Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has pledged to sustain the provision of the direly needed dividends to the people of the state, amidst some formidable challenges.
The Governor said that, the APC-led administration in the state has a social contract with the electorate that is well on course .
The Governor further vowed that,both the Federal, Kebbi and LGs in the state will sustin their ongoing efforts to uplift the living standard of people, with the available dwindling resources.
Bagudu disclosed all these, Thursday ,in Birnin Kebbi, at the 2021 Town Hall meeting that brainstormed on the 2020 Budget Performance, as well as how to ensure a robust 2021 budget implementation .
He soberly recalled that, the implementation of the budget of the outgoing year was truncated by some unforeseen events, most especially COVID-19 and the devastating flood.
Bagudu said that, the state was implementing the 2020 budget, when for instance in mid March it successfully hosted the Yauri Regatta and the Argungu Fishing Festival, after a decade.
The Governor however noted that, the Coronavirus pandemic made matters to turn for the worst and negatively took a toll on the world economy, including that of Nigeria and Kebbi state.
According to him, the budget was revised down , while expenditures were scaled down, just as governments took various measures in response to the pandemic.
The Governor happily averred that, Nigeria and Kebbi still fared better sequel to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as efforts made by his administration.
Bagudu further lamented that, the obnoxious situation was aggravated by the recent devastating flood, the worst since 2010.
” It left in its wake, serious devastation of farmlands, houses, infrastructure, displacement of communities and a lot of effects on the economy.
” However, with the combined efforts of the three tiers of government and the communities, we are getting back on our feet and the state will bounce back,” Bagudu, added.
The Governor also hinted how the myriad of security challenges were affecting the economy, although he expressed optimism that, the ongoing efforts by the three tiers of government and the security agencies, the ugly situation was on the verge of being surmounted .
Bagudu also vowed not leave any stone unturned to ensure that, the implementation of the 2021 budget was robust and successful, in spite of all the duanting challenges.
He promised to sustain all the state government’s programme and policies, while efforts will be sustained to facilitate those of the Federal Government and the various Development Partners .
Civil Society Organizations, Development Partners, such as Oxfam, IHP, Labour Unions, Civil servants, religious leaders and traditional rulers all graced the program and delivered their heart warming goodwll messages, commending Governor Bagudu for giving them the rare opportunity to make their inputs in the budget, through the Town Hall meeting.
The Magajin Rafin Gwandu, Barrister Sambo Aliyu, who represented the Emir of Gwandu, commended the Governor for organizing the event
, saying that, the town hall meeting for the 2021 budget was an indication of good governance and spirit of diligent service to people.
He said that, convening the Town Hall meeting on the budget by the Governor would go along way in doing away with postulations and insinuations .
A Cross section of other people who made contributions, asked questions or comments, as well as advised the State Government to evolve tangible ways of generating internally generated revenues.
This, they opined, was in order to further improve the education and other sectors in the state.
Zara’u Ahmad, from Kungiyar Tallafin Mata Initiative, particularly implored the Board of Internal Revenue, to make formidable efforts to generate more revenues to the state.
On his part, Muhammad Muhammad Gulma, from Kebbi Civil Society Forum and Ibrahim Ngaski, stressed the need for the Government to give education more attention, including the improvement of schools infrastructure across the state.
Nazifi Umar, a physically challenged person, requested the Government to make provisions on health and education for people with special needs in the state.
The State APC Chairman, Arc. Bala Sani Kangiwa, recommended a holistic approach to improve internally generated revenue that would enhance infrastructural development and social wellbeing of the people.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Babale Umar Yauri, welcomed all participants to the 2021 Town Hall meeting .
Yauri reiterated the unwavering commitment of Kebbi State Government, under the able leadership of Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, to run an open, transparent and people- oriented Government.
The Commissioner, Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Abba Sani Kalgo and his Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Aishatu Usman gave a rundown of the 2020 and 2021 budgets.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Hajiya Aishatu Usman, gave an overview of the 2020 budget performance, while the Commissioner, Alhaji Abba Sani Kalgo, gave highlights of the 2021 budget to the audience.
Other highlights of the 2021 Budget Town Hall Meeting included presentation of Community Development Plans from Danko Wasagu,Jega and Birnin Kebbi Local Government Areas, anchored by the Commissioner, Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Abba Sani Kalgo
The Kebbi State Deputy Governor, retired Col. Samaila Yombe Dabai, thanked all the participants on behalf of the Governor and Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning for sacrificing their valuable time in attending the meeting.
He expressed optimsm that all their inputs would go a long way in building a formidable People’s Budget, that would take Kebbi to greater heights.
Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers and other Heads of Government Parastatals were at hand to respond to questions and offer more clarifications on Government Programs and projects.