Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State on Wednesday presented the N108bn budget proposal for the year 2020 to the State Assembly.
Tagged ‘Budget of Continuity and Consolidation’, the fiscal document could be described as governor Buni’s demonstration of his commitment towards revitalizing the socio-economic demography of the state.
The 2020 budget proposal could be described as all-encompassing as it seeks to boost agriculture by encouraging a transition from traditional subsistent to commercial farming.
Recall that Governor Buni had flagged off Livelihood Support Project’ designed to assist over 20,000 households across the state, which would provide immediate food and non-food items to the identified vulnerable households and support the less privileged as they engage in farming and other economic activities.
On improving the qualitative and affordable healthcare for Yobe people, the governor expressed his commitment to upgrading healthcare infrastructure and making sure the hospitals, clinics, and health centers have the basic requirements to function efficiently and effectively.
The governor stated that he would build and upgrade critical infrastructure such as roads, water supply and sanitation facilities, electricity, among others.
Similarly, the budget will also focus on tapping from Yobe’s vast solid mineral and tourism potentials and reposition the state by providing incentives to attract private investments and entrepreneurship.
“We have already started discussions with potential domestic and foreign investors for the construction of a new cement factory in the State to effectively utilize our abundant gypsum and limestone deposits.
“We are also exploring a wide range of partnerships to build meat processing and diary factories for export,” the governor stated.
Most-importantly, the governor’s commitment to education in the state could be described as one of his stellar developmental strides that elicited wide-ranging commendations from the citizens and many Nigerians.
Expectedly, education featured prominently in the 2020 budget proposal with a whopping sum of N22.8billion. Thus, Mr Buni’s love and affection towards educating Yobe children, made him give education priority to build on the previous administration’s momentum in revitalizing the education sector in the state.
Closely below education in terms of allocation is Works, Transport and Energy sector which gulfs over N16billion, followed by the Health sector with N12billion and then Land, Housing and Property Development with over N8billion.
Others are: Agriculture with N4.645billion, Commerce, Industry and Tourism N4.429billion, Office of the SSG with N4.331billion, Government House with N3.154billion, the state House of Assembly N2.188billion, Water Resources N1.968billion and the Office of the Head of Service with N1.611billion.
It could be recalled that on his assumption into office, the governor took proactive approaches towards addressing the challenges in the education sector, especially in primary and secondary education.
The governor organised and hosted an education summit, set up a Technical Committee on the revitalization of Basic and Secondary Education and resolved to implement the recommendations of the Committee.
Governor Buni emphasised his commitment towards improving the lives of the Yobe citizens through deliberate policies that would have direct bearing on the socio-economic prosperity of the people.
According to Mr Buni, 2020 budget proposal was borne out of commitment to work hard, sacrifice and resolute determination to move the state forward, to the path of socio-economic prosperity.
“We would do this through the formulation of sound policies and implementation of different programmes that would address the critical needs of our people in agriculture, education, healthcare, water supply and infrastructural development, among others.
“You may also recall that, I have called on our people to give us their support and to pray for Almighty Allah’s guidance as we make these policies and implement these programmers’,” he said.
Against this backdrop, Mr Buni vowed to create four additional ministries, making the total number of ministries in the state to 20, and reposition the existing ones to ensure effective governance.
On the insecurity, the governor expressed his gratitude to God and to the security agencies in the state for their resilience in the fight against insurgency and other forms of crime in the state.
According to him, despite recent isolated incidences, there is general improvement in the security situation in the State.
“This was achieved as a result of the dedication and gallantry of our Armed forces and other Security Agencies.
“It is also a testimony to the resilience of our people across the State and the level of cooperation and support they have been giving and will continue to give to the security agencies involved in the fight against insurgency and other forms of crime,” he said.
“A Special Security Trust Fund, which is an initiative of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, will be instituted in the State. The enabling draft executive bill will be transmitted to this Honourable House soon,” he added.
Recall that Mr Buni had recently donated 30 Toyota Hilux vehicles for security surveillance procured at the cost of N720million while constituting ‘Haba Maza Squad’ involving Nigerian Police and other security agencies aimed at ensuring peace and security across the state.
Based on the foregoing, little wonder the Progressive Governors’ Forum in a report from their Secretariat in October rated the state second in terms of new governance initiatives among all the 18 APC-controlled states in the country.