Bauchi Conducts Public Hearing On 2022 Budget Proposal, Seek Inputs From Citizens

By Mohammed Kaka Misau

The Bauchi state ministry of Budget and Economic Planning has carried out public preparatory to compilation of the 2022 budget proposal.

The Commissioner in the ministry, Aminu Hammayo while speaking during the public hearing yesterday, said it was aimed at creating a forum for interaction with the public in order to generate inputs into the budgetary process.

“The process had, in line with the provisions of the law, started with the development of the Fiscal Strategy Paper and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which specifically provided the framework for the preparation of the budget”, the Commissioner explained.

According to him, a number of macro-economic assumptions were adopted to guide the ministry in the process which included a projected oil production benchmark of 1.9 million barrels per day.

Hammayo added that the ministry also projected crude oil price of $57 per barrel; and an exchange rate of N410 to a dollar though the Naira appears to be further depreciating.

“Consequently, we project a total revenue including capital receipts of about N177billion and an estimated total expenditure of about N156billion which includes a capital expenditure in excess of N60billion”, the Commissioner further stated.

Hammayo who however, noted that “part of the revenue will be applied to ensure that ongoing infrastructural development projects including major roads projects embarked upon by the Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed all accross the state are completed”.

The Commissioner pointed out that the demands and needs of the citizens are unlimited while governments’ capacity to meet such demands are limited.

“As representatives of the people, we urge you to give us appropriate advises on key priority areas which will be considered in line with the government’s development objectives and funding constraints for incorporation into the budget”, he pleaded.

The Commissioner considered the pronouncement of the Federal High Court ceding the collection of VAT to Rivers State Government which has the implication of reducing the share of VAT collection from the federation account as a challenge.

He however, took solace in the prospects from the exploration activities of the NNPC at the Kolmani River with the discovery of huge deposits of hydrocarbons including oil and gas.

“As a matter of fact, oil prospecting licenses 809 and 809 had been advertised to interested investors in recognition of the commercial quantity of the discovery”, the Commissioner said.

According to him, the good development has the potential of changing the fortunes of Bauchi and its citizens as a potential oil producing state entitled to 13% derivation.

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