Home / News / Local / Sokoto Assembly passes N89.9bn Supplementary Budget; Orders revocation of permit for conversion of residential property to hotel

Sokoto Assembly passes N89.9bn Supplementary Budget; Orders revocation of permit for conversion of residential property to hotel

By Muhammad Nasir

Sokoto, May 23, 2024

The Sokoto State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the 2024 Supplementary Budget of N89.9 billion for the state into law, following the consideration of the report presented by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation during plenary.

Presenting the report, the committee’s chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Zakari (APC-Rabah), said the development was in consideration of Gov. Ahmed Aliyu’s request presented to the Assembly on Tuesday.

“The bill was presented on the floor on Tuesday. Due to its importance to the state’s services, however, it received both its first and second readings promptly,” he said.

Zakari said that the committee observed that the request for the 2024 supplementary appropriation budget was prompted by an additional inflow of revenue to the state’s coffers.

He said, “The proposed supplementary inflow includes statutory allocation/VAT, infrastructural development funds from the Federal Government, FGN/State Debt Swap, signature bonuses, and goods and valuable consideration.

“The supplementary budget affects the ministries of Land and Housing, Religious Affairs, Agriculture, Health, Humanitarian Affairs, Water Resources, Finance, and Women Affairs.”

He noted that the committee recommended the estimated amount of N7 billion in recurrent expenditures and N82.9 billion in capital expenditures, to stand as part of the bill’s schedule.

Zakari stated that the committee neither added to nor reduced the proposed supplementary budget.

Following contributions from various lawmakers, the Speaker, Alhaji Tukur Bala, put the motion to a voice vote, which the Assembly unanimously adopted.

Meanwhile, the Assembly has instructed the Sokoto Urban and Regional Planning Board (SURPB) to revoke the building permit granted to Samuel Ijeoma for converting a residential property into a hotel.

This decision followed the review of a report from the joint House Committee on Public Petitions, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Religious Affairs during the plenary session on Thursday.

The report stemmed from a petition filed by the Sabon-Garin Tamaje Community against Smart Garden Hotel and Dinero Hotel.

Presenting the report, Committee Chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Usman (APC- Tangaza), stated that the petitioners alleged public disturbances, including night clubbing and lodging of under aged individuals.

“The petitioners also reported smoking of harmful substances, theft of valuables outside the hotel premises, and disruptive behavior in the vicinity during late hours,” he said.

Usman said that the committee’s investigation revealed that Smart Garden Hotel and Dinero Hotel lacked registration and licenses to operate as hotels in the state.

“The hotels have not obtained certificates of suitability from the Chief Fire Officer, Chief Civil Engineer, and Chief Medical Officer, which are prerequisites for obtaining a license.

“The hotels conduct night clubbing, cause public nuisance, sell alcohol contrary to state laws, and offer short-term lodging.

“They are also accused of promoting, aiding, and abetting adultery and fornication, akin to managing a brothel,” he said.

The committee recommended that the state hotels Registrar should immediately seal the two hotels for non-compliance with the Hotels Registration and Licensing Law of 2015.

“The SURPB should revoke the building permit granted to Mr. Samuel Ijeoma for converting a residential property into a hotel without seeking fresh approval.

“This action violates the conditions under the Nigeria Urban and Regional Planning Act, No. 88 of 1992.

“The Registrar, along with the Commissioner of Commerce and Industries, should collaborate with the state Attorney General and relevant security agencies to prosecute the proprietors of the two hotels for violating state laws,” Usman stated.

After contributions from the lawmakers, the Speaker, Alhaji Tukur Bala, put the motion to a vote, which was unanimously approved by the Assembly.

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