2021: El-Rufai proposes N237.52bn budget (Pictures)

El-Rufai

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state on Tuesday presented a draft budget of N237.52 billion to the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the 2021 fiscal year tagged ‘Budget of Recovery’ in line with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The governor noted that the budget proposals reflects government’s commitment to promote equal opportunity, accelerate human capital development and attain fiscal viability, while taking into cognizance the economic uncertainty unleashed by Covid-19 pandemic.

Governor el-Rufai disclosed that the document proposes N157.56bn as capital expenditure and N79.96bn as recurrent expenses, a 66% to 34% capital to recurrent ratio. He explained that the 2021 budget proposals retain the government’s commitment to education and health as the principal drivers of human capital development.

“In 2021, we propose to spend N59.59bn on education (about 25% of the budget), N35.78bn or 15% on health and N55.1bn or 23% on infrastructure. These three sectors are taking 63% of the total proposed budget. 

“Sum of N124bn, almost 79% of the capital budget of N157.56bn is allocated to the economic and social sectors to maintain investment in education and health, while continuing projects in the urban renewal programmes.

“In 2019, Kaduna state achieved 97.5% budget performance for capital expenditure, spending N148.57bn of the N152.33bn budgeted. This is more than twice the erstwhile record of capital spending of over N62bn in 2016,” he said.

The governor expressed gratitude to the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the partnership that has enabled his government to anchor many of its reform measures in new laws.

“The close to 100 new laws enacted since 2015, include legislation to institutionalise reforms in public finances, procurement, taxation, child welfare and protection, investment promotion, scholarships, youth capacity building and residency, among others. The new laws also created a geographic information service and an internal revenue service,’’ he said.

El-Rufai informed the House of Assembly about the bills that will be coming from the  executive branch for the rest of 2020 and 2021, promising that there would be new Finance Bill since the government has no intention to raise taxes and levies.

The governor pointed out that one of  the new bills will include a Social Protection Bill to build on the recent approval of a State Social Protection Policy by the Kaduna state executive council.

“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,’’ he argued.

El-Rufai said that government will propose a 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.

The governor listed other pending laws to include an Employment Promotion Bill, a State Education Bill, a Commercial Code and a Family Court.

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