By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
The expectation and hope of civil servants in Sokoto state to begin to enjoy the N30,000 new minimum wage has been dashed as the 2019 fiscal year budget approved proposal of N169.652 will Monday be presented to the state assembly without provision for the new wage.
The state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Shehu Adamu Rara who confirmed to newsmen at a briefing Friday night in Sokoto shortly after the state Executive Council meeting explained that the issue of the new minimum wage was still being debated hence, the state government could not capture it in the 2019 budget proposal.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who chaired the all important meeting which also approved over N3.4 bn contracts, is expected to present the budget proposal to the assembly on Monday.
It would be recalled that the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba recently adviced state governments to ensure their 2019 budgets capture the new minimum wage and for those who already passed their budgets should prepare supplementary budgets to cover the new wage for implementation.
Rara continued:” the issue is being debated and has not been finalised.
” But I can assure you that whenever is finalised, we will submit a supplementary budget to take care of the new wage.”
He said the state government has always given priority to the welfare and well being of civil servants and people of the state.
” Sokoto people are dear to Tambuwal’s administration and will always ensure their well being”, he stressed.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information, Barrister Muhammad Bello Goronyo while giving a summary of the contracts for various capital projects and supplies at the cost of over N3.4bn contracts, said the contracts were aimed at facilitating the provision of infrastructural needs of people of the state.
According to him, the contracts expected to be completed at different periods include dualisation of the SAIA road from the Sokoto-Bodinga road roundabout junction to the airport entrance gate, Advance Diagnosis centre and equipment, renovation and rehabilitation of Olusegun Obasanjo Government Technical College, Bafarawa.
Others are: supply of textbooks to the SSCOE library, completion of the General hospital Dange as well as the construction of additional structures, provision of adjourning facilities, expansion of road network, children play ground and equipment at the Sokoto International Conference Centre.
Accordingly, shedding more light, Dr. Muhammad Ali Inname, Commissioner of Health, explained that the diagnosis centre which would be equipped with modern technologies will also serve not only the state but Nigeria, adding that” if established, will ease movement of patients to far places for such services as well discourage medical tourism.”
Inname said the contract has been approved at the cost of over N2.9bn.
In the same vein, his Higher Education counterpart, Alhaji Isah Bajini Galadanci said the college’s library needed to be equipped with latest publications that will aid both students and lecturers quest for research and reference studies.
He further explained that the books would cost not less than N96.7m.
While Dr. Kulu Haruna Abubakar, Commissioner for Science and Technology disclosed that over N98.8m contract was awarded for the renovation and rehabilitation of the Olusegun Obasanjo Government Technical College, Bafarawa to further drive the state’s need for sound technical education of students.
According to her” we have to measure up with global technologies requirements by encouraging practicals among our students.
” Technical skills and education is the driver for attaining physical development that will guarantee research, innovations and other technical platforms to sustain our demand in the area”, she pointed out.
Similarly, Barrister Goronyo explained that the dualisation of the airport road linking the Sokoto-Bodinga road roundabout to the airport entrance gate has been approved at the cost of N548.2m.
” It will ease traffic, create more space and ensure safety both for entrants and exiting vehicles and persons”, he explained.