accountant-General will be moving from the Ministry of Finance to a more suitable accommodation in the Treasury House. The sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N250,000,000.00) only is allocated for this purpose.

In view of the dwindling resources accruing to the state, the Plateau Internal Revenue Service will be more pro-active in taxes and other revenue collections for the purpose of improving the revenue-base to finance the laudable programmes of Government. With the on-going dialogue between the State and Federal establishments over non-payment of taxes and their commitment to comply and even expand the revenue base of the state, are very hopeful of improvement in our revenue. Revenue courts and Judges have been assigned to handle all cases of defaulters.

I wish to solicit the cooperation and understanding of Citizens towards achieving our set objectives; and to also pledge Government’s commitment on workers’ welfare in terms of payment of salaries and allowances of Civil Servants and Pensions of retirees.

JUDICIARY.

The sum of One Billion, Thirty-Two Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,032,100,000.00) has been allocated to the Judiciary for the fiscal year. This will cover its projects and programmes, particularly completion of the High Court Complex and the renovation of High Courts in Shendam, Langtang and Pankshin. There will also be renovation of Magistrate and Customary Courts, which are currently in dilapidated conditions.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION.

For effective information dissemination and management, the sum of One Billion, Four Hundred and Forty-Four Million, Three Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand Naira (1,444,394,000.00) only, representing 2.21% of the budget is allocated in the budget.

This amount is for the provision of facilities, equipment and renovation of offices at Plateau Radio Television Cooperation, Plateau Publishing Company, Plateau Printing Press, Library Board and the Ministry. In view of the forth coming National Election, we envisage a lot of Information and Communication activities in this sub-sector.

We are committed to the freedom of press, and will partner with private radio and television stations to achieve the opportunity to express their views on the affairs of Government without discrimination.

STAFF WELFARE AND THE NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE.

The issue of the New National Minimum Wage has recently been in the front-burner. Government appreciates the Organised Labour and Civil Servants as partners in progress. We see the yearnings or demands for increase in the minimum wage as a genuine source for motivation, improved productivity and general improvement in the living conditions of our Civil Servants and their families.

We are mindful of the shocks and ripple-effects that the implementation of a new minimum wage would generate in terms of inflation and cost of governance. We are also aware that some market forces could defeat the good intention behind salary increase, but we are fully committed to its implementation, once the Bill is eventually passed into Law. To ensure successful implementation and sustenance, we have made some provisions and articulated a contingency plan under the “New Minimum Wage Financing Options”. Similarly, as part of our strategic plans for sustainable Human and Infrastructural Growth, and without prejudice to the anticipated increase in statutory allocations to the State from the Federation Accounts, we intend to upscale our Internally Generated Revenue through levies and rates for social services in accordance with extant laws. We shall improve our investments in productive sectors of the economy to increase our earnings, provide some palliative measures for the citizens, as well as fund some of our development programmes.

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