It is precisely 12 months ago that we gathered in this hallowed chamber of the Honourable House to present my maiden budget. The budget was designed to correct distortions in the State’s economy, address the multiple challenges faced by the State in its arduous journey to achieve sustainable growth and development, and put in the necessary structures and strengthen the institutions that are vital to our efforts of building a new Zamfara State. 

The year started well with strenuous efforts to win the confidence of foreign investors to invest in the State, most especially in mining, agriculture, tourism and hospitality industry. We have also rolled out a social intervention programme to provide support to the poor and the unemployed; reconstructed and equipped our skills acquisition centres to provide training for women and youth towards self-reliance; and we embark on building the critical infrastructure needed to speed up the development of the State such as the cargo airport. 

In the midst of our journey in the first quarter of the year, however, the coronavirus disease which appeared in Asia gradually became a global pandemic. The global fight against the deadly virus led to the shutting down of the economies of the leading industrialised countries as a result of which oil demand declined worldwide, thus collapsing the market of the commodity. 

This unprecedented dire situation led to depression such as the world witnessed in the 1930s, characterised by massive purges in industries, expansion of furlough system, and increased poverty most especially in the Global South. In addition, the world suffers attendant consequences of policies like lockdown, which came into effect in many parts of the world in an effort to contain the virus.

There have been increased cases of depression, violence against women and children and other similar social problems. Nigeria and many countries of the Global South are currently experiencing various degrees of economic difficulties. Nigeria is currently in recession. 

Most of the economic crises of the past have affected only the supply side. The COVID pandemic, however, has affected both the demand and supply side. The implication of this scenario for Zamfara State is that many families have lost their means of livelihood and many households who were well-to-do have been pushed into hunger and poverty.

On the government side, there is a steep decline in the revenues, while at the same there is an additional burden of providing safety kits to prevent the spread of the virus, building coronavirus healing centres, and provision of palliatives to cushion down the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. 

6. Despite all the challenges, we have made some progress in wide ranging areas. Some of these are:EDUCATION 7. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, you are living witnesses to what obtained in the State for several years, especially the education sector which ought to serve as the bedrock of development. Over the years, our State was operating a zero plan on education. Payments of examination fees and scholarship were stopped or haphazardly done.

There was no deliberate policy for the State to produce doctors, engineers and other professionals needed for development.
8. To quickly address the issue, my administration has already sent 200 youths drawn from all the 14 local governments councils of the State to Sudan, Cyprus, India and China to study paramedical and engineering courses.

The Government has also settled the allowances of Zamfara state students at the Nigerian Law School campuses in addition to offsetting substantial part of the backlog of WAEC, NECO, and other examination bodies. Gladly also, this year’s NECO and WAEC fees were already settled.

10. Similarly, my administration has released counterpart funds to UBE which made it possible for the board to draw matching grant and execute various projects under the 2017/2018 intervention grant that include the construction of 900 classrooms across the State among others.

HEALTH SECTOR11. Under this sector, my administration has made efforts to revamp it. Various projects have been undertaken as well as supplies which include the supply of 17 Ambulances to health care facilities across the State. We are also constructing new primary healthcare facilities across all the 117 wards in the State. All of them would be provided tri-cycle ambulances. 

12. With the outbreak of Corona Virus pandemic in the country, my administration undertook the upgrading, expansion, renovation and equipping of isolation centres provided at Damba, Kasuwar Daji General Hospital and Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital respectively.  This is in addition to the procurement of ventilators, hand sanitisers, hand gloves, face masks, test kits, personal protective equipment and consumables for the centres.

SOCIAL INTERVENTION 13. To further ease the Covid 19 challenges, this Government is to partner with World Bank to implement the pandemic stimulus programme called CARES.

14. The programme is going to be a 2-year activity that involves three result areas that include an increase in social transfer, basic services and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households to be anchored by Community and Social Development Agency. There is also an increase in food security and safe functioning of food supply chains for poor households which is to be supported by Fadama project.

15. Similarly, there will be facilitation and enhancement of capabilities of Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises which is also to be anchored by the Bank of Industry and Ministry of Commerce. The Ministry of Budget will provide the overall coordination, which is estimated to cost over 70 Billion naira for a period of 2 years.

 MINING16. Despite the enormous potentials of our State in solid minerals, we are still struggling with the challenge of adequately harnessing and transforming the sector. Apart from efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment, plans have been concluded to formalise the activities of about 70,000 artisanal miners operating in the State.AGRICULTURE

17. My administration has finalised arrangements for improvement of the productive capacity of our farmers through the reintroduction of Zamfara Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme (ZACAREP).

Under the programme, the 17,000 farmers registered for the year 2020 are being allocated fertilisers, improved seeds and seedlings, and other agricultural implements as well as extension services.

18. My administration has also come up with a cotton development programme under which we dedicated 100,000 hectares for cotton cultivation to associations of cotton farmers, and 10,000 hectares to a private company that has agreed to invest in cotton production in the State. Similarly, arrangements are in the final stage to engage 35,000 cotton farmers under the CBN funded Anchor Borrower Programme. 

19. In order to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment into the mining, agriculture as well as the hospitality and tourism industry, my administration has embarked upon the construction of a standard airport at the cost of N11.5 billion. ROADS20. In our efforts to provide the much needed road networks across the State, we have awarded the contract for the construction of Yankuzo- Chediya-Bedi- Hayin Alhaji- Tsafe road. We have also begun the construction of Kwanar Magarya- Magarya- Zurmi- Jibia Road. Within Gusau metropolis, we have undertaken the construction of Garejin Mailaina- Gidan Mallaha- Zurmi- Jibia road. These are few among the road projects embarked upon by my administration. 

PUBLIC SERVICE21. In consideration of the role of the public service as the engine room for development, my administration has set up various committees within the last 18 months of its existence in order to revive the public service for effective delivery. As a follow-up to that, the State Government will engage relevant stakeholders to improve the capacity of civil servants. Accordingly, the sum of 250 million is earmarked for that purpose.

22. Additionally and most importantly, the Office of the Head of Service will be constructed at Jibril Yakubu Secretariat and the sum of 500 million naira has been allocated for the purpose in the 2021 fiscal year.  

23. It is against the foregoing background that the 2021 budget was designed. The budget has carefully taken into account the State of the economy and therefore places greater emphasis on the continuation of the many projects and programmes started in 2020. 

REVIEW OF 2020 BUDGET24. Mr Speaker, distinguished Honourable Members, if you could recall, in the 2020 financial year, a total estimate of N188,549,559,140.45 was presented before the Honourable House. The estimate was based on the projected capital and recurrent revenues of N N83,889,073,491.00 and N104,660,485,649.45 for the year, respectively. 

25. The estimate was equally broken down into N71,005,559,140.00 and N117,544,000,000.00 as Recurrent and Capital Expenditure.  However, the Government in consideration of the effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on the economy and IPSAS requirement, the 2020 Budget was revised to N127.333 billion, made up of N75.573 billion and N51.76 billion as Recurrent and Capital Revenue respectively; as well as N58.315 billion and N69.018 billion as Recurrent and Capital Expenditure respectively.

26. On the overall, therefore, the 2020 budget realised the sum of N74.772 billion, about 59% by the end of the third quarter.  This achievement is modest, considering the downturn of economic activities of countries all over the world.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PROPOSED 2021 BUDGETPolicy Measures27. I wish to crave the indulgence of the Honourable Members to note that:All existing policy measures will continue in the 2021 fiscal year;The proposed budget is 14.2% higher than the revised budget of last year;The proposed budget is in the interim in line with IPSAS and consistent with our strategic plan and long term vision;It gives emphasis to completion of all the on-going projects and programmes with some considerations on the new ones;

The proposed budget is balanced as the projected revenue equals the estimated expenditure.28. The proposed 2021-2023 multi-year budget and hence 2021 recurrent and capital estimates totalling which is made up of N77,151,251,000.00 & N68,287,500,000.00 as recurrent and  capital revenues; as well as N64,393,751,000.00 & N81,045,000,000.00 as recurrent and capital expenditure respectively.
2021 Budget Proposal29. Mr Speaker, distinguished Honourable Members, the proposed 2021 budget is estimated at N145,438,751,000.00.

The proposal is based on the projected recurrent and capital revenues of N77,151,251,000.00 and N68,287,500,000.00 for the year, respectively. 
30. Out of N145,438,751,000.00 proposed estimate for the year 2021, the sum of N64,393,751,000.00 is earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while the sum of N81,045,000,000.00 is dedicated to capital expenditure.
Sectoral Allocation of Capital Expenditure31.

The sum of N81,045,000,000.00 allocated to the Capital Expenditure is distributed among the main sectors of our economy as follows:i. Economic sector: This sector is very crucial to the general wellbeing of our people and the development of the State. As the economy is the primary and critical component of our life, we need vibrant economic policies to harness our abundant economic potentials, particularly agriculture and solid minerals. This is why my administration resolved to set up a State Economic Management Team.

The Team is currently working hard to come up with a blueprint for the present and future economic development of the State. This economic sector will therefore receive special attention this year.  
32. On the basis of this consideration, the sum of N32,017,000,000.00, representing 49.5% of the capital estimate, is budgeted to take care of our expenditure on economic empowerment through agriculture; public finance and fiscal management; private sector growth and development; Road and transport general; water resources; and housing and urban development.  ii. Social Sector: Under this sector, my administration will accord top priority to education, health, information, youth, women and children, environment, Local Government and community development.

These are fundamental aspects that have direct impacts on the lives of our people and therefore deserved to receive serious attention. On this note, the sum of N19,102,000,000.00 is earmarked for the sector. This represents 23.6% of the total capital estimate. 
iii. Law and Justice Sector: This sector will receive the sum of N1,655,000,000.00, representing 2.0% of the Capital estimate. 
iv. Administration Sector: Administration is the machinery for the implementation of government policies and programmes.

Despite its crucial roles to Government, the sector was neglected by the previous administration. It is annoying to note that 25 years of the creation of zamfara State, still the Government is battling with the problems of office and residential accommodation. So many MDAs are accommodated in rented houses. When we came on board, our available lodges and offices are not befitting and conducive accommodation for work. 

33. Alhamdulillah, we have started making progress in that area. Our lodges and liaison offices in Abuja and Kaduna are fully reconstructed and upgraded. Our Government House is also renovated and upgraded, and new 18 executive chalets have been constructed in the Government House. Our newly renovated State House of Assembly is now a place of pride to all the citizens of Zamfara State. Our attention is now on the J. B. Yakubu Secretariat, the major Secretariat of the State. The renovation is now on-going. Specifically, the Multi-purpose Hall of the Secretariatis now wearing a new look which will make it an ultra-modern one for State, the nation and even for international conferences. 

I want to assure you that before the end of my tenure, I will provide befitting enough, conducive offices for both civil and public servants of the State for effective implementation of public policies and programmes. For this year’s budget, the Administration Sector receives the sum of N28,271,000,000.00, representing 34.9% of the capital estimate.

35. The detailed breakdown of allocations to various sub-sectors will be presented by the Honourable Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning during the press briefing with the media in due course.
36. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I have the pleasure to present before this Honourable House the Appropriation Bill for the 2021 budget to the tune of N145,438,751,000.00 for your consideration and passage into law. The Bill is based on the projected recurrent and capital revenues of N77,151,251,000.00 and N68,287,500,000.00, respectively. The revenues are further breakdown into N64,393,751,000.00 and N81,045,000,000.00 as recurrent and capital expenditure, respectively.

37. Before I end this budget address, I would like to thank Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Members for the support and goodwill the administration is enjoying from the hallowed chamber. Let me particularly commend the Honourable Speaker for your exemplary leadership. As we present this budget which is aimed at further building the State and entrenching development, it is my expectation that you will expediently pass it into law.  38. To the people of Zamfara State, let me once again express my deepest appreciation for your continuing prayers, most especially in the area of security. Your prayers and goodwill is our driving force to successes we are achieving. I want you to remain steadfast in prayers. 

39.  Finally, I wish to thank the Honourable House for your usual cooperation and hope that the proposal will be given a speedy deliberation and approval. I also pray to Almighty Allah to guide you in all your deliberations.
40. Thank you once again. WassalamuAlaikum.

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