Sokoto State government will continue to support and enhance the capacity of its workforce in all the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for effective service delivery.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has stated this Wednesday at a stakeholders engagement meeting on the 2021 budget preparations held at Sultan Maccido Institute for Qur’an and General Studies, Sokoto.
He said the aim of the exercise is to articulate the views of stakeholders on how best government can improve fiscal management in the most transparent manner.
Tambuwal added that it is very necessary for all relevant stakeholders to partake in the
important component of the budget process, in order to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed, and to enable them understand the areas of focus by the government as they relate to policies and programs.
He said the resolve to develop a realistic and
an all-inclusive budget for the year 2021 is borne out of their desire and renewed hope to accommodate the views and aspirations of different segments of the society in the
distribution of wealth and to fairly spread programs and projects across the state.
The governor added that in the outgoing fiscal yearmore emphasis was given to the resuscitation of flood ravagedinfrastructure, dry season farming, irrigation and legacy projects among others.
”We are all aware that the Nigerian economy is facing serious challenges in 2020, with the macro-economic environment significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Crude oil prices have declined sharply in the world market, with the Bonny Light crude dropping from a peak of US$72.2 per barrel on January 7, 2020, to below US$20 per barrel in April.
“This necessitated the review of the budget downward to comply with the reality that in effect, the US dollars crude oil price benchmark on which the 2020 budget was based had become unsustainable,” he stated.
According to him governmrnt shall continue to sustain the current practice of the State Fiscal
Transparency and Accountability Sustainability Program (SFTAS), which focuses on strengthening fiscal monitoring, accountability and transparency in the conduct of government business.global best practices in the management of taxpayer’s money.
He further added that they shall continue to partner with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the World Bank as well as other programs considered mutually beneficial for the overall good of the people.
Tambuwal also assured that, “as a responsible government, we shall go back and incorporate your useful contributions and also fine-tune the budget where necessary to accommodate invaluable inputs.
The governor also maintained that, “the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic in the outgoing year further stressed our economy.
“In spite of all these challenges, governmentshall continue to provide succor and relief to our people through cash transfer,as well as women empowerment programs among others.
”We will continue to welcome all contributions and constructive criticism, aimed at engendering goodgovernance, progress and stability for our dear state,” he added.
The governor also said his administration remain absolutely committed to the security, welfare and wellbeing of the citizenry and
provision of quality education to all.
”It is worth noting here, that the education sector has continued to receive the largest share of our budgetary allocations so as to further consolidate on the gains recorded in this sector,” Tambuwal maintained
The governor also said 2020 has been a very challenging one, not only for SokotoState but also the country, adding that his administration will focus on mitigating the negative impacts of thesituation through the provision of palliatives to all, especially the vulnerable segment of the society.
Similarly, Tambuwal said the governmrnt shall continue to focus attention on mechanisms aimed at enabling the people to be on their feet for better and more sustainable development.
He said the state government over-dependence on federal allocation is
unacceptable hence, the need to look inward with a view to improving the internally generated revenue, prompting the state government to commence reform of the Sokoto State Internal Revenue Service, which operations is now backed by a new law.
“Indeed, as a mark of our determination to bring about positivechange through effective
collaborations with development partners and donor agencies, government will continue to meet itsobligations for effective management of development assistance and bringing development to the teeming
populace through partnerships,” he emphasized.
He acknowledged the contributions made
by Civil Society Organizations to theforum and assured that theirvoices are heard and noted, just as applaudedreligious leaders, women and youths for theirinvaluable support.
In his address the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Muhammad Mainasara Ahmad said since the inception of the present administration government has adopted the inclusive budgetary approach aimed at ensuring participation, ownership, accountability, transparency and sustainability in the overall policy development of the state.
He added that the meeting is one in a series that have been planned to create a forum where government officials, civil societies, NGOs, politicians and donor agencies can interact and better appreciate the efforts of the government and build upon the present policies and programme to develop a better future.