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Education tops priority in Borno State



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From Bodunrin Kayode in Maiduguri

Borno State government has given education the highest proposal of N27b in its 2016 Appropriation bill of N155b submitted to the state house of assembly recently for approval.
The proposal is seen as the right step in the right direction considering the fact that the education sector has been completely paralysed by insurgents whose ideology is targeted at Western education which is seen as forbidden.
Capital expenditures have also been allocated seventy percent of the total amount budgeted for the 2016 fiscal year.
Announcing the Appropriation bill tagged “Budget for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement”  Governor Shettima said the sum of N155 billion was for both capital and recurrent and expenditures out of which capital projects are allocated N103 billion representing more than 70% of the total budget while recurrent gets N51 billion representing about 30%. Both expenditures are expected to be  financed from a recurrent revenue of N155 billion comprising Federation Account Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue of N29 billion.
Education which include reconstruction of schools got the highest allocation of N27b while the Ministry for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement got N10b for reconstruction of other infrastructure in destroyed communities; Agriculture got N8b, works and transport N16b while healthcare was allocated N10b.
About N24 billion was budgeted for trade and investment, poverty alleviation and women empowerment in different sectoral allocations.
The Governor announced that the 2016 budget size was less than that of 2015 fiscal year including the previous year’s supplementary budget, by 29.16%, due to the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account as a result of the falling Oil price.
According to the Governor, “There are extenuating circumstances which prompted us to re-direct the policy decisions of the State Government in 2016 to the issues of rehabilitation and resettlement of the thousands of victims of the insurgency and the reconstruction of infrastructural facilities as well as public and private buildings callously destroyed by the insurgents across the length and breadth of the State.
“As we are all undoubtedly aware Borno State, for the past six years has been embroiled in extremely complicated and unconventional security challenges brought about by the Boko Haram insurgents. You may recall that since the crisis started in 2009, the challenges had become more complex while the attendant violence increased in scope.
“Consequently, our people were unacceptably subjected to unfathomable, calculated and deliberate attacks, culminating in miserable and excruciating death of thousands of innocent people and unimaginable destruction of billions of Naira worth of property in virtually all parts of the State.”