Zamfara state government has debunked a media report credited to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which says, the state governor assented the 2022 appropriation Bill into law secretly and therefore condemned the action.
In a Press Release made available to newsmen by the Special Adviser to the state governor, on Media, Communication and Public Enlightenment, Zailani Bappa said “the attention of the State Government is drawn to a malicious publication trumpeting desperate attempt by so-called CSOs to crave relevance by ignorantly accusing the State Government for what the thought was a breach in procedure over the 2022 Appropriation bill.”
According to him the publication accused the State Governor of signing the bill into law “secretly in the night” and later the video surfaced on U-tube. The medium that carried the story said the representatives of the groups described that budget is a public document but is now personalised by the Matawalle administration.
While explaining , the governors mouthpiece said “At first, one tend to be at a loss if the source of this story are at all knowledgeable and indeed representatives of who they claim to represent. In terms of procedure, any lay man knows that a budget is prepared by the Executive and presented to the Legislature for approval. This step was publicly done by His Excellency, Dr Bello Mohammed and widely covered in the International, National and Local media.” he stated
“It is the duty of the Legislature to later conduct budget defence for all MDAs included in the budget which was duly done over the past two weeks and all the procedure required to pass the bill was completed before the House presented it to the Governor for assent.” he explained
“As required by the Law, all those who are expected to attend the signing of the budget into law were in attendance. As for the budget being signed Into Law late in the evening, we wonder if the Law specified any time of the day for such function to happen! In their own ignorance, they do not know that His Excellency, almost every blessing day, works into the night regardless of how deep the night passes into his office untill all matters before him are cleared.”
“While signing the budget, the entire Legislators led by the Speaker were present at the ceremony. Similarly, the entire Executive Council members of the state Government including the Secretary to the State Government, the Head Of Service, the Chief of Staff and all Commissioners including that of Finance and Budget and Economic Planning were also present. To crown it all, members of the Traditional Council led by Sarkin Zamfaran Anka were also there.”
Zailani added that, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the media, were also in attendance and have reported it just as I have also made a Press Release for public consumption after the event. One therefore, wonder how the issue of secrecy crops up in the whole of this procedure.
He therefore warned that, “these misguided accusers of the State Governor should know that an Appropriation Bill presented to His Excellency for signing into Law is not a public document in the manner they claim, but a document guiding the spending of public funds to be monitored by the lawfully assigned mechanisms stipulated by law. So far, the total amount appropriated for the incoming fiscal year has been made public and the budget will begin to be implemented in January next year.
The Zailani Bappa while berating the Media for reporting the CSOs said both the junkie media that carried this story and the ignorant representatives of the so-called CSOs need to be reminded that signing of Appropriation bill is not market place affair where they expect His Excellency to come to the Town Square and conduct it.
The State Government wishes to call of the media to be more responsible by avoiding being manipulated to trumpet mediocrity as the story in question is devoid of substance and quality as the accusation made is baseless and informed by crass ignorance of procedure.