Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has presented a budget estimate of over N168 billion to the State House of Assembly for the 2021 fiscal year.
The proposal tagged Budget of Restoration and Stabilisation was N47 billion lower than that of the 2020 approved budget which was over N215 billion.
Presenting the budget to the lawmakers on Friday in Jalingo, the governor explained that the preparation was guided by the micro-economic variables as determined by the Federal Government.
He listed the determining factors to include international oil benchmark of $40 per barrel, oil production quarter of 1.8 million barrels per day, an exchange rate of $1 to N379, an inflation rate of 11.95 per cent, as well as a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of three per cent.
“Mr Speaker, honourable members, for the state services in the 2021 period, the government has budgeted the sum of N168, 677, 960,681 which represents a decrease of N47,147,616,129 or 27.95 per cent lower than the 2020 approved budget,” Governor Ishaku said.
While the recurrent expenditure is estimated at N82,910,48,650,90 representing 59.45 per cent, the capital expenditure is estimated at N56, 550,387,310,90 representing 40.55 per cent.
The governor assured the lawmakers that his administration would ensure budget discipline for proper implementation of the 2021 budget.
He directed that all government agencies must be disciplined in the execution of the approved estimates, insisting that deviation from the approved budget should not be encouraged.
“There will be a close review, monitoring of the physical performance of all capital projects and programmes to ensure that funds released are utilised for the right purposes and it implies that payment of contracts will be performance-driven,” Governor Ishaku said.
He added, “Agencies of government receiving direct grants from its Federal counterpart and development partners should report such to the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Office of the Accountant General, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for effective monitoring and utilisation, hitherto, we are kept in the dark.”
The governor noted that he has established the state’s Economic Council to assist the government on economic affairs and measures necessary for the coordination of planning efforts of the state.
He stated that the effort of his administration in the areas of transparency, accountability, and citizenship participation has yielded results.
He said, “I wish to formally announce that my government’s giant stride on the principle of transparency, accountability and citizen participation in governance has earned Taraba state a member of the Nigerian Open Government Partnership.”
“We are, therefore, working tirelessly to secure membership of the Global Open Government Partnership, as it will open up Taraba State to investors and development partners.
“My desire to deliver on all ongoing projects is not sacrosanct, we will do what it takes to bring to fruition our covenant with our people,” he added.