Taraba State Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku on Wednesday presented to the State House of Assembly a budget of sixty eight billion and one hundred and ten million naira (N68.8 bn) for 2016.
Tagged “The Rescue Budget “, the governor explained that the appropriation bill was prepared bearing in mind “the realities of times.”
“We can only spend what we have; our projections are conservative and based on what we feel are more certain to accrue within the 2016 fiscal period.”
A breakdown of the budget has recurrent expenditure of N42.7 billion, representing 62.10 percent, and a capital expenditure of N26 billion, representing 37.90 percent of the budget.
The governor expects fiscal projections from the traditional revenues of the federal statutory allocations of N35.8 billion, Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of N5.3 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) of N8.6 billion, Aids and Grants N5.3 billion, proposed internal loan of N12 billion and external loan draw down of N1.4 billion.
Ishaku told The Nation that his priority would be in the areas of agriculture, health and peace.
Housing and urban development had the lion share of N4.8 billion, followed by skills and knowledge enhancement programme with N3.4 billion and governance with N3.4 billion.
Agriculture was allocated N2.3 billion, health N2.9 billion while roads construction and transportation had N2.4 billion.
From the bottom on the expenditure is poverty alleviation with N100 million, youth empowerment with N235.8 million, private sector N297 million, gender empowerment N350 million and airways with N500 million.
The governor disclosed he has directed that a strategic framework for the implementation of his rescue agenda manifesto be developed between now and the end of February 2016, to serve as the basis for the annual budgets of the state from now to 2019.
To remain focus on the implementation of the agenda, Ishaku said the framework will be linked with the state’s cash flow.
He added that all the local councils affected by civil unrest in the past years will be given due consideration.
“Though our current macroeconomic indices which serve as the benchmarks for our medium term projects for 2016 and beyond are not encouraging, we are facing the future with determination and faith to change our fortune as a state,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker Muhammed Gwampo who presided as the Speaker pro tempo, said “the appropriation bill will be speedily deliberated upon and put into law in the soonest possible time, so that we shall not delay the governor in his agenda of rescuing Taraba state.”