In partial fulfilment of the requirements Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Kaduna State Government on Saturday, organised a town hall meeting to discuss the State’s draft budget of N245bn for the year 2020.
Addressing the participants at General Usman Katsina House, Kaduna, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe said, the decision to always put the draft budgets in public domain is part of government’s commitment to entrench a culture of political responsiveness in democratic culture.
While noting that it is the fifth draft budget to be discussed at a town hall meeting, She reiterated, “the government has institutionalised consultations as part of its commitment to transparency and openness.”
She said, “the government consider it important to obtain citizens views, comments and input before the draft budget estimates are transmitted to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
“The draft 2020 Budget reflects the putting people first priorities of the Kaduna State Government. We committed ourselves to the following:
“Invest in education, healthcare and social welfare foster the security of lives and property institute a good governance system that is founded on a competent and responsive public service with zero tolerance for corruption.
“Maintain, rebuild and expand infrastructure (water supply, electricity and road networks) to accelerate economic growth that will create jobs, jobs and more jobs; promote agriculture and food security and reform of land administration as a basis for wealth creation and capital formation, while preserving and enhancing environmental management.
“These are the guiding principles of our governance agenda. They explain our abiding commitment to Education, Health and Infrastructure. Education and Health are the principal components of human capital development.
“Investments in Infrastructure are critical to maintaining our competitiveness, supporting economic dynamism and promoting the well-being of our people.
“As the first full-year budget of the second term of this government, the 2020 budget is conceived to accelerate the attainment of our governance agenda.
“We propose a budget size of N245.4bn. The capital component is N177.29bn, an unprecedented figure in absolute and percentage terms in the fiscal history of the state. With recurrent expenses set at N62.9bn, the 2020 budget, when approved, is projected to have a capital to recurrent ratio of 72% : 28%.
“Most of the capital spending will be in the economic social sectors, amounting to about N144bn. We propose to spend N68bn on Public Works and Infrastructure.
“Capital expenditure on education and health are proposed at N33.9bn and N23.3bn, respectively. In the first term, this government doubled primary school enrolment, recruited 25,000 primary school teachers and began a programme of school renovation and rebuilding. But enormous challenges remain in upgrading 4,250 public primary schools and about 500 secondary schools.
” We inherited these schools in largely decrepit conditions. Many schools have no classroom furniture, and lack water and sanitation facilities. We will continue the patient work required to fix thousands of schools.
“In the Health sector, investments in primary health care will continue to be central to our programme to tackle maternal and infant mortality. We will also fast track the implementation of the contributory health insurance scheme.
”I hope that the discussions that will follow the commissioners presentation will be profound, insightful and helpful in strengthening the draft budget proposals in the interest of our people,” she said.