Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday presented a budget draft of N257.9 billion for the 2020 fiscal year, also declaring compulsory free education up to the secondary school level for every child in the State.
Presenting the budget draft with the title “The 2020 Budget of Progressive Renewal” before the State House of Assembly, Governor El-rufai, represented by the Acting Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said no child will be allowed to roam the streets during school hours by next year.
“The size of the proposed 2020 Budget is N257.9 billion. The capital component is N190.03 billion, an unprecedented figure in absolute and percentage terms in the fiscal history of the State,” according to Dr Balarabe, speaking on behalf of the Governor.
“The summary clearly shows that our priorities in 2020 are human capital development and physical infrastructure. We have announced a commitment to expand access to education. That is why from 2020 education becomes free till the completion of secondary or Technical/Vocational E (TVE).
“An Education Bill to extend free and compulsory education to the Senior Secondary level for all students. Free education up to senior secondary level was previously enjoyed only by female students, while boys had theirs guaranteed only up to junior secondary level. From 2020, every child in Kaduna State is required to have 12 years of free, compulsory primary and secondary education.
“The bill will mandate that those that prefer vocational or technical education after completing junior secondary school would also enjoy three years of TVE. The education related bills signpost our commitment to the enhanced enforcement of the UBE Act, Child Welfare and Protection Law, and the Street Hawking (Prohibition) Law. Our Education Marshalls, KASTLEA and the Kaduna Vigilance Service will jointly ensure no child in Kaduna State roams the street during school hours for any reason without legal consequences for the parents or guardians.
“Technical/Vocational Education Bill will enable the conversion of our Business Apprenticeship Training Centres (BATCs) into Technical, Vocational Education and Training Colleges with boarding facilities and community-based governance framework.
“Public Service Bill to entrench our reform and revitalization efforts and ensure uniformity and clarity in the administration of the State Public Service.
“Health Facilities Management and Regulation Bill to enable tighter oversight regarding the establishment, registration and regulation of every type of public and private health facilities in the State.
“State Primary Health Care Development Amendment (or re-enactment) Bill to update the PHCDA/PHCUOR law that this Honourable House graciously enacted in September 2015, paving way for influx of coordinated donor support to our immunisation and primary healthcare programmes.
“Social Protection Bill that will 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.
“Chieftaincy and Traditional Councils Bill to entrench the reforms of the chieftaincy system, specify composition and classification of emirate and traditional councils, and update the provisions of colonial laws on the subject.
“Employment Promotion Bill that will establish a State Council of Economic Advisers to guide the government on measures to promote job creation, economic development and investment promotion.
“State Universal Basic Education Bill will repeal the 2005 law to reflect lessons learnt in the implementation of the domestication of the UBE Act to ensure the elimination of Almajiri phenomenon in Kaduna State.
“Family Court and Small Claims Court (Establishment) Bills, along with legislation to amend the District Court Law, and another bill for the enactment of a State Commercial Code”.
The Governor’s statement concluded: “As we strengthen governance in the second term, we will vigorously implement the Putting People First agenda. We will continue to privilege the interest of ordinary people, promote equal opportunity and attract investments to our state. The time is short. We cannot allow any distractions. We shall not waver in making life better for the people of Kaduna State.”