Governor Fintiri’s Transparent Leadership and Prudent Management of Funds in Adamawa state By Marcus Kufana
POLITICS DIGEST – There is no doubt that Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) – led Government in Adamawa State has proved that it remains the best, if not the only, alternative in the 2023 general elections. The government under Governor Fintiri has resolved to serve the people and at the same time ensure that the lives of all the citizens of Adamawa is improved. It is the government that is with the philosophy of carrying everyone along with the relentless effort to ensure that there is security, unity and economic development. This is articulated in the 11-Point Agenda of the PDP administration under Governor Fintiri in last three years. The agenda of the governor is to promote good governance and ideas that are rooted to build a good society that will empower the good people of Adamawa state and to overcome the legacy of neglect and failures of previous administrations to promote the wellbeing of of citizens in line with the manifesto of the great party – the PDP.
In the last three years, the administration of Governor Fintiri of Adamawa state have demonstrated a commitment to fiscal and budgetary discipline while trying to be prudent in the management of the resources of the state. This fiscal realism is what led to the budget size of N244 Billion earlier approved by his predecessors in 2019 to be reduced to N143 Billion for 2020 which was considered fiscally realistic even for 2019. Subsequently, in 2021 the budget size was N140 Billion in view of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its attendant global economic uncertainties.
After the shocks of COVID-19 with the hope for global economic rebound, Governor Fintiri presented a budget of One Hundred and Sixty-three Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty-nine Million, Nine Hundred and Ten Thousand, Forty Naira (N163,629,910,040.00), for the 2022 fiscal year. All these were necessitated by the amount of revenue generated internally, Federation accounts, Capital receipts, Grants and other sources. In the service of the good people of Adamawa state, Governor Fintiri is very to ensure that no one is left behind and nothing is left untouched. In doing so, the governor has not lost sight of the need to have a realistic Budget where expenditures are carefully matched against revenue.
From 2019, Governor Fintiri has ensure that every budget proposals is implemented above 80 percent especially in the 11-Point Agenda of his administration. Moving forward beyond 2023, governor also recalibrated the governance policy direction into an 8 – Point Agenda to consolidate on the gains of his administration.
Governor Fintiri has again presented the details of the 2023 Proposed Annual Appropriation Bill to the state House of Assembly and task them to review the performance of the subsisting Approved Budget in terms of the Actual Revenue accruals to the State and in particular on what they were expended on within the last three quarters of the financial year.
This is a demonstration of transparency and accountability for Governor Fintiri’s stewardship in the State. This review as a matter of tradition is also meant to reflect and evaluate past performances, correct the shortfalls and consolidate on his successes in order to move the State forward.
In retrospect, early this year the state House of Assembly approved the total sum of N163,629,910,040.00 billion for the 2022 fiscal year to finance both Recurrent and Capital Development Programmes of the State. Out of this, the sum of N98,855,243,040 billion which represents 60% of the total Approved Annual Budget Estimate was earmarked for Recurrent Services and N64,774,667,000.00 billion which represents 40% of the total Approved Budget was earmarked for Capital Development Programme and Services in the State for the fiscal year.
It will be recalled that during the implementation of 2022 Budget, the sum of 47,769,936,924.99 was expended from January to September, 2022 which represent 48.3% of recurrent expenditure and the sum of 17,723,289,190.53 representing 27.45% of the Capital Expenditure within the same period.
In this regard therefore going by the trend of recurrent expenditure before the end of the year, the recurrent require the sum of 200,000.00 million to augment excess recurrent expenditure that deem it necessary to vire from Personnel to Overhead and this necessitated the change of recurrent expenditure to 99,055,243,040.00 Billion and Capital Expenditure to 64,574,667.00 that was passed by this honorable House at the end of October, 2022.
As a visionary leader, the major policy objectives of the 2022 Budget were inline with the Vision 20:2030 National Perspectives Plan, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals that will continue to pursue the anticipated rapid economic growth of Adamawa State. It was also in line with the Federal Government’s directives that the state will continue with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability (SFTAS) Programme for Result which is in full implementation in the State.
The administration of Governor Fintiri will among other measures will continue to ensure that some of the State’s untapped sources of Internally Generated Revenue are harnessed, and adequately tapped towards the improvement of the Revenue generation in the State within the fiscal year.
Macroeconomic Objectives, Policies and Strategies for 2023
The Administration of Governor Fintiri is also planning to increase Internally Generated Revenue and reduce the fiscal deficit. This will be carried out in other to ensure Economic Transformation and Job Creation; Human and Social Development; Environmental Sustainability; and Good Governance Environment.
The administration has created a good governance environment in which the conduct of public affairs is done in a responsible, accountable and transparent manner. This is the commitment of the Fresh Air Administration. The priorities of the governor in this regard is fighting corruption, strengthen the rule of law and ensure sound public financial management. It is in this regard that the governor has ensure that there is financial autonomy to the Local Governments and the two arms of government which are the legislature and the Judiciary.
The focus of the last Budget in Adamawa state was on stabilization and to build both Human and Capital Development programmes that fall within the priority attention of this administration. There is no doubt that most of these programmes are completed while some ongoing, there by making a positive impact on the lives of citizens in Adamawa state. In line with this policy thrust and the continued determination of this administration to pursue with greater vigour the emancipation of the State economy, the 2023 Proposed Budget has been carefully packaged to consolidate on the steady gains recorded in the 2021 and 2022 Budgets.
This made Governor Fintiri to tag the 2023 budget as the Budget of Consolidation. It is formulated in line with the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper as a matter of Economic Planning Policy.
No wonder that the 2023 appropriation Bill highlights the draft estimates of the State’s Revenue and Expenditure and provides broad outline of the plans and programmes that this administration intends to implement with zeal and commitment to enhance the socio-economic development of Adamawa State.
This has made the State Government to proposed a Budget of One Hundred and Seventy-five Billion, Nineteen Million, Fifty-four thousand and Sixty Naira (N175,019,054,060.00), for its Projects and programmes in the 2023 Fiscal year.
The Proposed Budget of N175,019,054,060.00 for 2023 Fiscal year is made up of recurrent expenditure of 105,011,432,436.00 Billion representing 60% of the total Budget while the balance of 70,007,621,624.00 Billion is for Capital development projects representing 40%. As a visionary administrator, Governor Fintiri will continue to ensure that all ongoing projects, especially the ones started by this Administration, are completed which is in line with the principles of this administration and the aspirations of the people.
The Board of Internal Revenue has been rejuvenated and is being reformed with appreciable improvement in monthly revenue collections and other economic setbacks. The current situation where petroleum products contribute paltry amounts to the Federation Account indicates that only States that have improved their IGR can survive in the very near future. Some of the outstanding achievements of the State BIRS includes; The reviewing and passage of revenue laws in the state to address grey areas of revenue collections. This has paved way for increased revenue generation in the State. All revenue titles in the state have been codified and aligned to the standard practice of International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS). This has further aided the revenue Agency to block leakages as non performing revenues are investigated. The board had successfully implemented the statutory rate of fees and levies applicable by law to livestock revenue collections. The board had also successfully implemented tax programs that reduced hardship on tax payers and also offered online renewal of Vehicle licenses. The board will through property tax, when properly implemented enhance the revenue base of the State.
Governor Fintiri is however optimistic that substantial funds will be received in the next financial year through the World Bank programmes and other funding agencies to finance some of the priority projects that have high revenue yielding potentials.
In recurrent expenditure, the Government will continue to look into measures and modalities of how to offset the backlog of Gratuity and Pensions of retired Civil Servants within the next fiscal year and to ensure prompt payment of Personnel Cost and release of Overhead cost.
In 2022, Government budgeted the sum of 64,774,667,000.00 Billion for Capital expenditure and was later Revised to 64,574,667,000.00. However, only N17,723,289,190.59 Billion was expended as at 31st August, 2022 on priority projects and programmes in Works, Education, Health, Agriculture, General Administration, etc. All of these projects have direct bearing on the lives of the people. Government has proposed to spend the sum of 70,007,621,624.00 on Capital Expenditure in 2023 Fiscal year. The highlights of the capital expenditure side of the budget are execution on key projects which will add value to the lives and well-being of the people. Prominent among these projects are: the construction of a Super Highway from FGGC Yola to Yola-Town through Yolde-Pate; establishment and construction of three Mega Secondary schools (One in each of the senatorial districts which will serve as Special schools for the most talented of students; establishment of High-tech Vocational Training Centers to serve as Information technology skill incubation hub for the development of Youths.
As a transparent Governor, His Excellency Governor Umar Fintiri of Adamawa state is hoping that the budget proposal of Seventyfive Billion, Nineteen Million, fifty-four thousand and Sixty Naira (N175,019,054,060.00), Tagged Budget of Consolidation, for the year 2023 ending 31st December, will transform the state to greater heights. It is imperative for the good people of Adamawa state to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party at all levels to continue to experience uncommon transformation in the state.