Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday, held a town hall meeting with stakeholders to deliberate on the proposed 2016 budget size of about N166 billion, comprising N104 billion capital and N62 billion recurrent components before formal presentation to State House of Assembly next month.
Addressing stakeholders who converged at General Hassan Katsina House, Kaduna, during the budget town hall meeting, El-rufai, in his speech entitled ‘Putting the people first: Back to Budget Realism,’ said previous administrations in the state had reduced budgeting to a fictographic art, with scarcely any relationship to reality.
El-rufai noted that huge annual budgets were approved in the past without being implemented, leaving a legacy of abandoned projects.
He said in the proposed 2016 budget, one of the pro-poor programmes included interventions in school feeding, planting of economic trees, and waste collection which are expected to create 200,000 jobs.
“The budget is anchored on the commitments outlined in the restoration programme, the manifesto platform on which the Kaduna State APC campaigned. The principles of the draft 2016 budget, when we formally launched our election campaign, we made it clear that the APC believes in the capacity of our people to make the best choices for themselves, if they are properly educated, given decent healthcare and jobs in a secure environment,” he said.
“Major highlights of the budget proposals; the 2016 budget moves away from funding government to providing infrastructure and services to citizens. It restores the 60:40 ratios in favour of capital expenditure. This is in keeping with our agenda to expand access to education, healthcare, jobs and security.”
“Our pro-poor programmes, including interventions in school feeding, planting of economic trees, and waste collection, are expected to create 200,000 jobs. These investments in infrastructure and human capital are calculated to help the state grow at a rate that significantly surpasses the national average.”
Capital investments captured in the draft budget include: Kaduna ring road; comprehensive security interventions in partnership with neighbouring states; textile revival; youth entrepreneurship programmes; lighting up Kaduna with streetlights and the state wide tree planting programme.”
“Cost-Cutting: We are also deepening our programme to discipline public expenditures and be clearer about priorities: In 2014, the Ministry of Health got only N300 million. In 2016, the Health sector will get more than N3billion. In 2014, the Government House spent N2.1 billion but it is getting only N563million in 2016.
“Political appointees will take pay cuts as sacrifice for change. There will be no automatic annual salary increments in 2016. Duty tour allowances and estacode rates to be reduced as well,” El-rufai said.


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