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Niger Gov Presents N600bn Budget, Clarifies Civil Servants’ Dress Code Report

Governor Mohammed Bago of Niger State has proposed N613,274,081,698.17 as the budget estimate for the 2024 fiscal year. Presenting the appropriation bill on the floor…

Governor Mohammed Bago of Niger State has proposed N613,274,081,698.17 as the budget estimate for the 2024 fiscal year.

Presenting the appropriation bill on the floor of the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Bago said the budget was tagged ‘Budget of Future’ with recurrent expenditure of  N149,217,969,152.00 representing 24.33 per cent and capital expenditure of  N464,056,832,546.60 representing 75.67 per cent.

The governor said the budget would be funded through revenue of N298,052,655,520.00, made up of N155,963,711,064.00 statutory allocation, N50,644,000,750.00 Value Added Tax (VAT), N61,868,620,968.35 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), N9,576,322,737.00 Excess Crude/Other Revenue as well as  N20,000,000,000.00 SURE-P Refund.

He said other funding opportunities include capital receipts of N315,322,146,178.00, made up of N256,459,074,825.00 and N58,763,071,353.00 as loans and grants respectively.

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Bago announced the abolition of collection and utilisation of revenues by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including all tertiary institutions in the state, to improve revenue accumulation in the state.

The governor said the 2024 budget would focus on key areas like urban renewal and rural transformation, security of lives and property, infrastructural development, agriculture and food security, education, health; water and sanitation, women and children, environmental sustainability and people with special needs and elderly care.

He said in the 2024 fiscal year, the government would spend N43.5bn to procure equipment and machinery, including 300 units of MF375 power steering tractors, and farm implements as well as fertilizers for farmers. This, he said would enhance productivity, adding that the Niger State Agricultural Mechanisation Authority (NAMDA) would be repositioned to enable it to effectively undertake its agricultural extension mandate and support farmers in all ramifications.

Bago said the Ward Development Project Initiative of former governor Babangida Aliyu would be brought back to accelerate rural development, which he said would cost N6.8bn.

The governor also announced the setting up of data bank for nomads and pastoralists in the state, adding that milk collection centres would be established to boost the well-being of herders and put an end to the lingering hostility between farmers and herders across the state.

Meanwhile, the state government has clarified reports that the governor prescribed dress code for civil servants in the state.

A statement by Bago’s Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, said the video going viral on social media platforms where the governor was captured saying civil servants from Mondays to Thursdays should not dress in native attire, popularly called ‘Babban Riga’  in Hausa, did not capture the statement in its original context.

The statement titled ‘Governor Umaru Bago says statement on dress code contextually misunderstood’, stressed that the statement was quoted out of context and wrongly presented to the public.

The statement partly read, “Mr Governor believes that, as a state, we have no reason to be poor because of the enormous agricultural potential of the state and that his government was already investing heavily in the agricultural revolution, hence the need for all to collectively embrace farming including the civil servants.”

He explained further that the governor was only encouraging civil servants to be good farmers who dress smartly to the farm.

He said the governor’s statement did not in any way imply that civil servants now have a dress code to office from Monday to Thursday as erroneously captured in the video.

“The governor did not announce or mandate any dress code for the civil servants, rather, he meant every professional should be dressed based on the demands of their job. The viral video was curiously and mischievously edited to malign the governor. The general public must disregard the clip because the full video clearly defines what he meant,” he added.

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