John Shiklam in Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has presented a budget proposal of N216.55 billion to the state House of Assembly for the 2018 fiscal year.
Making the presentation yesterday at Lugard Hall, the governor said in keeping with the governmentâ€™s tradition, priority was given to capital projects with a vote of N131 billion while recurrent expenditure is pegged at N85.4 billion, representing 60.54 and 39.46 per cent respectively.
Tagged: â€˜Budget of consolidationâ€™ the governor said it is structured to complete the many projects being undertaken by his administration.
â€œThe capital to recurrent ratio is consistent with our agenda to spend more on the people than on running government,â€ he told the lawmakers.
He said the proposed budget was based on the 2018 revenue and expenditure estimates forecast on a robust medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) which assumes a $42 benchmark price for oil at production levels of 1.8 million barrels per day, 17.5 per cent inflation, 1.9 per cent projected real GDP growth and an exchange rate of N305 to the dollar.
The governor said from the capital expenditure, education, health and social development take N51.4 billion, with the same education and health sectors receiving N33 billion and N17 billion respectively.
According to him, fixing the dilapidated schools inherited by his administration would require about N60 billion, stressing that the report of decayed schools produced by the state government had helped to show development partners the scale of investments required in the sector.
The governor disclosed that it was this report that led to the decision of the World Bank to grant the state a budget support facility of $350 million.
He said the state government would begin to access the funds once the National Assembly approves the federal government 2017 borrowing plan.
â€œWe shall be prioritising completion of these projects in the coming year. We are in a time of consolidation, and the budget reflects this thrust. Development is a continuum, and we are firmly building on the foundations we have laid in the preceding years.
â€œAs at mid 2017, there were 443 kilometres of township roads and 16 intercity roads with a distance of 414.8km at various stages of completion. â€œIn addition, 17 rural feeder roads with distance of 172 km are being constructed. We campaigned vigorously against the poor state of public schools.
â€œThere are many schools being rebuilt, hospitals being upgraded and equipped, water works being refitted, rehabilitation centres being fixed. We are very proud to have initiated these projects in the interest of our people, we have been clearheaded enough to take on inherited projects that we consider feasible and viable
â€œThe Kaduna State Government will stay focused on delivering on our promises. We shall not relent in promoting development and progress for the people who have invested their hope in us,â€ the governor said.