The Gombe State Ministry of Finance says the focal point for the 2019 budget is centred towards completing all on-going projects by Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo before the expiration of his tenure.
Speaking to journalists and the civil society during the 2019 budget breakdown, the Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Hassan Mohammed, said projects marked for completion included the Mega Motor Park, the Trailer Park, the Trucks Articulated Garage, which were now being worked upon.
And I am sure for those of you that have been looking around would see that the Mega Motor Park, which was assumed not to be completed, is being worked upon. We had a problem with the contractor initially, because he ran because of Boko Haram. So it took us sometime for us to convince him, that it's safe enough for him to come back and work on the project. Now he is back and working on the site. The objective is to complete that, Said the Gombe State Commissioner of Finance.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Dankwambo Administration was adopting a new Revenue Optimisation initiative, intended at maximising the utilisation of the revenue generated assets of the State, such as hotels, because the present reality showed that returns from the hotels were so paltry.
In the proposed budget tagged 'Budget of Posterity, the Gombe State Commissioner of Finance said the Gombe Revenue Optimisation Company consisting of senior officials of relevant government agencies, would delegate the management of all the assets, including Gombe Line, to a company that was going to be competitively chosen, to manage the assets hundred per cent.
Prioritised the payment of salaries
He says revenue generations in the state have not been good and that no matter how hard it tried to work on the projects, inflation went up several times over.
It says the Gombe State Government depended more than 90 per cent on the Federal Government allocations, which has gone down, hence it prioritised the payment of salaries and after payment of salaries, whatever is left off with is not sufficient to pay the contractors to continue the job they are doing.
Alhaji Mohammed however said because of inflation of over three to four years, the cost of doing just one project multiplied into the cost of doing three.
Alhaji Mohammed said however, that the Dankwambo Administration was committed to completing all projects he started.
One such was of ensuring availability of funds for completion was the establishment of a company, the Gombe Revenue Optimisation Company.
You heard me talk about Gombe Revenue Optimisation Company Limited, which is a new initiative of the Dankwambo Administration, which is intended at maximising the utilisation of the revenue generated assets of Gombe State. Because we have hotels, but the returns from those hotels they are so paltry that you really don't feel encouraged and the reason is simply because we subjected them to the bureaucracies of government in the way that they are managed, even in the way that they are positioned.
So we are concerned about this. We felt that is your own establishment, you wouldn't run it the way that we are running it. So for that reason, we decided to do this company, which is called Gombe Revenue Optimisation Company and we brought all the people concerned to be at the board, only at the board. We are not employing people to work at that company. The Commissioner of Finance is a member of the board, the head of the revenue organisation is a member of the board, the head of the Gombe Investment and Property Development is a member of the board and then we have representatives from each geopolitical zone.
So, these are going to constitute the board, but they are going to delegate the management of all these assets to a company that is going to be competitively chosen. It's going to be a private sector, fiance oriented, assets management company. So, we will hand over all these assets to them, including Gombe Line, so that they will be responsible. We will hold them hundred per cent responsible for the effective management of those assets.
And they will in turn concession those to experts, specialists in those areas, who would now be paying those returns to government we felt that if that initiative is taken, then it will ensure that all revenue generating assets, which include the Gombe Motor Park, which include the Trailer Park, the Articulated Trucks Garage, I prefer to call it the Trucks Articulated Garage, because it's not going to be tankers that are going to be based there, all these articulated trucks should be made to park there. So that the people of Gombe are going to be given the opportunity to move the goods with smaller vehicles from that place to here, you give business to people. And it also reduce the congestion of long articulated trucks, having to hover around the market area, causing congestion and all of that, Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Gombe State Commissioner of Finance says the strategy is to generate revenue for the government, as well as boost the businesses of Gombe Residents.
Alhaji Mohammed pledged that before the Administration of Dankwambo ends, he would sure to commission all the projects already completed, as well as those being completed for the benefit of the people of the State.
Source: Voice of Nigeria