NEWS

Kaduna Govt holds town hall meeting on N237bn draft 2021 budget

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Government held a town hall meeting over it’s proposal to spend N237bn in 2021, out of which N157.56 billion is for capital projects and N79.96 is for recurrent expenditure.

According to the Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Thomas Gyang, said that the draft budget was presented to the people so as ‘’to obtain views, comments, and input from the public before the draft budget estimates are transmitted to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.”

Gyang noted that this presentation is the sixth annual budget since 2015 to be discussed at a town hall meeting, noting that every year since 2015, the government has passed and signed all budgets in the preceding year, thereby aligning the fiscal and calendar years.

He disclosed that Kaduna state’s draft 2021 budget takes into account the economic impact of Covid-19 and the continuing uncertainty it has unleashed.

The draft budget prioritises capital spending, with capital to recurrent ratio of 66%:34%, explaining that it supports the abiding commitment to Education, Health and Infrastructure by devoting most of the capital allocation to these sectors, Vanguard reported.

According to him, the sum of N124bn, almost 79% of the capital budget of N157.56bn,  is allocated to the Economic and Social sectors.

The commissioner clarified that  N62.2bn has been devoted for the Social Sector (capital spend of N38bn Education and N22.6bn Health), while the  Economic sector capital allocation of N62.13bn includes Infrastructure (N37.4bn), Agriculture (N10bn), Business, Innovation & Technology (N5.6bn) and N8.6bn for Housing and Urban Development.

Total budgetary allocation to the various sectors also reflects these priorities, with N59.59bn on Education (25% of the budget), N35.78bn on Health (15%), and N55.1bn on Infrastructure (23%). And the focus of the government since 2015 has been governance reforms, education, health, and infrastructure, he added.

He recalled that in June 2019, Governor  Nasir El-Rufai launched the Urban Renewal Project, the most significant investments ever in urban infrastructure in the state, with the goal of upgrading the three major cities: Kaduna, Kafanchan, and Zaria.

The Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe In her closing remarks at the event, explained that the budget priorities reflect the “Putting People First’’ governance agenda.

“Education and Health are the principal components of human capital development, while investments in infrastructure are critical to maintaining our competitiveness, supporting economic dynamism, creating jobs, and promoting the well-being of our people’’.

Balarabe assured that the comments and inputs from the town hall meeting will be considered before the proposed budget is presented to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

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