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Taraba to Prioritize salaries, gratuities, pensions in 2021


Taraba state government has said priority will be given to payments of   salaries, pensions, and gratuities of its workforce in the new year as over N34.39 billion would be used to fund such payments.

The state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Solomon Elisha while giving a breakdown of the approved 2021 budget of N141.62 billion, explained that the new minimum wage was taken into cognizance before arriving at the figure to fund salaries, gratuities, and pension.

Lamenting  that COVID-19 has forced it to look inward for revenue generation and blocking of all revenue leakages,  the Commissioner said  the budget was crafted in compliance with the international public sector accounting standard and has adopted rudiments of best practices as advocated by the Nigerian Governors forum through the state's Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and sustainability programme.

Despite the wake of the present economic downturn and perhaps the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the state government is insisting that all ongoing projects will be completed in the year 2021.

" In this regard, there would be a need for all hands to be on deck to explore the abundant untapped resources so as to actualize our dream of becoming the leading economy in the northeast sub-region of Nigeria "

He said the N34.39 billion represents 41.8% of the state's total recurrent expenditure of 2021 which stands at N82.24 billion.

According to him, "the state government plans to spend the sum of N82.24 billion as recurrent expenditure, while the balance of N59.38 billion would be used for capital development.

"Personnel cost has taken the largest share of 41.82% of our total expenditure, followed by the overhead cost of N27.56 billion, which represents 33.50% while recurrent liability has the least with N330 million (0.40%)." Speaking further on how the state government would fund the 2021 budget, Elisha noted said "36.64% would be from the statutory allocation, 14.67% from internal loans, 10.6% from Value Added Tax, VAT, and 6.55% from Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.

" It is pertinent to note however that 6.13% of the entire budget is set aside to address COVID-19 related programmes and projects "

"Accordingly, major among the projects to be executed include, agricultural credit scheme, intervention to schools infrastructures, Nigeria CARES Project, dualization of Jalingo city gates, expansion of the airport, Jalingo township water scheme, upgrading of general hospitals, greenhouse projects among several others " he added.

"From the above analysis, you will agree with me that there is a need for a paradigm shift from dependence on external sources to internal sources,"  Elisha said.

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