• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Gov Abdulrazaq signs N137.6bn 2021 appropriation bill for Kwara

Gov Abdulrazaq signs N137.6bn 2021 appropriation bill for Kwara

Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has signed the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill into law amid assurances that his administration will build on the ongoing infrastructural development and increased investments in social protection and youth empowerment.

The governor equally assented to the Bill repealing pension payments to former governors and former deputy governors in the state following widespread support from the public when the proposal came up for public hearing at the Kwara State House of Assembly.

Governor Abdulrazaq had last year sought the repeal of the law – both a fulfilment of his campaign promise and a response to public opposition to the pension package that many decry as unfair.

Signing the N137.6 billion Appropriation Bill into law, the governor commended the House of Assembly members for their hard work.

“This budget will build on the achievements of the previous years in the areas of education, health, and roads infrastructure. We are also focusing on youth empowerment, job creation, and social investments which are very critical at this point of our national life,” he said.

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According to a statement by Rafiu Ajakaye, chief press secretary to the governor, Abdulrazaq noted social protection is most important at this time to prevent more people from falling into abject poverty, commending the conditional cash transfer (CCT) initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari which is already being replicated in Kwara State.

“I was pleasantly surprised that this initiative of Mr. President is being felt in the remotest parts of the country. When I visited the communities where some women beneficiaries of the (CCT) used same to start the construction of schools, I was very happy and we thank Mr President for that.

“I have since refunded the money of those women and I have also approved the construction (completion) of the schools. So, we are going to continue to invest in social protection,” he said.

The Speaker, Yakubu Danladi, who led members of the House of Assembly to the brief budget signing ceremony, told the governor that during the hearing members of the public were unanimous about a need to repeal the pension law.

Danladi said the budget would have huge impacts on the economy of the state especially with regard to job creation, youth empowerment, and welfare of workers.

He said the budget accommodated the minimum wage, recruitment of new teachers, and establishment of a garment factory, among other provisions, and commended the clear visions of the governor to transform the state.

He said the passage and signing of the budget also met various requirements and deadlines of programmes that the state has keyed into, including the World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme which pegs budget signing deadline at not later than January 31 of the new fiscal year.