Noah Ebije, Kaduna

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of  Kaduna State, on Wednesday, presented over N155 billion budget estimate for 2019 fiscal year.

Tagged 2019 Budget of Continuity, its shows estimates of revenues and expenditure, which the governor presented before the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

According to El-Rufai,  “the 2019-2021 multi-year budget is hinged on the 2016 zero-based budget principles and is tailored towards actualisation of our state development plan 2016-2020.”

He said the key targets from a fiscal perspective were to ensure the actualisation of the “development priorities of the government as articulated in the state development plan and respective sector implementation plans (SIPs).”

A breakdown of the budget shows a favorable proportion of capital to recurrent expenditure, at least a target of 60 per cent:40 per cent.

El-Rufai said the budget would ensure that adequate provision is made to complete 2018 projects in 2019; expand the revenue generation capacity of the state; and maintain a sustainable debt position in line with Federal Debt Management Office (FDMO) criteria.

Said he: “In simple terms, Mr. Speaker, we will strive to complete every single project we have started in each of our 23 local government areas, and to pay the contractors we have commissioned to work for us. We will continue to cut the cost of government and ensure that our people are the ultimate beneficiaries of public resources.

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In the budget, N62,339,040,309. Is for recurrent expenditure, representing 40 per cent, while N93,526,299,230.58 is capital expenditure, representing 60 per cent.

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The governor added: “As the summary I have just read shows, the 2019 draft budget is informed by the governance priorities that we have set out since 2015. It is anchored on our commitment to promoting equal opportunity, human capital development and improving infrastructure. The sectoral allocations are such that these are the three areas that take the biggest chunk of the budget.

“Education is, once again, the biggest sector, for obvious reasons. We  have an unshakeable commitment to advance our reforms in this sector. Basic education must not only be free and compulsory, it must be delivered by qualified teachers in decent learning environments. We continue to allocate resources to ensure that everyone, including the children of the poor, has access to quality education.

“Healthcare is another pillar of human capital development that continues to receive priority attention. We are supporting the refitting of the primary health centres, bringing more equipment, expanding the coverage of our immunisation programme, recruiting health professionals and working to reduce infant and maternal mortality.

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“Infrastructure is critical to citizen welfare and the competitiveness of the state, and it is rightly receiving priority attention through improvements to the road and transport infrastructure.”