Kaduna’s budget of sustainability and people’s hope

As Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state signed the 2022 budget into law amidst high expectations from residents, the state government explains that the ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’ is targeted at completing the urban renewal projects and addressing poverty among the citizens at the grassroots level. ABDULRAHEEM AODU takes a look at the budget’s targets and expectations of Kaduna people. 

Signing the N278.58bn appropriation into law
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state signed the state’s N278.58 billion 2022 budget into law, while assuring residents of the state that the budget would be implemented to improve public welfare and develop human capital and infrastructure. 

The assented budget, tagged ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’ is made up of N184.53 billion capital expenditure and N94.05 billion recurrent expenditure; a ratio of 66% to 37%. Education sector with N69.75 billion (25.04% of the expenditure) has the largest sectoral allocation, followed by the executive sector with N53 billion (19.04% of the expenditure). The economic sector with 17.09% which amounts to N47.61 billion follows. Health was allocated N69.75 billion (14.71% of the expenditure) while social sector gets N21.97 billion (7.89% of the expenditure); the newly-created Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan Metropolitan Authorities were jointly allocated N18.5 billion (7.89% of the expenditure).

The legislature, including the state assembly, the Assembly Service Commission, offices of the state and local governments auditors- general were allocated N9.13 billion (3.28% of the expenditure).Security which includes Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs and Kaduna State Vigilance Service got N7.51 billion (2.7% of the expenditure), judiciary was allocated N5.39 billion or 1.94% of the expenditure, while governance which include ministry of justice got N4.68 billion or 1.68% of the expenditure. Capital allocations in the social subsector are education N41.66 billion, health N28.63 billion and social development N19.37 billion. Capital budget allocation for public works and infrastructure is N28.94 billion, while N8.79 billion is for housing and urban development. El-Rufai lauds assembly Governor El-Rufai expressed delight that for the seventh consecutive year, the state is signing its appropriation bill into law ahead of the first day of January. He said alignment of the fiscal year and calendar year has ensured that budget implementation can commence by 1st January of each year, attributing the trend to the active collaboration between the state House of Assembly and the executive for the benefit of the people of Kaduna.

Assembly increases proposed budget with N45.58bn for projects 
While describing the budget as budget of the people, el-Rufai commended the state assembly for its thorough work on the draft budget estimates, noting that the House of Assembly increased the budget size from the N233 billion proposed by the executive to N278.58 billion to accommodate more project requests.Speaker of the state assembly, Hon Yusuf Zailani, explained that the legislature is fully aligned with the focus of the el-Rufai government to ensure human capital and infrastructure development across the state. Budget targets completion of urban renewal, infrastructural projects The 2022 budget was intended to complete the urban renewal and infrastructural projects in Kaduna, Zaria, Kafanchan and other parts of Kaduna state in the 2022 fiscal year, according to the state commissioner and chairman, Planning and Budget Commission, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Abdullahi. 

Under the urban renewal project, the el-Rufai administration is carrying out road reconstructions and expansions with drainages and street lights in the three cities. The Kaduna projects include five overhead bridges, round-abouts and an underpass at the popular Leventis Round-about close to the Central Market.  In Kafanchan, 15 roads measuring 26.3km together are to be reconstructed; some of them expanded to double lanes, with some of those handled by Farmtrac Nigeria Limited already completed and ready for commissioning. Breaking down the expected impacts of the budget on people of the state, the Planning and Budget Commission chairman said, “We are hoping to close down key infrastructures in the state including the urban renewal projects which is at finishing status in Kaduna, while Zaria and Kafanchan are reaching significant status.” 

Government to address poverty with N4bn
The state government would be launching a social investment programme with over N4 billion provided for the pro-poor people across the 23 local government areas expected to impact directly on the lives of the people in rural areas. It said, “On our social protection programme, we are ensuring that people at the bottom are getting something. Next year, it would not be below N24 billion because we are expanding our supports in the area through supplementary income.”Education is getting a huge chunk of the budget with over N4 billion slated for the salaries and wages of the 7,600 new teachers being recruited, as well as pensions and gratuities. Power projects are being planned together with Kaduna Power Supply Company. The N5.16 billion capital budget of the power supply company is expected to cater for the new power projects. “In the budget, 7.5 billion was budgeted for security in 2022; this includes support for federal government agencies and our vigilance service.”

Kaduna targets N150bn IGR
Kaduna state government is targeting N150 billion as annual internally generated revenue (IGR) within the next three years by expanding the revenue base, bringing more people into the tax net and attracting more investments that would create more jobs in the state, without increasing tax. The Kaduna state commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission had said.  He said the IGR has risen from the N13 billion in 2015 which couldn’t cater for the N30 billion salary bill to N45 – N50 billion which pays the state’s salary bill.

He added that the state’s target was to earn enough IGR to pay its workers and cater for overhead costs. “We are hoping to cover our overhead costs in two years. We would be self sufficient in the next two to four years. Our projection is to raise a minimum of N150 billion yearly.” According to Sani, the government intends to complete the 300-bed Specialist Hospital at Millennium City in 2022 and is already talking to medical organisations to manage it.

As the el-Rufai administration dovetails towards its end, talks are rife that the government may not complete the massive road projects it has embarked upon, noting that most of them would be abandoned for coming administrations. 
While many model schools have received lavish attention with good furniture and teaching materials, many others in the rural areas are still yearning for key improvements. Also, of the 255 primary healthcare centres to be rebuilt and equipped, less than 200 of them have been completed across the state.

They all need to be completed and functional for government to fully address maternal and child mortality in the state. Despite massive spendings and supports to security agencies, the state still reels under the pockets of banditry, kidnapping and other such crimes with the major corridors leading out of the state, mainly the Kaduna-Abuja highway, the Kaduna -Zaria highway, the Kaduna – Kachia road and the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road becoming targets for kidnappers and bandits. Government would need to scale up its revenue machinery to ensure that there is enough funds to back all these and ensure prompt release of such money for the completion of the projects in the new year. 

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