The Bauchi State government said on Friday the disagreement between the Federal Government and some state governments over collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) would affect its projections for the 2022 fiscal year.
The state’s Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Aminu Hammayo, who disclosed this to journalists at the end of a special State Executive Council meeting in Bauchi, said the council has adopted the budget proposal based on the submission made by the various stakeholders in the state.
He said Governor Bala Mohammed would present the proposed 2022 budget to the state House of Assembly in the coming weeks.
Hammayo said: “We will look at those things that we consider critical to guide us in the budget. While It would be premature to state the amount of the budget at this stage, we considered a lot of things in arriving at our projections on the proposed budget.
“We based our assumptions on the oil production benchmark of 1.9 billion barrels per day. We also assumed that the crude oil price would remain at $57 per barrel.
“The fight between the Federal government and Rivers/Lagos as to who is responsible for collecting VAT was taken into consideration and that has affected our projection. We have also defined what our priorities are. Our focus is to try to complete every project that has been started. New projects will only be considered where they become absolutely necessary.
“We don’t intend to take any loan facility to fund the budget unless it becomes absolutely necessary and it must be to fund critical areas of infrastructural development. Efforts are geared towards repaying the debt hanging on the neck of the state.”
The Rivers and Lagos States had in September challenged the Federal Government’s power to collect VAT in the country.
The matter is currently before the Supreme Court.
By Yemi Kanji