By Musa Ubandawaki Sokoto
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the 2023 budget presented by Governor Àminu Waziri Tambuwal to the Sokoto state house of Assembly as a cover-up exercise without any consideration for the electorates.
The Sokoto state APC Chairman Alhaji Isah Sadeeq Achida disclosed this at a press conference held on Tuesday at the state party secretariat Sultan Abubakar road Sokoto.
He said it’s disheartening to note that, the Governor has not said anything about the performance of the 2022 budget, but rather buried details of his administration’s failure to avoid people public scrutiny.
“You may wish to recall that a few days ago, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal presented before the State House of Assembly, what he chose to call, a “Budget of consolidation and finishing strong”. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a Cover-up exercise with no consideration for the electorate.”
“What we saw, was nothing but the misplacement of priorities, a bundle of contradictions and aims to uplift the personal comfort of political office holders, over and above providing essential services to the people.”
“We find it difficult to reconcile how a Government that sold most of our choice Houses at giveaway prices, without caring to disclose the amount realized from the sales, now turn around to purchase a few dilapidated structures at Nicon Quarters for 300 Million Naira.
There is also the case of duplication of projects, where a road project (Dogondaji to Sabawa), quoted at 600million naira was also duplicated at One Naira”
Achida further said critical observation of the Budget presentation, shows that the key sectors of Education, Health, and Agriculture mentioned as enjoying lion’s share allocations, were actually relegated with meager percentages in the Capital breakdown.
He explained that the Education sector which was mentioned to have received 18% in the sectoral allocation, in actual fact, ended up with below 3 percent of the Capital allocation.
According to him the provision of 914 million nairas for assistance to Covid19 victims looks rather suspicious at this point in time, considering the fact that, the impact of Covid was rather low in Sokoto State. Even the Federal Government has relaxed the Covid 19 Protocol, which is a clear indication that the threat has drastically reduced.
He said it could have been better if the covid-19 allocation was meant to cushion the effects of poverty, inflicted on the people of Sokoto State by the seven years of PDP administration since a recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics has shown Sokoto as leading all the States of the Federation on the poverty table.
“We in the Sokoto State APC have been following developments in the State House of Assembly with keen interest where there has been a standoff, arising from moves to secure loans by the Sokoto State Government, which has met a stiff resistance from APC legislative members in the house”.
“A total of 89 billion naira loans have been approved by the house since its inauguration after the last Elections, without commensurate performance to justify further securing of additional loans”.
“In the latest request, the APC house members insisted that the political heads of the relevant Ministries or departments should be invited to brief the house on the desirability of the loans to provide the basis for oversight function by the members, as well as afford them the opportunity to know the relevant accounting officers and political leaders to hold responsible, should the loans be misappropriated or misapplied.” Says APC Chairman.
“We in the APC wish to align ourselves with our members in the Sokoto State House of Assembly and stand in solidarity with them where we
wish to strongly advise the lender Banks Not to Grant the loans being applied for, as doing so will be at their own risk. As a popular wise saying goes, “To be forewarned, is to be forearmed “. Achida cautioned.
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