Niger Governor Presents N148bn Budget For 2020, Promises Not To Abandon Projects

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State on Tuesday presented a budget estimate of N148billion for the year 2020.

Bello, during the presentation to the State House of Assembly at Minna, Niger State capital, said the 2020 budget tagged Budget of Inclusion for Sustainable Development, would focus on completion of all ongoing projects in line with the resolve of his administration not to abandon any project.

The budget constitutes over N69billion for recurrent expenditure and over N78billion for capital expenditure.

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The Governor explained that the budget will be funded through Internally Generated Revenues, Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and other sources of income at the disposal of the state government.

Bello highlighted of some of the projects executed under the 2018 budgets to include rehabilitation of some rural and urban roads; purchase of buses to enhance transportation services in the state.

According to him, Niger Sate has collaborated with the World Bank to rehabilitate the moribund Ladi Kwali pottery and that so far the sum of N45million has been committed to the project.

Also, over N100million was spent to put the Teachers professional institute in Shiroro Local Government in good condition while the ICT/E-library at the Justice Fati Lami institute of administration was reconstructed at the cost of N17million.

Minimum Wage: I Am Ready To Pay Any Amount, Says Niger Gov

Governor Abubakar Bello

 

Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello says he is ready to pay any amount agreed upon by the Federal Government and the Nigerian Governors Forum as the minimum wage for civil servants.

The Governor said this on Wednesday when leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress in the state visited him.

He also announced the approval of the release of N3billion for the payment of pension and gratuity of retired Civil Servants in the state

According to him, civil servants are important, hence no worker deserves to be owed salary. He explained that the N3billon he approved is to be distributed to pensioners in the state and local government areas.

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Governor Bello added that although the state is currently faced with infrastructural deficit, he cannot be executing projects at the expense of the lives of the electorate.

He explained that N560 million is to be used for the payment of death gratuity of pensioners N420 million for retirement benefits and N210 million for the augmentation of those that were short-changed in previous payments.

The State Chairman of NLC, Idris Ndako, in response commended Governor Abubakar Bello for the gesture and assured him of labour’s support towards his bid for the second term.

Senate Will Ensure Upgrade Of Minna Airport – Saraki

Minna Airport, Senate, Bukola SarakiThe Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, says the Upper Chamber will ensure that the Minna Airport is upgraded to serve its primary function as alternative to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Dr. Saraki explained that the proximity of the Minna airport to the Federal Capital Territory and its standard runway made it an alternative to the Abuja airport.

He noted that with the level of renovation work at the airport and its unique features, the Senate would not allow the facility to remain dormant.

“We have seen the airport and we have discussed it. With its standard and conducive runway and its closeness to Abuja, I don’t believe it should be in its present state; we cannot allow it to remain in this sorry state.

“The Senators from this state will table it on the floor of the Senate and we shall look into it. We shall ensure that we bring the airport to international standard,” Dr. Saraki said.

The Senate President made the remarks before departing Minna for Abuja through the airport, after paying condolence visits to Governor Abubakar Bello and the family of late Abdulkadir Kure, a former Governor of Niger State.

The Minna airport has been serving the airlifting of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for annual pilgrimage for over 10 years.

The renovation work on both the arrival and departure wings of the airport, which was initially built to serve as alternative port to the Abuja airport, was stopped by the previous administration due to lack of funds.

Niger Governor Appoints Yabagi Sule Acting Head Of Service

Niger, Head of Service, Yabagi SuleGovernor Abubakar Bello has appointed Mr Yabagi Sule as the acting Head of Service of the Niger State Civil Service.

A statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Mr Jibrin Ndace, on Monday in Minna, the state’s capital disclosed that Mr Sule replaced Mr Mohammed Lapai, who had proceeded on terminal leave with immediate effect.

Governor Bello commended Mr Lapai for his contributions to the growth of the state civil service, especially during the recent rationalisation of the service in 2015.

Sule, 57, joined the state’s civil service on April 1, 1986 and rose through the ranks before he was appointed Permanent Secretary on May 22, 2012.

He hails from Bida in Bida Local Government of Niger State, north-central Nigeria and he is a product of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

He had served in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including Local Government Service Commission as Permanent Secretary.

Mr Sule was posted to the Office of the Head of Service as Permanent Secretary (Establishment) on September 14, 2015 before his new appointment.

Niger Govt. Spends Over 3bn Naira On Roads

Sani Bello, Niger State SSGThe Niger State government says it has spent over three billion Naira on road construction and rehabilitation in the last one year of the present administration under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Bello.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr Abdulmalik Cheche, gave the figure in an interview with Channels Television in Minna on the one year stewardship of the ministry.

Mr Cheche, who was optimistic of the government’s performance, gave the assurance that good roads would be provided for the people of the state, considering the importance of road to the economy of any society.

He explained that the amount was for both State and Federal roads.

“The township roads will also have solar street lights to assist in providing security in the towns,” the Commissioner stated.

Mr Cheche also listed some of the Federal road projects which the state had embarked on and completed to include Minna- Tegina road, Minna- Suleja road and Kagara- Kaduna road.

According to him, the Federal Government gave the go-ahead and promised to reimburse states that embarked on such projects.

The Permanent Secretary of the the state’s Ministry of Works, Mr Umar Bawa, made remarks that addressed the usage of the roads.

He stressed the need for registration of motorcycles and urged all commercial motorcycle users and motorists to strictly adhere to the the rules and regulations.

Mr Bawa stated that some of the state and township roads were completed while others were still under construction.

Meanwhile, the General Manager Niger State Transport Authority, Haruna Abubakar, reiterated his commitment to restructuring the transport sector, as part of the Ministry of Works.

He assured the state’s residents of the government’s commitment to purchasing more buses, repairing of those in deplorable state while others that could no longer serve would be sold.

“The idea is to ease transportation in the state,” he added.

Community Urges Governor To Rehabilitate Roads In Niger State

roads, Niger State, Abubakar BelloA community in Niger State has appealed to Governor Abubakar Bello to, as a matter of necessity, consider the full rehabilitation of its roads.

One of the residents of Railway community, Abubakar Adamu, expressed dismay over the long abandonment of the community due to alleged victimisation of an individual who was said to be in opposition political party in the area.

He said that the government should be able to have the heart to accommodate everybody, insisting that the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government was looking forward to giving its best in service delivery to the people of Niger State in northern Nigeria.

An elder of the community, Mr Ibrahim Suleiman, who lamented over the situation of the roads, however, expressed confidence in the present administration.

He described Governor Bello as “a man with listening ears and (that) cares for the needy” and urged him to come to the aid of the community he claimed had been abandoned for several years.

Suleiman, who is an APC member, expressed hope that with the initiation of construction of many roads, the Governor would surely rehabilitate the roads that connect to the community, especially the Nnamdi Azikiwe road that links with Pigry – Morris axis.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe road in Chanchaga Local Government Area is one of the first roads constructed that leads to Minna town, but had been allegedly abandoned by the past governments in the last 18 years.

Niger State Sets Up Committee To Boost Economy

Niger State-Abubakar BelloDisturbed by the dwindling financial resources, Niger State government has set up a committee on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to boost its revenue base.

Governor Abubakar Bello on Wednesday, inaugurated the 22-member committee headed by the Vice Chancellor of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University in Lapai, Professor Nasiru Maiturare, during the weekly State Executive Council Meeting at the Government House in Minna.

He explained that the committee was also saddled with the responsibility of reviewing the activities of the Niger State Revenue Board and proffering solution that will focus on strengthening it.

Governor Bello tasked the committee to come up with policies and identify issues related to the current procedures in the state internal revenue collection.

“It is no longer news to us that all the states in Nigeria and Federal Government can longer meet the financial obligation due to fall in crude oil, the fall does not mean we cannot live our lives.

“We have all opportunity in the state to live a comfortable life and work hard to improve our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he said.

The Governor stressed that Niger State had the potentials and the capacities to generate at least three billion Naira instead of 400 million Naira, comparing the State with Kaduna State that generates two billion Naira.

He lamented that the state had ignored many leakages in the past and did not save for the rainy days and stressed that they had to borrow to augment and to pay three months salaries.

“That is not a way forward, because it will come to a stage that no one will want to borrow us money again,” he said.

In his remarks, Professor Maiturare said that the committee would make use of the opportunity to harness potentials that would make the state financially sustainable.

Governor Bello also set up a Committee on Sunti Golden Sugar Company, to liaise and establish a cordial relationship between the company and the host communities and ensure agreed compliance for peaceful coexistence.

The committees have been given six weeks to submit their reports and recommendations.

Investor Begins Niger State Irrigation Farm’s Feasibility Study

NigerThe Niger State Governor has directed an investor to commence a feasibility study at Bina community irrigation farm for appropriate recommendation and proposal.

The development at the irrigation farm under Egba/Muye wards is part of the fulfilment of Governor Abubakar Bello’s promise to give more priority to agriculture in the state.

The Governor, who gave the directive on Wednesday while receiving the Director General of Contee Global Agro Limited and his team before heading to Bina village in Lapai Local Government, assured them of his maximum support to succeed.

He told the investor to begin feasibility study to recommend the requirements and proposal from the company, assuring them that agriculture was the only quick alternative to the present dwindling economy, especially the dry season farming.

In his remark, the Director General of the company, Mr Thomas Chackunkal, said that the investment would be short term, medium and long term basis, which would be determined after the feasibility study.

Appreciating the people of Bina community for their efforts despite using manual labour, Mr Chackunkal assured them of mechanised farming system for bumper harvest to boast their economy.

He also solicited their maximum cooperation required for the development of the community.

The Indian investor said that the purpose of the visit was to get firsthand information on agricultural field to put their investment into the right place, so as to enhance the high quantity of rice needed in the country by the masses.

He added that machinery had been put in place for the manufacturing of bi- fertilizers, bi-insecticide, bi-fungicide and bi-chemical to improve crop yield devoid of any harm in the stead of the chemical fertilizers and others that have negative impacts on the lives of the people.

Chackunkal said that due to lack of mechanised farming that hindered the quantity of production of the farmers would be improved upon with higher productivity to develop the economic status of the people in the community.

The Niger State Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Muhammadu Ibrahim, commended the foresight of the Governor.

Mr Ibrahim said that the same development would be extended to other communities, but with investors that have the capacity that would not fail.

The spokesman for the community residents, Mr Ibrahim Alhaji, applauded the Niger State Governor and the investor and stressed the need for the urgent commencement of the project for the development of the farmers in the area.

Governor Bello Commences Payment Of Ex-Government Workers

Niger- BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has commenced the payment of backlogs of arrears from salaries and allowances owed ex-councilors and other government workers in the state.

The recipients, who have not been paid for over 10 years after leaving office, are; the Joint Forum of Ex-councilors, Supervisory Councillors, Secretaries and Vice Chairmen for 2008 – 2011 and 2011 – 2014.

The joint Chairman, Yahaya Shehu, in a statement, expressed appreciation to the Governor for approving the payment of their outstanding salaries and allowances, since leaving office in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

The statement declared that “the Governor’s order was carried out in September and in November 2015”. They also appreciated the Governor’s sympathy and respect for the past office holders.

Some of the ex-councillors thanked the Governor for his kindness in addressing their inability to cater for their families. They noted that the situation was almost out of hand, until the commencement of the payments.

They pledged their unflinching support and offered prayers of goodwill for the administration of Governor Abubakar Bello.

Niger Local Government Polls: PDP Sues Governor Bello

niger pdpThe Niger State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has filed a suit against the State Government, withholding it from constituting a local government Transition Implementation Committee (TIC). 

The party made its intentions known at the State Secretariat of the party in Minna on Wednesday and also directed Governor Abubakar Bello to provide all necessary logistics for councils election in the state.

The PDP, however, added that, the suit was also to direct the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) to hold the election as presently scheduled.

Some of the party members at the meeting were the Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Mr Tanko Beji, all the 25 local government chairmanship candidates, their Vice Chairmen and the 274 councillorship aspirants.

Mr Beji further stated that the postponement would afford the party the opportunity to embark on vigorous campaign. He urged its members and supporters not to be deterred but take advantage of the postponement.

Also, the state PDP Chairman, Honourable Umar Ma’ali, expressed dismay over the postponement of the councils election earlier scheduled for early next month by the electoral body in the state, despite the assurances that the November 7 date was sacrosanct.

Mr Ma’ali stressed that the meeting was basically to inform their members on the activities of the NSIEC towards the political parties in the state, just as he urged them to be calm and be law abiding citizens.

He further reassured the party supporters that with determination and sacrifice, the party would surely come out victorious in all the 25 local government chairmanship and the Councillorship elections as scheduled.

Governor Bello had earlier stated that the postponement was due to shortage of logistics on the part of the electoral body.

He, nonetheless, assured the indigenes of the state that the challenges would be addressed in due course to enable them actualise the rescheduled date by providing all the necessary support to that effect.