- Says budget to promote equality of opportunity
The Kaduna State government plans to domesticate the federal government’s social intervention programmes by sending legislative instruments to the State House of Assembly to pass into law, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has said.
At the presentation of the state’s 2021 budget to the house, which Business A.M. had reported in its print edition on Monday would take place on Tuesday, Governor el-Rufai informed the speaker and members of the house about the legislative proposals that will be coming from the executive arm for the rest of 2020 and 2021; citing that there would now be a new Finance Bill
since the government has no intentions to increase taxes and levies, adding however, that the new bill will include a Social Protection Bill to build on the recent approval of a State Social Protection Policy by the Kaduna State Executive Council.
In the words of the governor, “This places us in a better position to propose a Social Protection Bill to domesticate the various social intervention programmes of the Federal Government and propose a statewide social safety net that will address the basic needs of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens.”
In line with Business A.M. call on the draft budget on Monday, the governor presented a proposed budget of N237.52 billion for the 2021 fiscal year to the House of Assembly in which the draft budget proposes N157.56 billion and N79.96 billion for the capital and recurrent expenditures respectively. The proposed amount represents a 66 per cent to 34 per cent capital to recurrent ratio, as called by Business A.M. on Monday.
el-Rufai said the budget reflects the government’s
commitment to promoting equality of opportunity, accelerate human capital development, attain fiscal viability, and reduce inequality.
The governor further explained that the 2021 budget proposals maintained the government’s commitment to Education (N59.59 billion) and Health (NN35.78 billion) as the principal drivers of human capital development, along with Infrastructure (N55.1 billionn) which supports livelihoods and economic competitiveness.
“In 2021, we propose to spend N59.59 billion on Education (about 25% of the budget), N35.78 billion or 15 per cent on Health and N55.1 billion or 23 per cent on Infrastructure. These three sectors are taking 63 per cent of the total proposed budget. A sum of N124 billion, almost 79 per cent of the capital budget of N157.56 billion is allocated to the Economic and Social sectors. This preserves the ability to maintain investment levels in Education and Health, while continuing projects in the urban renewal programmes,” the governor said.
He also disclosed that the state government has pumped
record levels of capital investment into the state while it achieved 97.5 per cent budget performance for capital expenditure in 2019.
“In 2019, Kaduna State achieved 97.5 per cent budget performance for capital expenditure; spending N148.57 billion of the N152.33 billion budgeted. This is more than twice the erstwhile record of capital spending of over N62 billion in 2016,” el-Rufai said.
Part of the legislative proposals that will be sent to the house will included a proposed Chieftaincy and Traditional Councils Bill to entrench the reforms of the chieftaincy system, specify the composition and classification of the emirate and traditional councils, and update the provisions of colonial laws on the subject. Other pending laws include an Employment Promotion Bill, a State Education Bill, a Commercial Code and a Family Court.
He also noted that the budget proposals have taken into account the economic uncertainty unleashed by Covid-19, and assuring that fiscal realism is an underlying principle
of the draft budget.
He said that “despite the subsisting dangers from the Covid-19 pandemic, life must continue, and we must strive to manage the situation as best we can and make progress wherever possible.”
Meanwhile, the governor also reeled out the achievements of his administration in the last five years in Kaduna state while revealing the latest development on the completion of Phases1 and 2 of the Zaria Water Project, the agreement with the Federal Government on the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project and the ongoing unprecedented urban renewal projects in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.