Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, on Tuesday, signed the N137.6 billion 2021 Appropriation Bill into law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor signed the budget, with an assurance that his administration would build on the ongoing infrastructural development and increase investments in social protection and youth empowerment.
AbdulRazaq also assented to the bill repealing pension payments to former governors and former deputy governors in the state.
NAN reports that this was sequel to the widespread support given to the bill during public hearings at the Assembly.
The governor had, in Nov. 2020, sought the repeal of the law, in fulfillment of his campaign promise and in response to public opposition to the pension packages hitherto being enjoyed by former helmsmen.
Speaker of the Assembly, Yakubu Danladi, who led members to the brief signing ceremony, told the governor that members of the public were unanimous about the need to repeal the law during the hearing.
Signing the appropriation bill into law, the governor commended the lawmakers for their hard work, stressing that the budget would build on the achievements of previous years in the areas of education, health and road infrastructure.
“We are also focusing on youth empowerment, job creation and social investments, which are very critical at this point of our national life,” he said.
AbdulRazaq added that social protection was most important at this time, as it would prevent people from falling into abject poverty.
He also commended the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that it was already being replicated in the state.
“I was pleasantly surprised that this initiative of President Buhari is being felt in the remotest parts of the country.
“When I visited the communities where some women beneficiaries of CCT used the money to start the construction of schools, I was very happy and we thank the president for that.
“I have since refunded the money to those women and I have also approved the construction of the schools. So, we are going to continue to invest in social protection,” he said.
Yakubu-Danladi, on his part, said that the budget would have huge impacts on the economy of the state, especially with regards to job creation, youth empowerment and welfare of workers.
The speaker, who said that the budget accommodated the minimum wage, recruitment of new teachers and establishment of a garment factory, among other provisions, commended the governor for his clear vision to transform the state. (NAN)