Kebbi holds Town Hall meeting on 2022 Budget


From Maiharaji Altine, Gusau

Kebbi State Government through the ministry of Budget and Economic Development Planing has held a town hall meeting with a view to getting contributions and suggestions from the citizens in the preparation for 2022 State budget.

The town hall meeting which took place at the Presidential Banquet Hall in Birnin Kebbi was attended by the Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu , Chief of Staff Government House, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad Argungu, Jarman Kabi’, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, traditional rulers, the media, civil society organizations and development partners such as Unicef, Oxfam and USAID which presented goodwill messages at the meeting.

Speaking on Thursday at the program, the Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu  directed public officers and civil servants to rededicate themselves to the attainment of goals and objectives of incumbent administration of uplifting the living condition of the people of the state.

This, he noted , is in view of the sterling and glaring achievements of the State and local Governments.

The Chairman of the APC Governors” Forum however warned against complacency and called for collective efforts by all to move the state forward.
” That you have done well does not mean that you can’t do better,”he averred.

The Kebbi State Governor further stated that, the event has shown that the state has recorded remarkable successes, saying, ” the town hall meeting is critically important.

” This is in view of  the fact that we are collectively here determined to discuss the way forward for the state.

” This is because I believe that trust has built up between the government and the non governmental stakeholders.

” I am sure we have all benefitted  and learnt a lot from this all-important event, in view of the extant OGP partnership.

” This robust partnership has been mutually beneficial to all of us, including the generality of the people of the state”.

According to Bagudu, there was the dire need to make the state renowned in terms of transparency and accountability, just as it was known for .

The Governor averred that, such a feat would attract more local and foreign investors into the state, even as he expressed delight with the current tempo.

Bagudu further stated that just as government resources were  scarce, his administration was doing its best to properly manage the accruable funds.

He however stressed the need for the people of the state to sustain their current commendable commitment in paying taxes.
He appreciated the support of all and sundry towards taking Kebbi to greater heights,even as he called on all not to relent in doing so.

In his welcome remarks, the Secretary to the State Government, Babale Umar Yauri represented by the Acting Head of Service, Sufyanu Garba Bena said that the town hall meeting was the initiative of governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in involving people of the State to be part of the formulation of the budget.

He commented the State House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the 2021 budget which according to him gave rise to the preparation for the 2022 budget. 
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planing, Hajiya Aisha Usman gave an overview of 2021 budget performance.

She explained that the Covid 19 pandemic has affected big economies of the world and Nigeria was not an exception due to the drop in the oil price incidentally affecting the state as well.

The Hon. Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planing, Abba Sani Kalgo on his part gave detailed highlights of the 2022 budget tagged ‘ Budget of Economic Consolidation ‘.

He said the 2022 budget has been designed with scientific mechanism taking into consideration all variables in the course of implementation.
He described the state as one of the best fiscal performing states in the Federation. 

While giving accolades to Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his transparency, foresight and open door policy in financial issues of the state, the 2022 budget according to him represented a budget by the people and for the people.

He explained that the proposed 2022 budget is in the total sum ofN186,112,116,464 while the capital expenditure is N125,059,664,781 and the recurrent expenditure is N61,052,451,684 

Earlier, the Co- Chair of Open  Government Partnership (OGP), Alhaji Ibrahim Ngaski, congratulated the state government and partners for witnessing 2022 fiscal year budget town- hall meeting.

“The meeting is the commitment of promoting fiscal transparency of ensuring citizen participation in the entire budget processes,” he said.

Ngaski also stressed the need to change the narrative as agreed in the action plans of the state OGP.
“We are committed to that as we want to request the leadership of the state House of Assembly to set a date for the Public Hearing on 2022 budget.

“This will give the citizens an opportunity to participate and also make their input,” the Co-Chair said.

In his goodwill message, representative of UNICEF, Alhaji Isah Ibrahim, commended the governor for organising the meeting, adding that the meeting allowed the citizens the opportunity to make contribution into the budget.

“It shows the seriousness of the government in carrying along its citizens in the activities concerning them,” he said.

He also lauded Bagudu for prompt and regular payment of salary to workers while also advising the government to increase sectoral allocation to health and education.

Ibrahim assured of UNICEF commitment to work with the state government on protection of children’s rights and provision of their basic needs.

The representative of Oxfam, Usman Falaye who spoke virtually commended the state for its transparency ranking urging the state to maintain continuity of its position among top budget performing states in the country.

Dr. Aisha Senchi  of USAIDwho represented the State Director said USAID has acknowledged record of achievement in fiscal transparency by the Atiku Bagudu administration.

She commended the governor for giving development partners opportunity to participate fully in the socio economic development of communities in the state.
She also commended the governor for making healthcare facilities easily accessible to both urban and rural dwellers.

Highlights of the town hall meeting include questions, comments and suggestions from the participants.

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