PRESENTATION OF THE YEAR 2017 APPROPRIATION BILL AND BUDGET PROPOSALS TO ZAMFARA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ZAMFARA STATE, HONOURABLE (DR.) ABDUL’AZIZ YARI ABUBAKAR, SHATTIMAN ZAMFARA, ON TUESDAY, 13TH DECEMBER 2017, AT THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, GUSAU
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members,
2. I have the pleasure to present before you the Appropriation Bill for the 2017 budget proposals for your consideration.
3. As you are aware the 2016 financial year is one of the most challenging in recent history of Nigeria and our state in particular. The country witnessed a substantial reduction in its foreign exchange earnings as a result of worldwide collapse of the commodity market which incidentally affects our receipts from oil, our primary export. Technically, it is acknowledged that our country is now in a recession characterized by over 2% contraction in the GDP and about 20% rate of inflation.
4. This gloomy economic situation has severely constrained implementation of the 2016 budget, most especially its capital component. The impact of the recession on the lives of our people is quite telling. A phenomenal increase in the prices of food items and essential commodities have brought untold hardships and misery to many families across all social and economic strata. Many hitherto affluent families have gone down the ladder as a result of the cruel onslaught of the recession.
5. It is, however, gratifying to note that governments at all levels have not simply folded arms to allow the situation to wither away. We are up and doing, and strategizing towards addressing this monumental challenge in the course of implementation of the 2017 budget. To this end, the 2017 budget has been carefully crafted to adequately respond to the challenge. It embodies fiscal measures that will revamp the economy and place it on the path of sustainable growth. We are fully determined to work along this direction and succeed by the grace of Almighty Allah. Indeed, this is a Budget of Socio- Economic Reconstruction.
6. Apart from the grim economic realities, Zamfara State has also been experiencing a spate of armed banditry and cattle rustling which have severely affected agricultural production, weakened the rural economy, and threatened food security in the state. Gladly, the combined efforts of the state and Federal Governments are yielding appreciable results. The bandits and kidnappers are now on the run, their camps are being destroyed, and the stolen cattle are being recovered by our gallant security forces. It is our fervent hope and prayers that the year 2017 will witness greater peace and harmony in Zamfara State and Nigeria as a whole.
7. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, as you are also aware, one of the strategies adopted by the Federal Government to combat our economic challenges is diversification of our economy. Particularly, exploration and mining of solid minerals, which our state is abundantly blessed with, has been identified as a top priority of the Federal Government. Already, Minerals and Mining Act 2007 is being reworked to confer greater advantage in terms of mining revenues to the mining states. It is our hope that in the course of implementation of 2017 budget the state’s economy will begin to derive larger benefits from our mineral resources.
8. Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Honourable Members, as you are aware, the sum of N100,740,204,154 was budgeted for the year 2016. However, due to the shortfall in revenue accruals to the state, the budget performed only 46.57% at the end of the third quarter. The capital component of the budget, which covers development projects for the state, was grossly affected by this shortfall as it recorded only 22.80% performance at the end of the quarter. By this it is obvious that the year 2016 is the most challenging in the history of our administration. Since we took over the mantle of leadership in 2011 we have been recording an average of 70% in terms of budget implementation.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PROPOSED 2017 BUDGET
9. The 2017 policy measures will focus on consolidating our gains and therefore all our existing policy objectives will be maintained. Consequently, government intends to consolidate its initiatives on cost efficiency and effectiveness in all areas of government’s fiscal operations through:
i. Improved internal revenue generation to reduce overdependence on federal allocations and short-term loans.
ii. Creating sustainable development in urban and rural areas through the construction of access road networks, improvement of secondary and tertiary education, healthcare facilities to reduce diseases and mortality, as well as provision of other basic social services such as water supply, electricity and affordable housing;
iii. Redefining of government’s role in the economy through looking into options of liberalizing state owned companies and changing the value and culture system towards entrepreneurship; and
iv. Sustenance of good governance through budgetary discipline and public finance reforms, promotion of transparency and accountability by ensuring due process in government businesses as well as security for lives and property.
10. The proposed 2017 budget is estimated at N107,759,293045. This is sourced from N72,441,293,045 and 35,298,000,000 recurrent and capital revenues respectively. Therefore, the sum of N37,720,164,105, representing 35.01%, is earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while the sum of N70,019,000,000, representing 64.98%, is dedicated for capital expenditure.
11. It could be observed that the proposed 2017 budget is higher than the 2016 budget by N6.99 billion. This is in spite of the shortfall in revenue accruals experienced in 2016. What gave us the impetus to propose this much is our confidence in the measures being put in place to harness other potential sources of revenue. We also have a glimmer of hope that revenues from oil will improve in the coming year as a result of the recent OPEC decision to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day, beginning from January 2017. In addition, during his official visit to the state, Mr President pledged to reimburse our state for the federal road projects undertaken by the State Government. We are therefore confident that the year 2017 will be a year of economic recovery and social improvement.
Sectoral Allocation of Capital Expenditure:
12. The sum of N70,019,000,000 allocated to the Capital Expenditure, representing 64.98% of the total budget size, is shared among the 4 main sectors of our economy as follows:
13. Economic sector: This sector consists of agriculture, livestock, forestry, manufacturing, power-supply, transport, commerce, cooperatives and finance. Considering the role of this sector to the economic growth and development of our people and the state in general, the sum N27,753,000,000 is set aside for the sector. The agriculture sub-sector, as the mainstay of our economy, receives the highest allocation of N3,542,000,000, followed by power supply with an allocation of N3,000,000,000 and livestock with N250,000,000.
14. Social Sector: This sector covers education, health, information, youth and social welfare. The allocation to the sector is N13,746,000,000, with Education sub-sector receiving the highest allocation of N5,200,000,000. This is followed by Health with N5,000,000,000 and information with N1,311,000,000.
15. Environment Sector: The sum of N23,339,000,000 is allocated to this sector to take care of our needs on water, sewerage and drainages, housing, town planning and community development. The Town and Country Planning takes the highest allocation of N20,555,000,000, followed by water with N2,120,000,000, sewerage and drainage with N303,000,000, housing with N300,000,000 and community development with 61,000,000
16. Administration Sector: As the machinery for the implementation of government policies and programmes, the sum of N5,181,000,000 is earmarked for the sector.
17. The detailed breakdown of allocations to various sub-sectors will be presented by the Honourable Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning during a press briefing with the media in due course.
18. Before I end this address, let me use the opportunity to again thank our people for their patience, resilience, diligence, support and understanding despite the debilitating economic and security challenges. As I mentioned earlier, insha Allah we are on top of the situation. With the fiscal measures being taken by our state and the Federal Government as well as the commensurate monetary policy evolved by our apex bank, the year 2017 will usher in increased economic activities and greater prosperity. I also thank the Honourable House for your understanding and unflinching support to the policies and programs of this administration. As usual, it is our hope that you will speedily pass this budget so that implementation could begin in earnest at the beginning of 2017.
19. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I have the pleasure to present before this Honourable House the Appropriation Bill for the 2017 budget to the tune of N107,739,293,045 for your consideration and passage into law. The estimate consists of N72,441,293,045 and N35,298,000,000 as recurrent and capital revenues respectively, as well as N37,720,164,105 and N70,019,000,000 as recurrent and capital expenditure respectively.
20. I thank you most sincerely for your keen attention and pray to Almighty Allah to bless and guide you in your deliberations.
21. Thank you once again. Wassalamu alaikum.