Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State says his administration has earmarked N3.5 billion for the payment of outstanding gratuity to retired civil servants in the state.
Malam Yahaya Sarki, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media, disclosed this in a statement made available to our reporter in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
Sarki quoted Bagudu as saying this at a Townhall meeting on the 2023 Budget of the state held at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Lodge, Birnin Kebbi.
According to the governor, the state government will defray the outstanding gratuity owed retirees from December 2021 to September 2022.
He explained that the state government had made adequate arrangements to ensure that the payments were made on or before the end of this year.
Bagudu, who is also the Chairman, APC Governors’ Forum, assured that his administration would not bequeath unnecessary liabilities to the incoming administration in the state.
The governor said hat the last seven years had been horrendous for the world economy, resulting in global financial turbulence.
“It’s even a miracle that Nigeria had been kept together. I must thank the public servants and the generality of the people of the state for their uncommon show of support and cooperation.
“I must also thank the people of the state for their patience and resilience for accommodating some of our inadequacies.
“However, every government should be judged by the challenges it faces and we are glad that we have done our best.
“We will sustain our modest efforts to govern the state transparently, honestly and piously and In-shaa Allah, the incoming administration will consolidate our achievements,” he said.
He reeled out some completed and ongoing programmes, projects and policies of the state government, saying “our main objective is to make life easier for the people of the state.
“This affects all the sectors of the economy, and we are happy that we have done modestly fabulous.”
He commended the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning under the leadership of the Commissioner, Dr Abba Kalgo, the Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Aisha Usman, and their team for ensuring the annual budget of the state receive input from traditional rulers, associations and other of relevant stakeholders.
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Babale Yauri, appreciated the presence of the governor, top government officials, traditional rulers, civil society groups and international partners at the forum.
He said the budget townhall meeting, which was the 4th in the series organised by the present administration, was aimed at carrying along every indigene of the state in preparation and execution of fiscal policies towards promoting good governance.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planing, Hajiya Aisha Usman, presented an overview of the 2022 budget performance, while the Co-Chair Open Government Partnership (OGP), Mr Ibrahim Ngaski, presented outcomes of zonal townhall meetings and citizen input into the 2023 budget.
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Abba Kalgo, had earlier given highlights of the 2023 budget, tagged: “Budget of Enduring Legacies”.
According to him, the proposed 2023 budget was prepared in line with the Kebbi State 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
He explained that the 2023 Budget was based on a benchmarked oil price of $57 per barrel, while oil production was benchmarked at 1.8 million barrels per day, inflation rate estimated at 20.77 per cent and an exchange rate of N440 to $1.
The commissioner said that the proposed 2023 Budget totalled N166,985,075,110 only.
He said capital expenditure was estimated at N107,323,421,342, representing 64 per cent, while recurrent expenditure stood at N59,661,653,768 or 36 per cent.