Sokoto: Over N1 bn approved for rural electrification, renovation of assembly complex

By Ado  Hassan, Sokoto

Sokoto state government has earmarked and approved N651.88 million for the purchase of 118 model transformers  and 82 units of feeder pillars for the electrification of communities across the state.
Briefing newsmen in Sokoto at the end of the periodic Executive Council meeting chaired by Governor Ainu Waziri Tambuwal, the state Commissioner for Rural Development , Usman Suleiman Dandamin Isa said the essence was to ensure electricity supply to communities for socio economic benefit of rural dwellers.
According to him” the provision of I infrastructure is essential to the survival of citizens and it stimulates and boost economic activities.”
He explained that ” we discovered the existing  feeder pillars are analogue and deemed it fit to replace them with modern technologies.
” This will also be more effective and efficient in realising the results by supporting it with transformers so as to avoid the incessant power failures being experienced”, he explained.
Danmadamin Isa said a number of feeder pillars across communities and areas were either outdated or destroyed by windstorm and could not be serviced which has affected power supply even in some urban areas.
Also explaining, Alhaji Isah Bajini Galadanci , Commissioner for Information noted that despite the paucity of funds, the state government was committed to providing basic infrastructure.
He disclosed that a committee to hold an interface discussion  with officials of KEDCO to review and proffer ways to improve electricity supply in the state had been set up.
” The incessant power outage is disturbing. We want to improve the situation and we are confident that we will improve on energy supply in the state”, he assured.
Accordingly, Galadanci disclosed that approval for variation on the renovation of the State Assembly complex had been given at the cost of N309.5 million.
” The assembly complex needs a befitting face lift for the convenience and  comfort the lawmakers to enable them discharge their responsibilities under conducive environment. It is long over due”, he pointed out.
In he same vein, the Commissioner for Justice , Suleiman Usman(SAN), disclosed that an executive bill Fiscal Responsibility Law on Revenue harmonisation, consolidation and integration as well anti graft will be sponsored.
According to him” the bill if passed into law will remove all distortions concerning barriers on financial issues especially on revenue generation, taxation(double taxation) ,levies among others for government to realise the necessary revenue for the development of the state.
” It will also assist government to lawfully establish an effective and efficient enforcement process through relevant institutions that would drive fiscal responsibility. 
” It will also ensure proper planning, financing  and monitoring of medium and long term expenditure framework on revenue generation, mobilisation and remittance in the most appropriate manner.
” This will also take care of corrupt practices by checking and sanctioning any erring public official diverting revenue accruing to the state government. By this, it will strengthen our revenue base and bars of government expenditure “, he explained.
Similarly, Mr Buhari Bello Kware, HoS, said the state government had approved to guarantee a N2 bn Heritage Bank motorcycle loan requested by the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) for the purchase and distribution to civil servants.

According to Kware” it is not the state government arrangement but that of the NLC. We are coming in to guarantee in order to facilitate the release of the loan facility to the union. 
” Though, we discovered that the interest rate is high(22%) and we advised that the union should go back and negotiate with the bank for a downward review.
” Each motorcycle is pegged at N270,000 for 9,090 staff beneficiaries. The loans will be repaid in 24 months which N11,250 will be deducted monthly from worker salary”, he explained

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