REMARKS BY RT. HON. DR. ALI AHMAD, SPEAKER
KWHA, ON THE OCCASION OF PASSAGE OF 2017 APPROPIATION BILL OF THE GOVERNMENT OF
KWARA STATE AT PLENARY OF 7TH MARCH 2017.
Hon. Colleagues, you will recall that
the proposed appropriation bill 2017, was laid by His Excellency, Alh. (Dr.)
Abdulfatah Ahmed, before this Hon House on 29th of December 2016 and
since then, Hon. members have worked assiduously to pass a working budget for
I recollect also that members of the
KWHA exhibited similar commitment last year when you worked so hard to pass the
budget timely, despite its late presentation to the House. I therefore commend you all, including members
of staff of the Assembly, for your exemplary dedication to duty and urge you
not to relent.
is another important day in the history of this state as this Honourable House
passes into law the 2017 Budget whose total size is N160,900,388,017 as against
the N135,264,529,461 which is an increase of N25,635,858,556 or 18.95%. This is
made up of Recurrent Expenditure of N70, 758, 967, 750 which is 44% of the
Budget and a total Capital Expenditure of N90, 141, 420, 267 which is 56% of the
executed, a N90 Billion or 56% Capital Expenditure outlay of projects and
programs, evenly spread across the three Senatorial districts of this State,
will certainly have great impact on the lives of the citizens. Not many states
in the Federation are committing such huge percentage of their resources for capital
expenditure. We congratulate Kwarans for electing and supporting the Government
of Abdulfatah Ahmed. The expected capital projects include much needed road
networks, developing satellite campuses of Abubakar Sola Saraki University,
up-scaling and subsidizing the community
health insurance scheme, energizing of transformers and purchase of new ones,
construction and renovation of classrooms, construction of staff secretariat,
assisting those interested in commercialization of agriculture, the Geri-Alimi
underpass and several others.
The Recurrent Revenue, estimated to be
available to the State this year is N94,958,620,208 while capital receipt is
estimated to be N65,941,767,809 giving us a Sum of N160,900,388,017 as total
estimated income for the year.
colleagues, what you have just done is increase the total budget size by adding
N25.6 Billion Naira or 18.9 % over and above the figure submitted by the
Executive. To those who are not legislatively literate, they may pejoratively
refer to this constitutional exercise as padding. But not majority of Kwarans
have been well briefed and enlightened, thanks to the Nigeria Union of
Journalists, Kwara State Chapter, which played host to the Deputy Speaker of
the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Sulaimon Lasun Yusuf, to share his
experience on this matter.
is padding, when this House increased the budget of Agriculture sector from N561.141
million (or 0.4% of the budget) to N6.818 Billion or 4.24% of the total budget,
which is relatively closer to the 10% recommended by the Food and Agricultural
Organization Maputo Declaration 2004 for Sub-Saharan African Countries
(compared to N89.684 Million in 2016).
was no padding, we were just doing our duty, when we increased the budget of
the education sector, including bursaries and scholarships for students of
Kwara State origin, from N29.936 Billion to N32.752 Billion or 20.36% of the
budget, which makes it closer to the 24% recommended by UNICEF for developing
countries. The health sector came in well from the Executive and we only jacked
it up a little to stand at N26.402 Billion or 16.4% of the Budget, surpassing
the African Union Abuja Declaration 2001 recommendation of 15%.
was never in our mind when we reduced the budget of the Kwara State House of
Assembly by N46.746 Million and further reduction of capital expenditure of the
Legislature by another figure.. The only area this House was helpless because
of limitation of funds was the water supply sector where the provision of
N2.726 Billion or 1.69 % (from N1.724 or 1.3%) of the Budget is far less than
the United Nations recommendation of 10%.
For the avoidance of doubt, the House
was guided by the provisions of the country's constitution and best practices
in good governance across other jurisdictions. Implementing organs of
international organizations have recommended some minimum percentages of public
resources that should be committed to various sectors of the economy for such nations
to transit from developing to developed economies. The aim and objective of any development plan
like this Budget is to achieve such an improved welfare condition and raise the
standard of living for its citizens. That is the "shared Prosperity"
with which this State has been identified.
Honorable colleagues, I need not remind
you that the Constitution has entrusted on us not only the powers of
appropriation but also that of oversight.
must commend the Executive for its foresight in establishing and empowering the
Kwara State Internal Revenue Service but the high performance of the 2016
budget could not have happened without your oversight function. We should
continue on the same path in 2017: i.e. further support internally generated
effort of KWIRS and take our oversight more seriously.
example of the effect of sustained oversight will suffice. Despite the
excruciating economic recession in 2016, that year's budget of N111.960 Billion
with actual performance of N85.979 Billion, recorded achieved performance of 68%.
Salaries and pensions of State workers were paid, more health and judiciary
staff were employed and that translated into recurrent expenditure of 87.4 %.
That is most commendable where some other States are unable to pay salaries of
their workers. The Governor even came to the assistance of local governments
and we urge him to do more in this regard. Also the capital expenditure of 47%
in a year of recession is also not blameworthy.
at the beginning of that year we charged the Executive to attain a minimum of
70% performance, little did we know that the economy would contract this bad.
Remember in 2015, with less oversight of a budget size of N117.678 Billion, the
actual performance was N63.480 Billion or 54% total achievement in a
non-recession year! In 2014, it was even lower. From this perspective, the 2016
performance level of 68% is thus remarkable. We must do better in 2017. 70% budget performance shall remain our
expectation for the 2017 budget year.
colleagues I wish to repeat once again that an appropriation law is the most
important law that any legislature would pass in the year.
now, Development drives are measured only by the allocation of capital receipts
to capital programmes. However, the International Public Sector Accounting
System (IPSAS) has now re-directed the thinking of Planners and Administrators
to the fact that without the provision for recurrent spending, the capital
resources allocation alone would neither achieve nor sustain the project. Therefore,
both the recurrent and capital allocation to a sector should determine the
percentage of the resources that stand committed to it.
Honourable colleagues, as the Kwarans look up to you
in many for the realization of many of their aspirations, I have no doubt like
ever before that you all are competent and capable to perform your
constitutional responsibilities and I assure you of my support.
My Office will also collaborate your efforts by
establishing a strategy of keeping track of Budget implementation across the MDAs
with the aim of creating a means for notes comparison with the Various
Committees. I thank you all for your continued support, cooperation and
dedication to duty and may Allah bless you all.