Still, education takes lion share as Engineer Sule presents N149bn 2023 budget

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has presented the 2023 appropriation bill estimated at N148, 958, 122, 525. 05 before the state House of Assembly, with education taking the lion share for the fourth consecutive time.

Engineer Sule presented the 2023 appropriation bill before the state assembly, on Tuesday, with education receiving N37.43bn.

According to the Governor, a total of N90,566,516,459.56, representing 60.80% of the total budget is earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while the sum of N58,391,606,065.49, representing 39.20% of the total budget is set aside as capital expenditure for the year 2023.

Explaining further, Engineer Sule said the 2023 recurrent expenditure consists of personnel cost of N47.65 billion, made up of salaries, consolidated fund, pension, gratuities and death benefits. Other recurrent cost of N42.92 billion is made up of security and public debt service for both domestic and foreign loan repayment.

The sectoral breakdown showed that after education, healt, infrastructure development, finance, trade and investment, as well.as agriculture and water resources took prominence with N18.61bn, N16.31bn, N15.47bn and N11.32 billion respectively.

Environment, community and rural development received N10.25 billion.

Dubbed the “Budget of Consolidation and Continuity”, the 2023 appropriation, the Governor said, will focus on sustaining and improving on general security and good governance, completion of on-going projects, commitment to workers’ welfare through implementation of promotions up to date, as well as issuing some of the state’s jousing inits to state workers on owner-occupier basis.

Engjneer Sule added that the 2023 budget is also geared towards creation of employment opportunities for women and youth in the state, provision of inputs and supporting agriculture as a way of boosting production, developing value chain and strengthening commercial ventures for a stable economy and development of infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP) as well as enhanced investment especially in the mining and housing sectors.

The Governor however reiterated the determination of his administration to strengthen internal control mechanisms to guide management of public resources, stressing that government will continue to review the monthly overhead cost towards ensuring strict monitoring of the activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in line with the fiscal policy of the administration.

“We have restructured the Nasarawa State Debt Management Office to manage both our external and internal borrowings in accordance with standard practice. Likewise, Government established the Efficiency Unit within the Ministry of Finance so as to give credence to the implementation of the Appropriation Law,” Engineer Sule stated.

He used the opportunity of the event, to appeal to politicians in the state contesting for various offices during the 2023 general elections, to play politics in accordance with the rule of engagement, urging politicians accross political party divides to play politics without bitterness.

“I urge you to play politics without bitterness and to carry out campaigns in a manner that will enhance progress and development of our dear State. Peace in Nasarawa state is for the benefit of all. Lack of it will affect everyone,” the Governor added.

Engineer Sule pointed out that, as a people with common destiny, citizens of the state cannot encourage politics of division, rivalry and thuggery.

“I call on the people of Nasarawa State to see what this Administration has done in all spheres of human development as a yardstick for voting for the right candidates in the forthcoming general election for continuity and sustainable progress and development of Nasarawa State,” he stated.

In his address, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, commended the Governor for timely presentation of the 2023 appropriation bill before the commencement of the new fiscal year in January 2023.

This, the speaker said, has provided the legislature with the incentive to look at the document critically without let or hindrance.

Rt. Hon Abdullahi promised that, the lawmakers will give pass the 2023 budget expeditiously, with a view to ensuring that the people enjoy unfettered development.

He used the opportunity to review the activities of the state assemblies so far, adding that the Sixth Assembly passed 46 bills into law, comprising of 35 executive bills and 11 private member bills.

He disclosed further that, 18 other bills are in various stages of passage.

During the period under review, the speaker added that, the house passed a total of 43 resolutions.

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