By John Shiklam in Kaduna
Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has signed the 2019 budget of the state into law.
The approved budget size is N157.449bn, with the capital component of N94.47bn, while recurrent expenditure is N62.97bn and a 60:40 capital to recurrent ratio.
Tagged: “Budget of continuity” the governor said the budget is a reflection of his administration’s commitment to human capital development.
He said the social sector, including education and health will gulp N39.14bn, representing 41 per cent of the N94bn capital budget with education taking N25.4bn, while health has N13.1bn.
This according to him, is a concrete demonstration of government’s desire to promote equality of opportunity by putting the people first.
“It is a consistent pattern of our budgeting that the social sector takes the largest chunk of capital commitments.
“Thus, while the overall budget size is smaller than it was in previous years, the proportion we devote to human capital development does not shrink,” he said.
He said further that his administration was resolute in implementing education reforms aimed at improving the quality of education in public schools in the state.
The governor said, as one of the beneficiaries of public schools, his administration owes the children of the ordinary people a duty to restore public education as a lever for social mobility.
He said although the programme to improve infrastructure in the education sector was hampered following the senate’s rejection of the $350m World Bank loan to the state, the government has made significant impact in the sector.
“For many of us, government schools gave us the education that enabled us to rise above the circumstances of our birth.
“We owe the children of ordinary people a duty to restore public education as a lever for social mobility.
“The programme to improve infrastructure in the education sector has been hampered by the irresponsible denial at the Senate of our $350m World Bank loan.
“But we soldier on with the resources we have. I am happy to report that we have completed the recruitment of 25,000 new primary school teachers. We are now recruiting 7,600 teachers for the public secondary schools,” the governor said.
He said in the health sector, 150 out of the 255 primary health centres, targeted for rehabilitation, have been rehabilitated, adding that over 3000 health professionals are expected to be recruited in 2019 to strengthen the primary health care sector.
The governor thanked members of the state assembly for their cooperation in establishing
a new tradition where the state budget is signed in the preceding year.
“This is the outcome of the collaborative partnership between the Kaduna State House of Assembly and the Executive Branch.
“Each of the budgets prepared by this government has become law by 1st January of the budget year.
“In 2019, for the fourth straight year, the new financial year for the Kaduna State Government will begin on the first day of January.
“Today, this alignment of the fiscal and calendar year for the budget of the state government is being extended to the budget of the 23 local government councils in the state.
“For the first time in the history of Kaduna State, we are signing the annual budgets for the state government and the 23 local government councils on the same date.
“This means that our local government councils will, for the first time since their creation in 1976, also begin the financial year on the first day of the new year,” the governor said.