According to the Governor, so far, Nasarawa State recorded 449 confirmed cases, with 346 discharged cases, while 88 cases are currently undergoing treatment at home. In all, 13 deaths were also recorded.
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Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has commissioned the remodelled Government House, stressing that the decision to give the centre a facelift was informed by the desire to provide conducive working environment for inhouse press crew.
Engineer Sule commissioned the press centre at the Government House, on Thursday.
While commending the media for its significant role in propagating activities of government, the Governor noted that support from the media during the past one year, has ensured that the people were adequately sensitized about the policies, programmes of his administration.
“I must say that without the support of the media, our development aspirations would not have been visible,” he stated.
According to Engineer Sule, the media has continued to set agenda in its determination to entrench an all-inclusive governance for the benefit of the people.
The Governor emphasized that his administration will continue to encourage working journalists in the state, towards the discharge of their responsibilities, urging them however, to remain guided by the ethics of the journalism profession.
Engineer Sule warned that government will not condone undue sensationalism, even as he stressed that his administration is open to constructive criticism in the effort to deliver on its mandate to the people of the state.
The Governor disclosed that the remodelling of the Government House Press Centre, was carried out at no cost to the government, as according to him, the centre was refurbished from his personal donation, alongside some of his friends.
“The remodelling of the press centre was not captured in the budget, as such some of my friends and I pooled resources together to give the place a facelift,” he explained.
Earlier, in a welcome remarks, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ibrahim Addra, thanked his principal for promptly accepting to give the press centre a facelift.
Addra used the opportunity to appreciate working journalists in the state for being partners in the task of taking Nasarawa State to the next level of development.
Prominent dignitaries witnessed the unveiling of the remodelled press centre, including state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Director General, Nigerian Television Authority, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed and members of the state executive council.
Others are heads of media organizations in the state, Lafia LGA and ALGON Chairman, Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), Andoma of Doma, HRH Alhaji Aliyu Ogah and top government functionaries.
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Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has inaugurated the Commissioner and members of the State Boundary Commission, as well as the Chairman and members of the governing council of the College of Education, Akwanga.
Engineer Sule inaugurated the two bodies at a colourful ceremony, which held at the late Aliyu Akwe Doma banquet hall, Government House, on Thursday.
The Governor stated that it has become necessary to constitute the commission because of border issues between Nasarawa and its neighbours, as well as within local government areas of the state.
Inaugurating the Commissioner and members of the Nasarawa State Boundary Commission, Engineer Sule said it expected that the commission will assist the state towards resolving internal disputes and ensure demarcation of boundary lines between and within local governments having such issues.
According to the Governor, the commission is also expected to establish synergy and collaboration with the National Boundary Commission, towards resolving long standing inter-state boundary disputes.
On the governing council of the College of Education Akwanga, Engineer Sule said the reconstitution of the council, followed the recommendation of the investigative committee earlier put in place to look into the lingering crisis at the institution, with a view to reposition the college.
The Governor directed members of the newly inaugurated council, while carrying out its responsibility, to liaise with the interim administrator of the college, as well as study government views and decisions of previous panels, including the recent investigative committee.
Engineer Sule further directed the council to the fill all vacancies created in the management of the institution within the shortest possible time, in line with the law establishing the college.
The Nasarawa Boundary Commission has Ibrahim Obyokpa Aliyu Keana as Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, while Dr. Ishay Agidi Awotu will chair the governing council of the COE Akwanga
Sequel to the outbreak of corona virus and its attendant effect on businesses and the economy as a whole, the Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service (NSIRS) hereby announces a review of the palliative measures for its esteemed taxpayers with a view to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on individual and business income alike. The palliative measures are:
- EXTENDED PERIOD FOR FILING PAYE AND SELF-ASSESSMENT RETURNS
Deadline for filing employee’s return by employers under the PAYE scheme Regulation which is 31st January every year is hereby further extended to 30th November for the fiscal year 2020. Equally, deadline for declaration of income by individual taxpayers under the self assessment scheme, statutory fixed at 31st march every year has been further extended to 30th November 2020 too.
- WAIVER OF PENALTY AND INTEREST ON DEBTS PAID IN FULL ON OR BEFORE 30TH NOVEMBER 2020.
Penalty and interest is hereby waived for taxpayers with outstanding liability who pay in full on or before 30th November 2020.
- OPTIONS FOR INSTALLMENTAL PAYMENT
All debts that fall due, including assessment that become final and conclusive in 2020 could be paid installmentally within the fiscal year.
You are encouraged to take advantage of these palliative measures and declare your income, file in your returns and/or pay your outstanding liabilities in full.
For further enquiries, please contact office of the Executive Chairman, Nasarawa State Internal Revenue Service, Lafia-Nasarawa State at www.irs.na.gov.ng or 09032942707.
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”22″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]1. The Right Honourable Speaker;
2. Principal Officers and Honourable Members of Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. Members of the State Executive Council here Present;
4. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
5. Special Advisers here Present;
6. Permanent Secretaries here Present;
7. Members of the Press;
8. Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have the pleasure to welcome you all to the signing into Law of the reversed budget of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
2. It would be recalled that I signed into Law the 2020 Fiscal Appropriation document on Monday, 30th December, 2019 of One Hundred and Eight Billion, Four Hundred and Forty-four Million Eight Hundred and Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Fourteen Naira (N108,444,805,614.00) only. We started the implementation of that law on 1st January, 2020 as a responsive Government in accordance with the provision of the law, which stipulates that the accounting year shall begin from 1st January to 31st December, 2020. This is the first time that Nasarawa State Government began the execution of its fiscal policy strategy on the day it was supposed to begin.
3. It is important to note that, in the process of implementing the 2020 Appropriation Law, the world witness the sudden upsurge of a novel pandemic of Coronavirus tagged Covid-19 which is still ravaging the global economic system. The virus has shutdown global economic activities rendering capital markets ineffective for income generation and purposeful development. However, we remained committed and focused on our determination to provide good governance based on reality that is anchored on the principles of transparency and accountability to our dear State. This we belief is geared towards uplifting the living standard of our people and transforming the State into a viable socio-economic and prosperous entity.
4. It was based on these realities that it became imperative to present another Appropriation Bill to our esteemed House of Assembly within the mid-year of 2020. The revised version of the 2020 Budget is in line with the reality of the expected income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Assembly deliberated on the revised fiscal document and passed same into Law on Thursday, 23rd July, 2020. This is a demonstration of our collective commitment to the development of our dear State.
5. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen, we are all witnesses of the ravaging nature of this pandemic. However, this Administration has made significant landmarks in the control and containment of the spread of the virus in the State. I am happy with the manner in which our medical personnel are demonstrating their professionalism in containing the disease, as well as handling those infected. No amount of money can actually pay for the sacrifices they are rendering in this regard.
6. In this connection, Isolation Centers have been provided by Government in most parts of the State for quick and easy access to those infected. We will continue to provide welfare to the health personnel within the limited resources at Government disposal in order to spur them, as well as to show Government’s appreciation for the enormous sacrifices.
7. In the same vein, medical equipment have been provided in these Isolation Centers and we shall continue to provide more as our resources can afford. This was the major reason why Governments in most part of the world have reversed their budgets and Nasarawa State cannot be left out.
8. In spite of the negative trends of the economy, we are committed to ensure total development of our dear State, hence, the provision of basic infrastructure that have direct bearing in the lives of our people. Some major roads construction have started such as Mararaba – Udege Road, Sisinbaki – Farin Ruwa road, Bus Terminals at Lafia and Karu, and other Feeder Roads within the State. This Administration shall ensure the completion of all viable projects started by the previous Administration such as the Cargo Airport at Lafia, Lafia – Keffi Road, Adudu – Azara – Wuse – Plateau Border Road amongst others. We want to re-emphasize that, we shall not neglect the remaining Lafia Township Roads and other Urban Roads in the State. We shall continue to uplift the health facilities in the State and also elevate infrastructure in the education sector.
9. Let me reiterate that, in consonance with the reality of our current financial position, Government will be strict in expenditure control to ensure efficiency in spending and accountability. I want to believe that the Bureau for Public Procurement has put in place mechanism for effective monitoring of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to strictly comply with budgetary provisions and fiscal control.
Parameters and Basic Assumptions of the 2020 Amended Budget
10. Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Members, I am aware that the State Budget Preparation Committee met severally to brainstorm on the reality of the effect of COVID-19 on the general income to the State. Therefore, in reversing the 2020 budget, they were guided by the Macro-fiscal and Mineral Sector Assumptions as projected by the Federal Government when making submission of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to the National Assembly, as well as the trend in the global capital market. Our assumptions are essentially dependent on the Federal Government Fiscal Strategy Paper, since the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the major source of revenue to the State. The following, therefore, are our assumptions:
i. Crude Oil Price
In the original approved budget, the State’s assumption for crude oil price was $57 per barrel. However, in the revised budget, crude oil price is $20 per barrel. This crash was caused by the Coronavirus.
ii. Oil Production
Following the low oil price in the global market, Nigeria cuts its oil production from 2.2 million barrel per day to 1.7 million barrel per day. This means Nigeria will earn less.
iii. Exchange Rate
Exchange Rate of US$305 was projected in the original budget but Government has reviewed the rate upward to $360 to reflect the current economic realities.
iv. GDP Growth Rate
In the original approved budget, the GDP Growth Rate was 2.98%. However, in the revised budget it was projected at -4.42%. This negative GDP growth rate is influenced by the larger than expected storms to global value chains due to the Coronavirus, affecting global demand for goods and services.
v. Inflation Rates
Inflation Rate has been revised from 10.80% in the original budget to 14.13% in the revised budget. This increase in inflation rate is based on the April 2020 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for activities in March 2020.
11. On the basis of these assumptions, aggregate revenue is projected at Sixty One Billion, Seventy Four Million, One Hundred and Eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eight Naira (N61,074,108,808), while the expenditure outlay is estimated at Sixty Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N62,968,348,138) only. The deficit of N2.505 billion is expected to be financed through internal and external borrowings.
12. Accordingly, the 2020 Amended Appropriation Law is Sixty Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N62,968,348,138) only which translates into the total expenditure outlay.
13. This shows that the original 2020 budget of the State was reduced by 41.94%, that is, from N108,444,805,614 to N62,968,348,138. The details of these figures are contained in the estimate’s document.
14. In keeping faith with our original plan, we still christened the Revised Budget as “Amended Budget of Inclusive Development”. This is in line with the present Administration’s philosophy anchored on transparency, accountability, prudence and inclusiveness in the discharge of its responsibilities to the good people of Nasarawa State.
15. The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated the Nasarawa State expenditure requirements. This is reflected in two ways; first is the need for the State to implement an expansionary fiscal policy, to recharge the economy, and second is the reallocation of expenditure to focus more on support to specific sectors such as health, providing welfare support to the vulnerable, and a shift to other priority and high impact projects that are driven primarily by economic rationale and not political expediency.
16. The total recurrent budget decreased by 37.78%, that is, from N58,670,129,609 to N36,502,715,764 only.
17. In selecting the capital projects as COVID-19 response expenditure, Government first and foremost identified the challenges arising from COVID-19 and developed clear plans, objectives and strategic options for responding to the challenges that will help the State to identify expenditure items for responding to COVID-19. Therefore, the Capital Expenditure of the State was reduced by 46.83% using the plans, objectives and strategic options to select the projects. The original capital budget was N49,774,676,004 but reduced to N26,465,632,374 in the Revised Budget.
COVID-19 Responsive Expenditures
18. The COVID-19 responsive expenditure is very essential to Government. As stated earlier, the revision of the 2020 budget is in response to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this, Government will ensure that COVID-19 responsive projects/programs are projects that meet the broad definition of COVID-19 response expenditures.
19. The unfolding health and economic crisis demand bold action, Government is therefore, poised to draw on practical support to rapidly scale up its healthcare system and its capacity to contain the likely escalation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, as it progresses to the most vulnerable areas, disrupting millions of people’s livelihoods, with a disproportionate impact on poor households and small and informal businesses.
20. Our Administration has developed a comprehensive blueprint, Nasarawa COVID-19 Economic Response for responding to the challenges of the Pandemic. The Revised 2020 Budget is aimed at allocating resources towards strategic Government objectives and strategic options provided in the blueprint. Government deliberately provided a COVID-19 responsive expenditure of 17.56% total expenditures in the Revised Budget. Some of the strategic areas covered in the 2020 Amended Budget are as follows:
• Payment of hazard allowance to health workers and other response activities.
• Increasing hospital beds, quarantine/isolation facilities, equipment and consumables.
• Improved agricultural productivity to increase source of income for our citizens.
• Provision of access to food producing areas to access health facilities and increase food distribution in the State.
• Provision of stimulus package/ loan/support to help our citizens navigate out of the crises.
21. In conclusion, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that we are in a very trying times. I, therefore, appeal for the understanding of the people of Nasarawa State, as we continue to evolve measures to cushion the envisaged consequences of the situation.
22. Thank you and may God bless us all
His inaugural speech, Governor Abdullahi A Sule mentioned that, members of the Committee were selected base on their track records, professionalism, experience, hard-working, patriotism, pedigree and Commitments.
The Governor further mentioned that the Committee while discharging their responsibility should be guided as thus:
. To observe and report cases of non-compliance to approved Engineering Codes of practice in respect of Public and Private works to the registrar, to report all defaulters of COREN ACT, to verify that all Engineering Practioners (local and foreign) have valid COREN Practicing License, to act as COREN watchdogs on maintenance, to locate documents, Organizations and Personnel to report to registrar among other guidelines.
The Governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to put in place strategies for zero building collapse in the state to save it attendant effects on human lives and properties. He assured his Government continue support in providing conducive atmosphere for engineering profession to achieve its noble Objectives for standards and deliverance of quality projects.
Engr Abdullahi Sule use the occasion to reaffirm the stringent and consistent measures taken by the Government of Nasarawa State to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state and to cushion it effects to the economy, even when some of the measures are difficult, he appealed to the residents of the state to bear as it remains the best approach to deal with the pandamic.
His Excellency, finally charged the Committee members to live above board and justify the confidence reposed on them and urged them to come up with stringent regulations that will further guide the ethics and practices of Engineering Profession as well as adherence to project specifications.
The historic inauguration was attended by Deputy Governor Dr Emmanuel Agwado Akabe, Speaker NSHA, President of COREN, Engr A.R Maisuya, top Government functionaries, traditional rulers, Local Government Council Chairmen, party leaders among other dignitaries.
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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed plan to establish a molecular laboratory in Nasarawa State to enable medical experts carry out test for the dreaded COVID-19.
Director General of the centre, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this while on a courtesy call to Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
Dr. Ihekweazu, who was in the state on an official visit to the state, further disclosed that the NCDC will work with the state government to set of the laboratory in the next few weeks.
Dr. Ihekweazu was in the state to inspect facilities at the Nasarawa State Infectious Diseases Control Centre, in Lafia, the state capital.
While commending the state Governor for investing heavily in the health security of the people, the NCDC director general described the state owned Infectious Diseases Control Centre, as a great opportunity to pool together resources and expertise from the state, alongside the resources from the NCDC, as well as from research institutions and the private sector.
Dr. Ihekweazu promised to brief the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on the progress made in Nasarawa State, with a view to supporting the state further.
“I’m going to Abuja with two mandates. What I can do from the small pot of resources-human, technical and otherwise. But also really to passionately talk to the PTF to recognize the work you are doing and support you,” he told the Governor.
If the molecular laboratory comes to fruition, COVID-19 test will be conducted in Lafia, instead of taking samples to Abuja for the test.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the policy thrust of his administration is to complete every conceivable dream initiated by his predecessors, stressing that the infectious diseases control centre was started by the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura.
Engineer Sule disclosed that even though his administration’s mantra is to promote economic empowerment and create employment, these are all predicated on three key issues namely, security, education and health.
According to the Governor, with these three, there won’t be any economic activity or empowerment, which explains the thrust of his administration in these three key areas.
He explained that even though the state may lack the resources to complete the centre on its own, efforts are geared towards wooing support from within and outside the state in order to make the centre functional.
This is just as the Governor disclosed plans to construct the link road leading to the centre, as added effort to provide necessary infrastructure in order to facilitate easy access to the facility.
Earlier, in a welcome address, state Commissioner of Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba Yahaya, while describing the infectious diseases control centre as the best in West Africa, if not Africa as a whole.
Pharmacist Yahaya stated that the setting up of the centre, Nasarawa State is looking beyond the current coronavirus pandemic but will be ready for any eventual outbreak of any infectious disease in the future
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”20″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]The Nasarawa State Government and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at improving investment climate in housing, real estate and construction sectors.
The two parties signed the MoU at a ceremony at the Government House, on Wednesday.
The Secretary to the Nasarawa Government, Barrister Ubandoma Aliyu signed on behalf of the state government, while the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NMRC, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, signed on behalf of the company.
Commenting shortly after the signing of the document, the NMRC MD, said the MoU will guarantee confidence in investors to come into the housing, real estate and construction market.
Mr Ogundimu expressed strong confidence that with the proximity of Nasarawa State to the Federal Capital Territory, similar to what Ogun is to Lagos, the state is in a position to attract investors.
He disclosed that the firm, having gone into similar arrangements in Kaduna, Ogun, Ekiti States among others and with visible impacts, has the strong believe that the initiative enable people of the state source finance using their lands, create job opportunities, as well as increase internally generated revenue for the state.
“The initiative is capable of increasing the GDP of Nasarawa State by 20 to 30 percent,” Mr Ogundimu said.
The MD commended the Governor for his inroads in the areas of road construction, agric and agro processing, education and most significantly, on security, stressing that the NMRC is encouraged by what is happening in the state.
In his remarks, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said his administration has put lots of effort in this direction because of its focus to provide affordable housing for the people of the state, in line with the Nasarawa State Economic Development Strategy (NEDS).
In this regards, Engineer Sule disclosed that already, his administration has submitted two bills namely, the Mortgage Foreclosure Bill and the Investment and PPP Bill, before the State House of Assembly for passage soon.
According to the Governor, the passage of the two bills, will create the opportunity for the Government to open up the state to the world.
Engineer Sule added that his administration is desirous of exploiting the economic benefits of the state’s proximity to the Federal Capital Territory, which remains the biggest advantage for the state.
He pointed out that the goal of his administration is to open up opportunities for the people of the state, just as the Governor restated the commitment of the state government to provide necessary infrastructure, especially roads, water and electricity in Karu Local Government Area, in order to attract housing development.
While thanking the company for appreciating the efforts of his administration to reposition the state, Engineer Sule explained that the state government is making sure to provide the atmosphere for other investors to come, for the benefit of the people of the state.
In a welcome address, Special Adviser to the Governor on Investment and Economic Development, Barrister Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the signing of the MoU, was in line with the policy thrust of the Engineer Abdullahi Sule administration to create enabling environment for investment across different sectors of the state’s economy.
Barrister Abdullahi added that the initiative will open up opportunities in the housing, real estate and construction sector, both in terms of the ability of the people of the state to have the liquudity to afford housing, as part of the administration’s sustenable housing programme.
The NMRC was established in 2015, with a view to promoting the delivery of affordable housing to Nigerians.