Your Excellency, the Deputy Governor,
Rt. Honourable Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly,
My Lords, the Chief Judge and Grand Khadi,
Members of the National Assembly here present,
Honourable Members, Bauchi State House of Assembly,
Secretary to the State Government,
Members of the State Executive Council,
The State Chairman, PDP,
The Head of Civil Service,
The Chief of Staff Government House,
Principal Private Secretary to the Governor,
Special Advisers & Other Political Appointees,
Chief Executives of Parastatals and Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments,
Local Government Chairmen,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Heads of Security Agencies,
Members of the State Executive Committee, PDP,
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Members of the Press Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
In the name of Allah, the most beneficent; the most merciful.
- With a deep sense of gratitude to Almighty Allah (SWT), I stand before you here today on the occasion of the presentation of the 2024 Budget Estimates to this Honourable House. I wish to thank the Right Honourable speaker, Principal Officers and other Honourable Members of this House for its continuous support and commitment in our collective vision towards the development of our dear State. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate the Honourable Members for their election into the House after the General Elections that held earlier in the year. Though I have met and earlier congratulated you at different times and in different fora, incidentally this is the first time I have come to meet you in this hallowed chamber since the elections. I pray that the almighty Allah will grant you the wisdom to take legislative actions that will take our State to greater pedestals of success.
- This presentation is indeed the first in the life of the current tenure of this administration. It has therefore become imperative for me to use this opportunity to, with a deep sense of utmost humility and gratitude, acknowledge the citizens of the State for their confidence in our abilities which had manifested in our re-election into the second term. I wish to assure them of our clear commitment to continue to serve them with the fear of the Almighty Allah, unto whom we shall all return and give account of our stewardship.
- The elections have indeed come and gone and Allah SWT in His infinite wisdom has made the ultimate decision through the will of the people. The outcome has been confirmed at both the Election Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in very clear, unambiguous and unanimous judgments. Without infringing on the rights of the other contestants to seek further legal intervention as they may deem fit, we call on each and every one to join hands with us in moving our State forward. Bauchi State is greater than everyone of us and the inordinate ambition of anyone of us should at this crucial time take the back stage.
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, we have over the last four years steered the affairs of the State to a path of sustainable development and continuous progress which is reflected in the people oriented, demand driven projects and programs we have implemented. Time constraint and the space created by the House for me to make this presentation will be insufficient to give detailed account of what we have done and where we intend to take the State, but I will in the course of this presentation, attempt to provide details of some of the programs we intend to roll out.
REVIEW OF THE MACRO ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
- The Global GDP growth remains sluggish due to slower growth of consumer demand. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected a global GDP growth of 3% for 2023, slower than 3.5% in 2022. However, factors including inflation, higher interest rates and weak consumer demand had negatively influenced GDP growth within the year.
- The Russia-Ukraine war continues to restrain the global supply-chain, with negative implication on regional and global output growth and inflation. Although inflation rate appears to be trending downwards in developed economies, many emerging and developing countries are still dealing with high prices and the implication of high interest rates. The continuation of the war will be a major risk to global growth and inflation in the near term.
- Rising oil prices driven by voluntary cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia could elevate inflationary pressure in developed countries. This, therefore, could result in a higher interest rate environment as Central Banks are likely to keep benchmark rates stable in the short term. For developing economies, this will impact capital flows unfavourably and could slow down output growth.
- The invitation of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to join the BRICS countries in January 2024 highlights the increasing dominance of the East in global economic affairs. The group represents a larger share of the world’s population and GDP. With more countries expressing interest to join the group, the world could be heading towards a shift in the global order.
- Coming back home to Nigeria, real GDP growth of 2.5% for 2023, which was driven by the non-oil sector, remains weak. The lower growth projection is driven by weak oil production volumes, high inflation which has weakened consumer demand and the Foreign Exchange depreciation. Crude oil theft continues to weigh on oil output and growth of the mining and quarrying sector.
- The removal of fuel subsidy drove up prices of food and other items. Inflation rate rose to 25.8% in August 2023 reflecting the impact of fuel subsidy removal. Food inflation rate rose faster to 29.3% and further increases in petrol and diesel prices as well as exchange rate depreciation are likely to drive up inflation rate in coming months.
- Nigeria’s External Reserves estimated at US$33.23 billion is sufficient only to cover less than one month of imports of goods and services. This negates one of the major goals of the external reserve which is to support and maintain confidence for monetary and exchange rate management. Conventional rule of thumb to measure reserve adequacy argues that it should, minimally, cover three months of import.
- It should further be noted that despite the exchange rate unification, Foreign Exchange inflows into Nigeria are lagging. On the other hand, the demand for foreign currency remains high thereby creating pressure on the exchange rate. In addition, limited access to Foreign Exchange in the official market had incentivized players to purchase and meet their demands in the black market which had contributed to the depreciation of the Naira. The government had, however, removed the peg on the official exchange rate in June 2023 which suggests some level of commitment to exchange rate reforms.
- A further encouraging sign is the effort made by Government at wooing investors into the country with high-level participation in the Nigeria-India Business Summit; World Economic & Investment Forum in Dubai as well as the most recent Saudi-Nigeria Investment Forum as examples.
- To win back investor’s confidence, however, the government must intensify its efforts in curtailing oil theft in the short term and provide a clear roadmap to improve Foreign Exchange inflows and management in the medium to long term to assure top institutional investors. In the immediate term, the Naira will continue to face pressure in the official market.
- Public Debt stock had also risen to N87.4 trillion (US$113.4 billion) in June 2023 and could increase further as a result of the depreciation of the local currency. According to the World Bank estimates, with fuel subsidy removal, debt servicing is expected to reach a peak of 120% of revenue in 2023 and trend downwards thereafter. Fiscal gains from subsidy removal and Foreign Exchange reforms will be more visible in 2024 and 2025.
- On a positive note, such removal of fuel subsidy and Foreign Exchange reforms will improve government finances. Inflow into Federation Account had increased from about N800 billion monthly to over N1.7 trillion since the implementation of both reforms. This higher inflow will improve fiscal deficit and debt sustainability ratio in the short term. It could also slow down the pace of debt accumulation in the remaining part of 2023.
- A major concern, however, lies in the effectiveness of Government with the basic question of how and what these fiscal gains will be spent on. The prioritisation of capital projects as well as key sectors like education and health care have therefore become imperative.
- High cost of governance remains a pending issue that also needs to be resolved. Government, at all levels, must reduce the over-bloated cost of governance, particularly overheads and transfers. to ensure enough funds are available for infrastructure and other development purposes. In addition, there must be significant efforts to block leakages and ensure transparency of government finances.
LOOKING AHEAD – OUR STRATEGIC AGENDA
- The Right Honourable Speaker, distinguished Members, we acknowledge that the task of governance in the 21st century is akin to corporate scientific business, at the core of which is planning that starts with a vision.
- Targets are set therefrom, which are usually projections from baselines requiring reliable data; fleshed with programs and projects over timelines; followed by the allocation of resources and the creation of a monitoring and evaluation mechanism. This is because you cannot achieve what you cannot measure and, in this way, development is created and sustained.
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members; development is the essence of governance and without it being sustainable, governance becomes a burden rather than the blessing it is supposed to be. Our job, as political leaders, is to ensure that we create and champion sustainable development but can only do that if we are able to envision a future for our constituency.
- ‘My Bauchi Project’, my strategic vision was initially developed in 2019 to guide us into the first tenure of our administration. It had also guided the development of the Bauchi State Medium Term Development Plan 2021-2025 which provides the roadmap towards meeting up to the numerous demands of the citizenry and the electioneering promises we made to the people.
- Between 2019 and 2023, a lot had happened, including some significant progress towards the provision of basic social services and improving the quality and stock of infrastructure that had affected the lives and welfare of the people. Several other major reforms have also been undertaken along the various sectors of the public service.
- The macroeconomic fundamentals and landscape have, however, changed tremendously making previous estimates, targets and assumptions largely untenable. Generally, developments within the domestic and global environment as well our re-election into a second term had necessitated a need for the revisit of the strategies to implement the vision going forward.
- It is pertinent to note that expected streams of funding from the Federation Account; various sources of internally generated revenue; and other development partner interventions were affected by the covid-19 pandemic that almost crippled economic activity between 2020 and 2021 and thus the ability of the Government to pursue its plans.
- The Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members; In view of the re-election coupled with the current economic realities, a review of the performances achieved over the last four years, the challenges that had impeded the overall implementation of the previous plan and the proposals made to address current and expected future demands for infrastructure and services had become imperative.
- This had informed my decision to appoint a Technical Committee, as part of the transition, leveraging on the expertise and experiences of the members, to review and evaluate the level of implementation of the 2019 flagship blueprint ‘my Bauchi Project’. Furthermore, the Committee was mandated to consider and suggest ways and means to continue the implementation of the vision and mission of ‘my Bauchi Project’ for the next four years.
- The Committee was also to consider and suggest new projects for the development of Bauchi State, in line with the mission of ‘my Bauchi Project’ and to, among other things, consider and suggest the necessary social engineering, societal orientation and capacity building needed to facilitate and sustain the pace of development in the State.
- I am pleased to note that after an extremely thorough job, the Committee had presented its report, which provided the details of the challenges faced and defined the courses of action that needed to be taken going as a guide into the second term. The report also provided the road map for securing a prosperous economic trajectory for citizens, providing the needed social services and building the required infrastructure that will guarantee sustainable economic growth and development.
- It is worthy to note that leadership had, no doubt, been the most critical factor in making knowledge-driven governance to translate into meaningful development on the ground. Conceptualizing a vision, charting a path, setting targets and procuring the resources needed to meet the targets requires leadership which we have, with a deep sense of responsibility, provided.
- As we move forward into the task ahead, we have set before us a clear course; defining our priorities, drawing up relevant policies and programs and setting up plans to achieve that.
- Without any iota of doubt, Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, Human Capital Development remains central to the development and transformation of our state through the provision of required human resources and skills for economic development.
- We note, however, that despite the tremendous efforts made by government, available statistics indicate a very low ranking from infrastructural deficit in schools, low enrolment, completion and transition rates. More alarming is the high number of eligible school-aged children who are out of school as well as the lack of teachers across all tiers which requires urgent attention.
- The Government’s decision to declare a state of emergency in the education sector is indeed a step we have taken to address the challenges before us. Concrete steps that must be taken to address and reverse the negative trends include the provision of needed infrastructure through the building, rehabilitation and equipping of schools; addressing the human resources needs through recruitment, training, and re-training of qualified teachers; as well as increased rate of enrolment, progression and transition to higher levels of education.
- To put all these in proper perspectives, arrangements are being made by Government to convene an education summit where stake holders will, along with experts, redesign the exit strategy from this sorry state and create a new momentum for education in the right direction.
- In healthcare, infrastructure and utility provision as well as human resources for the service had remained the key productive pillars upon which healthcare delivery is based. However, Ineffective healthcare services, caused mainly by shortage and inequitable distribution of the workforce particularly in the rural areas, still manifests despite the provision of primary and secondary healthcare facilities in the LG Headquarters and at Wards respectively.
- Government will intensify efforts in the provision, rehabilitation and equipping of our healthcare facilities to reduce the high patient-facility ratio; as well as in the engagement, training, and re-training of qualified professionals including doctors, nurses, midwives, CHEWs/JCHEWs and other health personnel.
- In the area of infrastructure development, we will build up on the massive investments we have made over the last four years. It is incontrovertible that the network of roads constructed across the length and breadth of the State have opened up the State with its vast potentials thus resulting in massive economic growth. We will continue on this trajectory and have finalized plans to construct two key fly-overs within Bauchi metropolis to ease the traffic bottlenecks our citizens face and reduce the rate accidents on the roads that have become rampant with the massive population caused by immigration into the State.
- Furthermore, we will provide greater access to our major urban centres through the dualization of access roads in Azare, Misau, Ningi, Jamaáre and Dass. This is in addition to other rural roads we plan to construct across the State to further open up the state and provide needed access to markets for our citizens mainly engaged in agriculture.
- Agriculture has, no doubt, remained the biggest contributor to the GDP and the one sector with the highest employment of labour. The country’s export for agriculture remains abysmally low at 1.42% of total export. In other countries such as Brazil, it is 37% and growing, even as 85% of their agriculture production units are small scale, but technologically driven.
- Mr. Speaker, we must note that Agriculture in the 21st century can only survive and thrive if it is technology propelled and market driven. However, it is the value addition which fixes the value chain, creating jobs and increasing prosperity. We will focus on providing the enabling environment for agriculture to blossom leveraging on private sector participation; creation of markets and through the promotion of the use of appropriate technology.
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, we have, working with the Federal Government as part of a policy framework on agricultural production and the associated value-chain development, set in machinery the process of the implementation of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones Project. Bauchi State has been selected to participate in the programme which is being financed under a $1.5billion African Development Bank concessionary loan.
- The Programme will primarily support the development and management of Agro-Industrial Hubs, Agricultural and Rural Transformation Centres, Aggregation Centres, rural infrastructure and provision of mechanization and equipment among others. Ultimately, markets will be developed with the participation of the private sector so that products, on which value had been added, will be offered.
- Additionally, some other critical areas we intend to address include the training of a flux of extension workers; shifting the focus of Agric-curriculum from just production to processing; reviving the cooperatives and training them to deliver the various out-grower schemes; and revisiting the formation of Agric-products Associations to ensure bonafide farmers assume leadership within the space.
- In Livestock development, the State will work to conserve the water it receives and revive its grazing reserves so that cattle herders need not go anywhere else for water and pasture. Investors will be sought and brought to revive the meat factory, by bringing in new machinery and identifying markets both at home and abroad.
- The Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members; the State Government has continued to pursue the earlier commitment made by the Federal Government towards the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Project (NLTP) and the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRESS) which are both intended to support our efforts in livestock development and promotion of the associated value chain.
- We also recognize the fact that Information Technology is today and in the foreseeable future the fastest growing industry and one with increasing capacity to absorb young people with skills. Its advantage is such that youths can undertake training and acquire skills and be certified and integrated within the digital economy which refers to the economic activities that are facilitated by digital technologies and the internet.
- The digital economy in Nigeria has grown rapidly over the past decade, driven by the increasing use of mobile devices and the internet, as well as the growth of tech-driven startups and digital businesses. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that the state has a growing population, providing a large pool of potential digital consumers and workers and has the highest number of computer and IT skills development institutions in the Northeast region.
- Additionally, the State has a diverse range of natural resources that can be harnessed to drive digital innovation, particularly in the agricultural sector; and the relatively low cost of living, which can make it an attractive destination for digital entrepreneurs and investors looking for affordable business locations. We intend to seize this opportunity to create the needed space for the development of our youths.
- The discovery of oil and gas deposits in Kolmani area has also presented the State with huge potentials for economic development especially in the area of natural gas and associated components. The opportunities include increased revenue – through 13% Derivation; improved IGR; as well as backward and forward linkages through the attraction of businesses that rely on outputs from the sector and vice-versa.
- In that respect, the State is currently working with interested investors to consider the establishment of an Industrial Complex for Natural Gas and Associated Products with industries that would focus on utilization of natural gas. Efforts towards building up local content had also progressed steadily. The Oil and Gas Academy established to actualize that will take off very soon.
- In addition to the opportunities for industrialization through the oil and gas sector; other potentials also exist which include Pharmaceuticals. With availability of needed raw materials for the industry, the State should be able to engage investors on the possibility of establishing a modern pharmaceutical company that can meet about 70% of the market in the North East.
- The key economic potentials and comparative advantages the State has in the areas of Agriculture, Solid Mineral Resources, Brownfields and Tourism, among others, had necessitated the need for efforts towards building sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships and attracting investments.
- The State will leverage on the relationship it has established with China through the Bauchi-Shandong Sister State-Province relationship in order to attract investments to develop value-chain around agriculture, oil and gas, solid minerals and science and technology in order to create jobs, wealth and reduce the prevailing rate of poverty in the State.
- Mr. Speaker, It is important to note that Shandong province is China’s third largest province with a population of over 101 million and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$1.3trillion. It ranks highly amongst the provinces in the production of a variety of products including cotton, wheat, sorghum and maize as well as precious stones such as gold and diamonds. It also has extensive petroleum deposits.
- Shandong’s economic development focuses on large enterprises with well-known brand names. It is the biggest industrial producer and one of the top manufacturing provinces. It is the largest agricultural exporter in China and has a number of economic and technological development zones including export processing zones. The Sister State-Province relationship has been created in view of the similarities in our endowments. We will leverage on Shandong’s strengths and experiences in the area to partner and also build up on our potentials.
- Similar interests have also been noted and efforts to establish mutually beneficial relationships with other investors from the United Arab Emirate; Saudi Arabia and from among other key local investors, with visible commitments to work with the State, are ongoing.
- Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members; drawing inspiration from global commerce capitals like Dubai, we envisage transforming Bauchi into a focal point for trade and investment in the North East. With favorable rankings in ease of doing business and massive infrastructure initiatives, the State presents a golden opportunity for investors.
- In a bid to revitalize moribund industries and unlock untapped potential, we are adopting a Public Private Partnership model to welcome both local and foreign investors while safeguarding public assets from incompetent speculators.
- We have commenced discussions with the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to support the State in that respect to review the State’s PPP framework; build capacity of the State’s investment and PPP related agencies; create a reliable Asset Register; and obtain technical guidance on the optimization and unlocking of potentials from the under-utilized and redundant state assets.
- Let me assure you, Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, that we are committed to fostering a conducive environment for trade and investments to thrive, including establishing regular flight operations to and from the state capital, promoting the state as a convention capital, and leveraging on our oil and gas sector to spur industrialization.
- In order to meet up to our plans, we will exploit the best funding options available to us. Recognizing the perils of overreliance on expensive short-term loans, we are exploring more viable options such as enhancing our internally generated revenue through aggressive strategies; aligning with the Federal Government’s lending plan to obtain funds at a reduced interest rate; and the initiation of a state bond for substantial funds with long gestation to fund our capital projects.
- Furthermore, we will continue to seek substantial support from developmental partners and other international organizations on terms that will not compromise our state’s future. In that respect, we have set up a more robust multilateral framework to exploit available opportunities.
- The Right Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members; in order to effectively achieve our vision, we have also realized that the mindset of citizens, as one of the most important factors for effective transformation, must be changed. In other words, governments that wish to change the fortunes of their citizens and their socio-economic well-being must address the issue of mind-set if they wish to succeed.
- Government will, in that respect, put in place a mechanism to start a process of changing the citizens mind-set to align it with development objectives and dissuade it from those negative values that have kept our society down. This programme can easily leverage on what our two religions of Islam and Christianity had provided.
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of this House; Our plan is not only comprehensive in its outlook but has defined the strategies and courses of action needed to achieve our vision. We are committed and will work assiduously to achieve that.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2023 BUDGET
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, though revenue accruals into the Federation Account started slowly during the year, the removal of subsidy had resulted in greater revenue streams making our overall revenue projections attainable. Rising inflationary conditions and failure in meeting projected capital receipts from development partners had however affected the overall performance of the 2023 budget.
- We have, in that regard, only been able to achieve about 51.6% in the implementation of the budget as at 30th September 2023. We have however, within these constraints, prudently managed the limited resources available to a considerable degree of performance in meeting the required social services and demands with the budget performance as follows:
- For the Recurrent Revenue comprising Statutory and Independent Revenue sources; out of the sum of N150,911,197,269.97 projected; the sum of N107,691,068,946.68 representing about 3% was realized as at the end of the third quarter.
- In terms Capital Receipts; out of N120,732,611,619:00 projected, the sum of N45,189,346,549:00 or 4% was achieved as at September, 2023.
- For Recurrent Expenditure; N86,734,508,354.50 was incurred from the projected sum of N126,362,059,758.00 during the same period representing a performance of 6%.
- Related to Capital Expenditure performance; the sum of N58,951,318,290.84 was achieved from the budgeted sum of N155,279,498,856.17 representing 38%.
- We remain optimistic of achieving a considerable degree of performance in our Budget implementation at the end of the fiscal year most especially with concrete measures put in place to improve on our internal revenue generation. Furthermore, renewed effort at confidence building in our relationships with our development partners is aimed at accessing funding from the bilateral and multilateral arrangements put in place.
THE 2024 BUDGET
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the year 2024 budget which I tag “BUDGET OF CONSOLIDATION & RENEWED FOCUS”’ is prepared based on the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) in compliance Bauchi State Fiscal Responsibility Law (2009). It further complies with the National Format and Chart of Accounts, aimed at improving the quality of financial reporting in line with the International Public-Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
- Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, the 2024 Budget has been predicated on the assumptions of an oil production projection of 1.78 million barrels per day; a bench mark oil price of 73.96 US dollars per barrel; an exchange rate of N700 to the US dollar; an improved level of revenue accruals into the Federation Account arising from oil subsidy removal; and an improved and efficient system of internally generated revenue collection. Government has in the course of the preparation of the Budget taken the following measures into consideration: –
- Ensure the completion of on-going projects.
- Propose new projects only on the basis of critical need and the immediate impact they would make.
- Ensure reduction in non-essential overheads.
- Ensure compliance with Budget guidelines issued by the Nigerian Governors Forum to ensure peer review and comparability.
- Compliance with debt servicing and repayment agreements in fulfilment of our obligations.
- Target favourable sources of Capital Receipts and financing such as Aids and Grants, PPPs etc.
2024 PROJECTED REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE
- The sum of N300,219,705,820.60 has been Budgeted for Capital and Recurrent services during the 2024 fiscal year. This comprises of Recurrent Expenditure of N121,341,193,343.11 or 40.4% while Capital Expenditure receives the sum of N178,878,512,477.49
- The 2024 proposed Budget is 48.2% higher than the budget I presented at this House for 2023. The increase is attributable to the increased revenue arising from the subsidy removal and the upward inflationary trends associated with the depreciating state of the local currency. This implies an increase in prices upon which our projects and programmes will be implemented. The adoption of this conservative approach is to ensure that projects and programmes captured are appropriately costed.
- The process of the preparation of the budget has been all inclusive. Budget Public Hearings were conducted in the three Senatorial Zones where inputs from Stakeholders were elicited and incorporated into the Budget proposal.
- Mr Speaker, Honourable members, the details of the Budget are as follows:
(A) RECURRENT ESTIMATES
(a) Recurrent Revenue Estimates
- Opening Balance of N14,472,988,092.29
- The sum of N196,117,152,647.51 is estimated as Recurrent Revenue. This is made up of the following:
- Internally Generated Revenue 37,029,075,592.51
- Statutory/Other FAAC Allocation 114,084,525,864.62
- VAT 45,003,551,190.38
(b) Recurrent Expenditure Estimates
A total sum of N121,341,193,343.11 is earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure. The breakdown as follows:-
- Personnel Cost 48,237,085,500.25
- Overhead Cost 73,104,107,842.86
(B) CAPITAL RECEIPTS
It is projected that the State will realize Capital Receipts in the sum of N89,629,565,080.80 in the following areas:
- Loans (Internal & External) 50,983,704,414.25
- Aids and Grants 24,018,520,052.85
- Other Capital Receipts 14,627,240,713.70
(C) CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
Capital Expenditure has been proposed in the sum of N178,878,512,477.49 in the following sectors:
- ADMINISTRATIVE SECTOR 19,025,419,968.80
- ECONOMIC SECTOR 74,907,055,058.74
- LAW & JUSTICE SECTOR 2,002,430,000.00
- REGIONAL SECTOR 17,460,965,081.05
- SOCIALSECTOR 65,768,787,368.90
- In concluding this presentation, I want to solicit the continuous support and cooperation of this Honourable House in our efforts towards the development of our dear State and in improving the lives of its citizens. We have no doubt made significant progress in that respect.
- As we get to settle into our responsibility of governance coming into the second term, I want to use this opportunity to urge our citizens to embrace our development objectives of making our State a better place for all of us. We will continue to work to ensure that the prevailing peace, security and protection of lives and properties of citizens is guaranteed. Our absolute trust is, indeed, in the Almighty Allah in Whom we truly believe.
- Finally, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I wish to appreciate your rapt attention to the presentation of the 2024 Budget proposals. I wish to appeal to the Honourable House to expedite action towards passing the Budget into law to enable Government implement the programmes and projects that will have significant impact on our people.
- Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish to thank all those that are here with us to witness the presentation of this Budget. I most specially acknowledge our royal fathers, statesmen, and other leaders here present.
- Thank you and May God bless us all, Ameen.