By Abubakar Hassan 


Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello

Niger State Commissioner for Finance, Alh. Zakari Abubakar has disclosed that the state have received about N179 billion from the Federal Government in the last three years.
The Commissioner who made this disclosure while briefing newsmen on the activities of the Ministry, in Minna, said the funds were categorized into two, which were the normal monthly allocation from FAAC and the Intervention Funds.
He revealed that the state received about N120 billion from FAAC and N6.5 billion as bailout fund, while about N15 billion was received as Budget Support Facility between 2016 and 2017.
The Commissioner said the bailout was used hundred percent in the payment of salaries, and that about N10 billion was also received which was used for capital projects, adding that 60 percent of the budget support fund was used for recurrent expenditures and payment of salaries, while the remaining 40 percent was used for capital projects.
He also explained that the state received about N27 billion as Paris Club Refund in three trenches, out of which 40 percent of it was used for capital projects such as the provision of water in Minna and other urban centres, renovation and equipping of nine boarding schools under the Whole School Approach Initiative, construction and rehabilitation of roads, as well as electrification and improved healthcare services.
On the issue of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the Commissioner disclosed that the state despite the challenges was able to generate N5.2 billion in 2015, N4.8 billion in 2016, N5.6 billion in 2017, and N1.6 billion in first quota of 2018.
On pension, the Commissioner said the present administration under the leadership of Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello had so far spent about N3.5 billion to pay pensioners’ entitlements, saying his ministry provided N50 million monthly to pension board since October last year to clear the backlog of pension.
He said about 11 batches of pensioners had so far been paid and that more pensioners would be paid as soon as the ongoing figure reconciliation was concluded, urging those with pension matters to process their documents up to the point of payment, as according to him the process was based on first come first serve.
The Commissioner also appealed to those who were yet to be paid to exercise more patience as the governor was concerned about their plight and as such would do everything possible to pay them their entitlements.
The Commissioner also explained that the press briefing was a sign that the present administration was transparent in its financial dealings, and that Nigerlites deserve to know what came to the government coffers and how they were spent.