Jigawa Assembly Slashes Education Vote To Increase Allocations For Members’ Guest Houses

By ISA SAIDU, Dutse.

Member’s of the Jigawa State House of Assembly has slashed the allocations for the education sector in the state’s 2024 budget, while making generous provisions for the purchase of a new vehicle for the speaker, a new guest house in Abuja, renovation of members’ guest house in Kano State and construction of imams’ residences.

The lawmakers who increased the assembly’s recurrent expenditure by over N1.5 billion; as well it increased the recurrent allocation from N2.7 billion to over N4.2 billion; also significantly increased their various votes in the budget proposals submitted by the state governor last month.

The assembly made up of 30 lawmakers increased its personnel cost by N190.9 million, from N390 million to N580.9 million, which they said, is meant for the implementation of the new consolidated salary structure for legislative staff.

Platform Reporters gathered that according  to the budget documents, the renovation and furnishing of Kano guest house for the lawmakers would be at the cost of N47 million; construction of houses for the imam and his deputy at the legislative quarters at N30 million, and furnishing of the office of the clerk and three of his deputies at N15 million.

The allocations are part of the highlights of the about N298 billion budget proposals of Jigawa State submitted to the lawmakers on 14 November. The lawmakers deliberated on the proposals, increased their own allocations, and passed the budget on 21 December. The governor, Umar Namadi, assented to the budget on 28 December.

The chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Ibrahim Adamu, said the assembly increased its allocations for projects and other asset acquisition by N863.5 million, from over N1.2 billion to over N2.1 billion. Of the amount, Mr Adamu said, the assembly would purchase members’ guest house in Abuja with N500 million and construction of Public Hearing Hall with N185 millions.

The lawmakers also appropriated over N36.5 million for the “completion” of the mosque and Islamiyya school at the legislative quarters, and N100 million for the procurement of one SUV Toyota Prado for the speaker, Haruna Aliyu.

The document explained that the personnel cost budget for the House of Assembly Service Commission was increased by N75.6 million, from N7.2 million to over N82.8 million. The recurrent cost for the commission was also  increased by N14 million, from N116 million to N130 million.I

In the face of poor allocations to a sector as key as education, lawmakers’ show of appetite for spending more for their luxury could be said to be wastefulness and insensitivity to the plight of the poor people of the state.

More financial investments are needed to uplift the living standard of millions of residents which outweighs the comfort of the 30 members of the assembly and a total of 152 legislative staff members.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *