Linus Oota, Lafia
Contrary to the norm, Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, did not personally presented the 2019 Appropriation Bill (budget) to the state House of Assembly in Lafia.
The governor did not state the reasons for his action.
Rather than appear before the lawmakers, the governor delegated the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayuba Ayenaje, to present the budget on his behalf.
The commissioner presented the sum of N86.64 billion Appropriation Bill for 2019 fiscal year, christened “Budget of Transition.” It was the last budget presentation by the governor as he would be exiting in May, 2019.
Presenting the budget, the commissioner said:”On behalf of his Excellency, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, I hereby present the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N86, 642, 599,225 billion aimed at bringing the dividend of democracy to the people of Nasarawa State.
“A total of N48, 429, 934, 039 billion of the budget is earmarked for recurrent expenditure while N31, 038,994,046 of the total budget is earmarked as capital expenditure for the year 2019,” he said
By his decision, the governor also made history as the first governor of the state since 1999, to delegate budget presentation to a commissioner.
However, while the norm had been for a sitting governor to personally present the budget, Section 148 of the Nigerian constitution empowers him to delegate any of his duties to selected persons.
Responding, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, assured the state government of speedy passage of the budget.