From Mika’il Tsoho, Dutse
A non-governmental organization known as the Exceptional Leadership and Integrity Promotion Initiative (ELIP-Initiative) has raised the alarm over low budget performance for the year 2023 in the most critical sectors of health and education in Jigawa State.
The challenges were raised by the Executive Director of ELIP-Initiative, Comrade Isah Mustapha, while presenting the analysis of the third-quarter 2023 budget performance for health and education sectors held in Dutse, the state capital.
Comrade Isah, who advocated for the urgent need for the state Ministry of Health and Education to make more effort to access its budget, said the low budget releases may hamper the state’s effort towards achieving its objectives.
According to him, some of the agencies recorded less than ten percent performance, while agencies like the Islamic Education Board and the State Tertiary Education Board recorded zero releases in the third quarter of 2023, despite an overall performance in quarter 1-3 of 20 percent and 34 percent respectively.
He said the health sector has recorded low budget performance since 2016, adding that so far only N201 million has been released to the sector.
“With the recurrent trend of budget releases, achieving 80 percent budget performance may be difficult for the state,” he said.
The group suggested that agencies should work hard and identified other solutions as conducting refresher training on memo writing and organizing a quarterly data validation of performance reports by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning on the state.
The group also called on the State House of Assembly’s committees on health, appropriation, basic, and higher education to strengthen their budget oversight by raising quarterly budget performance reports.
Comrade Isah Mustapha then urged all stakeholders, particularly the executives, legislatives, agencies, civil society organizations, and the media, to work hard to achieve the target for the benefit of Jigawa citizens.