The Acting Governor of Kaduna state, Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, has said the N245.4 billion draft budget for 2020 is aimed at upgrading hospitals, rehabilitating schools and expanding roads across the state.
Addressing a town hall meeting on Saturday in Kaduna to discuss the N2450bn draft budget in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Deputy Governor, who represented Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said the state government as part of its urban renewal programme would build six new roads, upgrade (furnish and equip) its general hospitals and primary healthcare centers.
According to the Deputy Governor, “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. The government has institutionalised consultations as part of its commitment to transparency and openness.
“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 2020 draft budget reflects the putting people first priorities of the Kaduna state government. We committed ourselves to “invest in education, healthcare and social welfare, foster the security of lives and property.
“Maintain, rebuild and expand infrastructure (water supply, electricity and road networks) to accelerate economic growth that will create jobs; promote agriculture and food security and reform 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.
“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 and began a programme of school renovation and rebuilding.
“But enormous challenges remain in upgrading 4,250 public primary schools and 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,” she said.