Zamfara spent N4.8bn on government house, nothing on education capital project – report

A recent survey conducted by ZamTraka on the capital expenditure performance of critical ministries in Zamfara State in the first 6 months of 2021 shows that the state government only released 1.8% of the budget allocation for health care.

According to the survey, the government has allocated a total of N19. 36 billion for investment expenditure for health, education, works and transport.

However, only N105 million has been released so far for the Ministry of Health, while the Ministries of Education and Public Works and Transport have yet to secure capital allocation.

The survey cited the state’s first and second quarter budget execution report.

Meanwhile, in December 2020, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matagall signed the state’s 2021 budget of over N142.7 billion.

According to him, the budget, which conforms to IPSAS (international public sector accounting standards), has taken into account the interests of all citizens, including those at the grassroots.

He also promised rapid release of funds to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to enable them to carry out various projects for the development of the State.

Meanwhile, the budget capital expenditure was N79,667,000,000.00 (seventy-nine billion) and N8,380,047,726.36 was spent for the first two quarters.

In particular, the administrative sector received N27,411,000,000.00 and from this, N3,579,131,045.00 was spent in the second quarter and N5,192,811,924.99 for the first two quarters.

Further, the budget stated that 21,843,000,000.00 naira had been allocated to Government House, and while 3,314,770,499.00 naira had been spent for the second quarter, a sum of 4,863,451,378.99 naira had was spent in both quarters.

In addition, the government had allocated N471,100,800 for “grants” and from this, N47,105,006 was spent in the second quarter while N112,482,006 was spent cumulatively for the first and second quarters.

Meanwhile, capital spending on education, health care, works, and transportation suffers a setback amid the state’s fight against banditry.

Deadly bandit attacks have ravaged Zamfara State, leading to the recent shutdown of telecommunications services to combat insecurity by preventing bandits from communicating freely by phone.

The state’s farming and herding communities have long been terrorized by gangs who loot villages, steal cattle and kidnap locals for ransom.

In 2019, the state government reached a peace deal with the gunmen.

Around 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to the leaders of different “repentant” bandit gangs by the governor in 2020.

But despite all of this, communities in the state were still attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.

To reduce banditry, the government recently shut down mobile phone services.

There are also movement restrictions in parts of the state while markets, banks and other places of business have been closed.

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