Zamfara Assembly trims 2021 budget estimate to N117b

The Zamfara State House of Assembly has reduced the 2021 budget estimate from N126b to N117b.

This is in consideration of a comprehensive report from its committee on finance and appropriation.

Presenting his report at the chamber of the House, the Acting chairman of the committee, Hon Shamsudeen Hassan said after due consideration of all the facts available, the committee was left with no option but to trim the budget from the initial figure of N126b 000.00 to N117b.

According to the Acting chairman, the protracted insecurity situation in the State that culminated into poor performance of internally generated revenue and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic, affected negatively both the performance of the capital expenditure which stood at only 32.8 percent, as well as recurrent expenditure with dismal performance of only 27.6 percent, respectively.

“Going by the fact available to the committee after due consultations with relevant stakeholders from finance and Budget ministries, as well as Board of Internal Revenue of the State government, the decision to further trim the budget is the last and final option,” he said.

The state lawmaker further informed his colleagues that part of the recommendations of his committee was that government should evolve more ways of generating income and block all leakages of revenue generation from all revenue generating agencies of the government in order to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

In his response, a member representing Maru North, Hon. Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma agreed with the Acting chairman’s assertion that revenue generating agencies were shortchaging the government in their remittances to the State coffers, citing tertiary institutions in the state such School of Nursing and midwifery as a case in point which admitted more than 1,500 students, with minimum of N5,000 as registration fees but ended up having nothing to remit to the State government.

Also commenting, the House leader Hon. Faruk Musa Dosara said it had become imperative for the House to send letters to all revenue generating agencies of government to appear before the House and explain how they generate and spend their revenues in order to check their excesses and block all revenue leakages.

But in his ruling, the Speaker, Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya while commending the committee for a job well done, faulted the Committee on Public Accounts for not effecting routine oversight to all revenue agencies in the State and urge them to start doing so without further delay.

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