By Ado Hassan Sokoto
SOKOTO state government has effected a 25% downward review of its 2020 annual budget following the cash crunch and slight shortfall in the federal allocation accruing to the state as well the global economic crisis sequel to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The development followed the outcome of the state Executive Council meeting presided by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal with issues on Covid-19 pandemic palliatives and measures in focus.
Briefing reporters on the decisions after delivered deliberations and approvals, Commissioner of Finance, Hon. Abdulsamad Dasuki said the budget review by 25% was informed by the current economic crises across the globe.
Explaining further , Dasuki added” You may recall that the state 2020 fiscal annual budget was N202bn but now reviewed downward to N153 bn as a realistic projection.”
Accordingly , Dasuki said that he council approved 60% of the state IGR from admissions and fees across the 10 tertiary institutions in the state should be retained BT the institutions while 40% to go to he state coffer.
However, he expressed dismay over the delay in completing the Deputy Governor’ s residence despite paying 50% of contract sum of N484 million to the contractor who only completed 35% of the work.
” Not only that,but to our dismay, he has absconded for over a year now and for that, the state government is left with no option than to revoke the contract and direct the Ministries of Finance and Justice to take on the contractor accordingly “, he said.
Similarly, the Commissioner of Water Resources, Hon. Umar Bature disclosed that consumers of the utility across the state would enjoy free supply for the months of April and May as palliative measure to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
Accordingly on his part, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Inname said ye state government had approved 100% increase of health workers hazards allowance for he months of April and May as palliative .
Similarly , Inname disclosed that those on he front line of screening and Covid-19 Rapid Response Team (RRT) will get 100% weekly allowance for exposing themselves to the risk.
In he same vein, he said the contract work of the Farfaru diagnostic centre was almost being completed even as he noted the poor counterpart funding by the 23 LGs in the state.
While briefing reporters , the Land and Housing Commissioner, Sirajo Marafa said approval for the immediate relocation of traders on the More-Illela road to enable smooth process of dualizing the road had been sealed.
Marafa further said that the state government was already working out acceptable modalities of compensating the affected traders accordingly.
Meanwhile, he state government the approved the appointments , posting and redeployment of 25 Directors General to respective agencies.
In a release by Muhammad Bello, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Governor Tambuwal said the development was to further strengthen the state civil service for more enhanced productivity towards transforming the state for the benefit of its citizens.
Hitherto, the release also said some top cadre civil servants had since need directed to report to he office of he state Head of Service, Dr. Buhari Bello Kware to re assign them accordingly.
By Ado Hassan Sokoto