28th November, 2015
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai on Saturday presented the draft of 166 billion naira proposed budget to stakeholders, residents and other members of the public in the state.
The budget, with 104 billion naira as capital and 62 billion naira as recurrent components, according to El-Rufai, would be presented formally to State House of Assembly in December.
Addressing the stakeholders at General Hassan Katsina State House, Kaduna, during an emergency budget Town Hall meeting, El-Rufai revealed that reason past governments left behind legacies of abandoned projects was because huge annual budgets were approved without being implemented.
He also disclosed that previous administrations in the state had reduced budgeting into a fictographic art without considerations or any relationship to reality.
According to the governor, he would always put the people first in all his actions, adding that the present administration is determined to make the state great again by reversing the neglect that the public interest has suffered and restore hope.
He said in the proposed 2016 budget, one of the pro-poor programmes include interventions in school feeding, planting of economic trees, and waste collection which are expected to create 200,000 jobs.
Explaining the motive behind presenting the budget proposal to stakeholders before the House of Assembly, El-Rufai said: “We have called this meeting today to present to you the broad principles informing the policy choices that are reflected in the draft 2016 budget. The budget is anchored on the commitments outlined in the Restoration Programme, the manifesto platform on which the Kaduna State APC campaigned.”
He further explained that during his campaign he made it clear that the APC believes in the capacity of the people to make the best choices for themselves, if they are properly educated, given decent healthcare, and jobs in a secure environment.
While pointing out that the major highlights of the 2016 Budget Proposals moved away from funding government to providing infrastructure and services to citizens, he noted that it restores the 60:40 ratio in favour of capital expenditure.
“This is in keeping with our agenda to expand access to Education, Healthcare, Jobs and Security,” he stressed.
He equally informed that capital investments captured in the draft budget include: Kaduna Ring Road; Comprehensive Security Interventions in partnership with neighbouring states; Textile Revival; Youth Entrepreneurship programmes; lighting up Kaduna with streetlights and the statewide Tree Planting programme.
Meanwhile , he lamented that year after year, only the recurrent part of the budget attained perfect performance. Capital investments repeatedly suffered, sometimes reaching only 1% in some sectors or 17% performance overall.
However, speaking about cost-cutting, El-Rufai said his government has set out programme to curtail public expenditures and be clearer about priorities.
He recalled that in 2014, the Ministry of Health got only N300 million, but in 2016, the Health sector will get more than N3b. He also noted that in 2014, the Government House spent N2.1 billion but it is getting only N563m in 2016.
In the spirit of cutting cost, he said political appointees will take pay cuts as sacrifice for change, adding that there will be no automatic annual salary increments in 2016.
The Governor added that Duty Tour Allowances and Estacode rates will be reduced as well.