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Why Jigawa’s debt profile is low, by governor

By Dahiru Suleiman, Dutse
14 February 2022   |   3:58 am
Jigawa State Governor, Muhammad Abubakar, has attributed his state’s low debt profile to fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability in utilisation of public resources.

Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar. Photo/FACEBOOK/PLSGov/

Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has attributed his state’s low debt profile to fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability in utilisation of public resources.

In a statement by his media aide, Awwal Sankara, yesterday, Jigawa was adjudged the least-indebted state in the country, according to statistics from the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The governor, who spoke during a media tour of the Federal Government’s World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme, applauded the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for the initiative.

He stated that SFTAS had further helped to support his state in enthroning a fiscally-transparent, accountable and sustainable governance structure.

According to him, fiscal prudence has become the hallmark of his administration, noting that his administration decided to de-emphasise borrowing while blocking leakages and boosting internally-generated revenue.

Asserting that he inherited a liability of N50 billion in contracts awarded by the previous administration, but not executed, Abubakar disclosed that the contracts were re-negotiated by his administration and the contractors mobilised to site.

The contracts, he added, had been executed and the contractors fully paid. Further applauding the SFTAS programme for supporting Jigawa to instil transparency, accountability and sustainability in the management of state resources, Abubakar said its application helped to give a timely position of available funds.

The state is implementing all the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), which are derived from the country’s 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP), the governor noted.

Earlier in his remarks, the National Programme Coordinator, SFTAS, Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning, Stephen Okon, noted Jigawa as one of the top three states in the implementation of the programme.

Okon, who was represented by the Deputy National Coordinator, SFTAS, Mr. Ali Mohammed, said prior to the emergence of SFTAS, the Abubakar administration had initiated a number of programmes that enshrined fiscal discipline.

He added that due to its consistent progress, Jigawa benefited from the first and second $750 million performance-based grants from the Federal Government to states, which achieved the yearly eligibility criteria and the DLIs.

Welcoming the team to his office, the Commissioner for Finance, Ibrahim Umar, said Jigawa had performed creditably in the SFTAS programme and benefited from the grants to the sum of N13.5 billion in the 2018 and 2019 assessments, expecting to surpass previous assessments in coming exercises.