BY RAHILA ABDULLAHI, Kaduna
As the Kaduna State House of Assembly commence the budget defence exercise for the year 2021, various ministries, agencies and departments complain for lack of cash backing and releases among others.
The Kaduna legislators being the key actors in ensuring that every ministry, departments and agency gets its budget, however identified that cash backing and lack of releases has hindered most of the ministries from carrying out the responsibilities expected of them.
However, the challenges which lead to these cash backing and lack of releases at the appropriate time among other challenges were as a result of the long recess affected by the presence of the pandemic CORONA VIRUS which led the world into a global recession.
Other challenges faced by the ministries, departments and agencies include procurement of drugs to Primary health care centres, renovation of midwifery campuses, cash backing and lack of releases in all MDAs, insufficient staffs particularly in the ministry of health which according to the commissioner, Hajiya Amina Baloni, there will be recruitment in other to replace the vacant positions in the ministry,
Hajiya Amina added that the challenge of COVID19 has affected most of their plans but with the budget estimate of about N11.5 billion, they will bounce back on track as recently, 17 out of the 31 general hospitals in Kaduna state will be upgraded regardless of the liquidity challenge globally, the health ministry will always get priority.
More so, the administrator of the Kaduna State college of nursing and midwifery, Hajiya Addakano Bello Umar said the major challenge faced in the college has been lack of fund as their major source of income are the students and they have not been in school due to the pandemic, hence the need for support to meet their objective.
Another challenge is that of accreditation which we were unable to meet as no students in the pambeguwa campus because we have not been accredited, likewise the kafanchan campus which has been on interim accreditation since 1989, so if we do not meet up the demand of the council which will enable us have full accreditation, then we stand the chance of total closure of the college, she explained.
The ministry of agriculture under the leadership of the commissioner for agriculture Hajiya Halima Lawal said as the agency proposed the sum of over N10 billion, her hope is that the fund gets released accordingly because cash backing has been the major challenge to her organisation even though the year 2020 came with a lot of challenges, while she hopes the year 2021 comes with a difference.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for finance, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir said the budget performance is on the low side due to the Covid19 pandemic, but 2021 will be different as more projects will be implemented, clear all outstanding as this regime does not intend to handover with any outstanding liability.
The MDAs who were present for the defence exercise include Ministry of health, planning and budget commission, Kaduna state media corporation, office of the auditor general, ministry of agriculture, ministry of local government affairs, and ministry of environment and natural resources