…As council appraises 2023 budget, security, others.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has assured that he has nothing to fear because he runs a transparent administration, with every project undertaken openly discussed during the state executive council meetings.
Engineer Sule gave the assurance while presiding over the seventh and final state executive council meeting for the outgoing year, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
According to the Governor, with the lots of blackmail coming from the opposition especially during the campaigns, his administration will not shy away from discussing projects being implemented because everything is being done transparently.
“They (opposition) will say things and it’s up to us to defend what we are doing. If we are very transparent in what we do, we should not be afraid to discuss about what we are doing. That is why everything we do as a government, we discuss them at the exco meeting,” Engineer Sule stated.
He explained that a major reason for convening the executive council meeting, was for Minhstries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to appraise the 2023 budget already passed by the Nasarawa State House of Assembly and ready to be signed into law on Thursday.
The Governor urged members of the council, to use the opportunity of the meeting, to review the budget, in order to avoid errors and omissions before the budget is signed into law.
“I want us to use the opportunity to go through the budget right now as was already submitted and defended by each one of the MDAs. I don’t want us to sign the budget only to come and realize that there are errors. In the past, we have signed budget only to come and realize certain omissions pertaining to some ministries. We should be able to discuss the summary of our submissions,” he said.
Engineer Sule added that, the meeting is also meant to review the budget passed by the assembly, especially that there was an upward review from the roughly N148bn submitted to ghe assembly, to N149bn.
“As you all know, we submitted a budget of roughly 148bn and currently we have 149bn as was approved. Definitely there must some changes, either deductions from some other areas or additions. We will discuss them further during the meeting,” he stated.
He said the executive council meeting became necessary in order to discuss several other projects that are coming earlier in the new year, mostly as a result of funds received by the state from both the World Bank and the Federal Government.
Engineer Sule stated that, it was imperative for the council to discuss the projects, in line with the due process approach of his administration.
“I want to make sure that everybody is onboard and all the projects that we are carrying out so that people are fully aware. You can call any member of the council to ask about this project. I want somebody to be confident, whether it’s your Ministry or not, to be able to discuss it openly. To say I am aware of it. It’s not done under the table anywhere, it was discussed at exco,” he added.
The Governor expressed satisfaction that Nasarawa State was lucky to received funding from both the World Bank and Federal Government, following which more and more projects are to be executed by his administration in the new year.
He further explained that, security concerns, particularly in the western senatorial zone of the state equally necessitated the council meeting, to enable members discuss further with a view to preferring solutions.
While thanking his Deputy, Dr..Emmanuel Akabe, who was Acting Governor when he way away to Saudi Arabia and for curbing the security challenge, Engineer Sule disclosed that, he found it necessary to meet with security agencies over the situation in Nasarawa West.
The Governor equally used the opportunity of the meeting to update the council members on the successes recorded by the state, especially as Nasarawa State, during the period under review, recorded zero infection, particularly regarding the outbreak of the seven major diseases namely measles, meningitis, cholera, lassa fever, COVID-19 and very recently, the monkey pox.
He expressed appreciation that, Nasarawa State continues to maintain her number position on the table of vaccination in the country, with 98 percent coverage.
Engineer used the opportunity of the meeting to thank officials of the state Ministry of Health and frontline health workers, for all the good work that they have done.
He particularly thanked the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, for the recognition accorded him recently at the head office of the agency, as well as what the council members have done, that is giving the state visibility and recognitions globally.
The Governor earlier requested for a one minute silence to be observed in honour of the late Damishi Barau Luka, a former deputy governor of the state, who passed away recently.