By John Shiklam
The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has presented a budget proposal of N237 billion for the 2021 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly.
Making the presentation yesterday, the governor said the budget proposal is made up of a capital expenditure of N157.56 billion, and N79.96billion as recurrent expenses.
The budget tagged: ‘Budget of Recovery’, according to the governor, reflects the government’s commitment to promote equal opportunity, accelerate human capital development and attain fiscal viability.
A Government House statement issued after the budget presentation said
El-Rufai, in making the proposal, took into account the economic uncertainty unleashed by COVID-19, adding that its based on fiscal realism.
The statement quoted the governor as saying: “Despite the subsisting dangers from the COVID-19 pandemic, life must continue, and we must strive to manage the situation as best we can as well as make progress wherever possible.
“In 2021, we propose to spend N59.59billion on education (about 25 percent of the budget); N35.78billion or 15 percent on health, and N55.1billion or 23 percent on infrastructure. These three sectors are taking 63 percent of the total proposed budget
“A sum of N124billion, almost 79 percent of the capital budget of N157.56billion is allocated to the economic and social sectors.
“This preserves the ability to maintain investment levels in education and health, while still continuing projects in the urban renewal programmes.’’
According to him, since 2015, the government has attracted “record levels of capital investment into the state.”
El-rufai said the state 2019 budget achieved 97.5 percent budget performance for capital expenditure spending of N148.57billion out of the N152.33billion budgeted, noting that it is twice more than previous record of capital spending of over N62billion in 2016.
The governor commended the lawmakers for the partnership that has enabled the government to anchor many of its reform measures in new laws.
He said: “The close to 100 new laws enacted since 2015 included 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 (IRS).”
The governor also hinted that more bills would be coming from the executive for the rest of 2020 and 2021, adding that a new finance bill is on the way as the state government has no intention to raise taxes and levies.
The governor further said: “The state 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.”