Gombe presents accountability report on 2020 budget

Gombe state government has presented an accountability report on the 2020 budget to enable citizens have good understanding of how expenditure affects them directly and foster greater understanding of how public funds are utilised.

The government presented a 77% Aggregate Revenue Performance from the Budget, which represents 126.44 billion naira, with a shortfall of 28.9 billion naira from both the federation revenue account and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), within a 75% to 80% performance.

Speaking during the Citizens’ Accountability Report Meeting in Gombe, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Ibrahim Jalo Ali, stated that there was a total expenditure of 25.6%, representing 26.9 billion naira, less than the budgeted amount, which is 107.6 billion naira.

He said a closing balance of 14.8 billion naira was allowed, due to anticipated receipt for state Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability Grants in the final month of 2020.

He stated further that capital expenditure took the major part of the expenditure shortfall, with the performance of less than 60%, while much of the recurrent expenditure in 2020 was obligatory, based on revenue shortfall, while capital expenditure was largely focused on completing ongoing projects, with very few projects started.

He said overall, health and education sectors enjoyed the highest proportion of recurrent expenditure, while works and education received the highest proportion of capital expenditure.

The permanent secretary said despite the passage of the budget on December 9, 2019, and its implementation commencement on January 1, 2020, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences on the economy informed the revision and passage of the supplementary budget on July 15, 2020, while its General Virement was prepared and approved on October 30, 2020.

“As you are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic, government quickly made some adjustments. There was some increment on 30 thousand minimum wage which the government quickly suspended. The government realigned the budget. We did a citizen’s engagement to inform the public that we have a pandemic, resources expected are no longer realizable and so we want to revise the budget to reduce the level of expenditure,” he said.

He added that the Citizens’ Accountability Report meeting was held simultaneously across the three Senatorial districts, giving out the government’s performances in carrying out its duties and the utilisation of funds in the government coffers.

He said it was the first time the government was holding such an event, which was intended at bringing everyone on board because citizens had made inputs into the budget and would want to know how the budget was expended.

He stated further that the report is based on the audited financial statement for the year 2020.