By MSUE AZA, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, on Saturday presented draft 2018 Budget Estimates to the citizens in line with his administration open governance policy for transparency and accountability.
The measure is to allow citizens of the state to make their inputs in the budget after which the State Executive Council will approve the final estimate on Monday 9th October.
El-Rufai,is expected to present the final draft estimate to the Kaduna State House of Assembly on 12th October for consideration and passage into law.
The State Government proposed to spend 201,049,213,385.77 with capital budget gulping 125,500, 774,460.66 and recurrent expenditure set at 75,548, 438, 925.12.
Speaking during the presentation of the budget estimate to Kaduna citizens at Umuru Musa Yar’adua Hall, Murtala Square, venue of the Town Hall meeting, El-Rufai called on the electorates to suggest projects they want the government to execute for them, saying the last two budgets for 2016 and 2017 were raised after citizens recommended projects not captured by the government.
El-Rufai said the town hall meeting is a platform for the government to hear the people out on their yearnings and aspirations as a way to make them participate in governance.
The governor said the state government has made the draft budget available on the internet for people to study and make contributions.
El-rufai, however,commended the State House of Assembly for passing the state budgets in record time since 2015 to enable implementation to commence by 1st of January.
Uba Sani, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Intergovernmental Affairs said, through the town hall meetings the 2016 and 2017 budgets were increased after input of citizens were captured before they were sent to the State House of Assembly for passage into law.
According to Uba, “the 2016 budget was raised from N169b to N171b, an increase of 5bn, while the 2017 budget was raised from N189b to N215bn, and increase of 26 billion to accommodate projects suggested by people at the town hall meetings”.
The 2018 draft budget estimate of 201, 049, 213,385.77 maintained a priority for capital spending which has 125,500,774,460,66, reflecting 62.4 percent of the budget proposals. Recurrent expenditure is set at 75,548,438,925,12, 37.6 percent of the budget.
The State’s commissioned for Budget and Planning, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, said the 2018 budget targets the completion of capital projects begun in 2017 and delivery of public goods as outlined in the State Development Plan (2015-2020).
Speaking on behalf of Civil Society Organizations, Emmanuel Bonet, called for increase fundings to State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM), to enable it conduct the forthcoming Local Government Elections without hitches.
Hon.Yakubu Barde, the Minority Whip and member representing Chikun Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), commended Governor Nasir Elrufai for carrying the citizens of the state along by given them a platform to air their views and criticisms, saying “when it comes to governance partisanship must be set aside”.
Garba Shehu Sarkin Noma, Member representing Sanga/ Jema’a Federal Constituency said , who is also a member of the PDP, but “we must commend good things no matter where they came from”
Noma, said the administration of Malam Nasir Elrufai is “building enduring institutions” that will outlast his administration especially the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in governance.
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