Appreciating Bindow’s Foresight in 2017 Budget
By: Usman Aminu Tukur
A budget is an important document under a democratic government, no any document after the constitution of a country more important than the budget. Government at all levels prepare and make budget every year, and when signed into law becomes an operational tool in the hands of the Government.
Budget is a statement of estimated revenue and expenditure for a government over a period of time usually a year. Whenever a new year sets in like the setting in of 2017, every government prepares its budget, presents it for scrutiny by the State House of Assembly after which, the Governor or the President signed it into law. The signing of the appropriation bill into law becomes a working document that violation of it becomes gross misconduct and impeachable offence.
However, the delay in the process of budgeting may hamper the development of Government and its people – it reduces the flow of money into the economy which ultimately reduces money into the hands of the people thereby crippling the activities of the government by and large .
Governor Muhammad Umar Jibrilla of Adamawa State having understood the consequences of delay in budget last month presents the 2017 proposed budget to the Adamawa State House of Assembly under the able leadership of Hon. Kabiru Mijinyawa.
The Governor while presenting the budget at the hallowed chamber of the house, started by appreciating the legislative arm for their support and harmonious working relationship, since coming to power and particularly their support and cooperation in the 2016, where more dividends of democracy were executed to the people of the State.
He said that the performance of the last year budget by the State Government was 60% which he said is an excellent mark. The Governor therefore said in realization of the present economic situation in the country pegged this year budget at over one hundred and five billion naira (N106b). According to the Governor 52% of the total sum of the budget goes to capital expenditure and 48% will go to recurrent expenditure. And Government would attach more priority to Education and health sectors meaning that those two sectors will get high amount from the budget.
However, though there was no budget breakdown so far by the Commissioner of Finance but from the presentation of the budget by the Governor, it is a clear testimony that this year budget is going to be realistic and as already tagged by the Governor that 2017 budget is a budget of consolidation. Definitely it would consolidate the gains recorded by the government in the 2016 budget particularly in road construction all over the State.
First and foremost Governor Bindow will be commended for the timely presentation of the budget to the legislators, this will give them ample time to complete their budgetary screening and send it back for accenting by the Governor. The 2017 budget was less compared to the last year by about fifteen billion naira, indeed the reduction too is commendable as it shows the Governor’s carefulness and his economic understanding towards making the budget a reality as well as practicable, when it comes to the budget implementation. Therefore pegging the budget less than the last year due to the economic realities in the country speaks volumes in the foresight of the Governor in his forecasting ability to make the budget realistic.
Also, it is commendable for Governor Bindow’s foresight in giving the Education and Health sectors priority in the 2017 budget by allocating the sectors a lion share which would, definitely lead to a massive transformation in those vital sectors. Already the Governor had declared an emergency on the Education sector. Backing the declaration with large sums of money will aid not in small measure in changing the Education sector. This would allow the people of the State to have quality education that would precipitate development in other sectors, as developing education sector produces a multiple effect on other sectors. Likewise a healthy society is a wealthy society. And from the look of things the health sector has faced with serious challenges over the years. Any effort to turn around the sector is a welcome idea and a good direction in producing a healthy society.
The budget is presented by the Governor clearly allocated 52% to capital expenditure and 48% to recurrent expenditure. This is a wonderful allocation as the difference between the capital expenditure and recurrent is only about 4%. Unlike past years where governments allocated more money to recurrent expenditure than capital expenditure. But with this percentage it is fair and more capital projects would be seen by the people. It would give the larger population who are not civil servants and political appointees more dividends of democracy and reduce corruption.
Governor Jibrilla would be commended too for recording about 60% performance in the 2016 budget as revealed by him in the presentation of this year budget. This is no doubt a very big achievement and with his achievements in the road construction projects across the State, is enough testimony that no doubt, he has achieved the stated percentage. Some governments, on record never achieved more than 50% in the year.
More interesting in the performance of Governor in the last year was his ability and diplomacy in relating wonderfully with the legislative arm of government in the State. Historically, for the past years we all know the sour relationship between the executive and the legislature which led to political crises that hinders development of the State.
Hopefully, the Adamawa people are expecting a speedy passage of the proposed budget so that it would give the Governor a leverage to work for the people and bring more dividends of democracy to the door steps of the people of the State. As the Governor performed excellently in 2016 particularly in road construction we are equally optimistic that his performance in 2017 will be better.