Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has signed the state’s 2021 budget of more than N142.7 billion into law, pledging to ensure accountability, and prove to the world that his administration was transparent.
Mr Matawalle assented to the bill on Friday in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.
According to him, the budget, which is IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) compliant, captured all citizens’ interests, including those at the grassroots.
He, therefore, assured people of Zamfara of timely release of funds to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to enable them carry out various projects for the development of the state.
Earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Nasiru Magargaya, said the budget of N145.4 billion presented to the house, was reduced to N142.7 billion.
Mr Magargaya said that as a result of the amendments, the recurrent expenditure was cut down from N64.3 billion to N63.1 billion, while the capital expenditure was reduced from the governor’s proposed N81.0 billion to N79.6 billion.
He explained that the reduction of N3 billion was to ensure the passage of a realistic budget that would reflect the current economic reality in Zamfara and in the country.
“We decided to downsize the budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic, inadequate IGR and other factors, in order to make it realistic.”
The speaker commended the governor for his efforts in managing the state in spite of inadequate resources.
“Despite the economic recession, Zamfara State government has not failed in the payment of workers’ salaries, other entitlements and obligations in the state,” he added.
According to him, the house speedily passed the budget into law so that it would take effect from January 2021 in line with IPSAS regulations.
The speaker appealed to the executive to adhere strictly to provisions of the budget, and ensure timely release of funds to MDAs to enable them meet the yearnings of the people.