Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has signed the 2017 budget of N214 billion into law, thus making Kaduna the first state in the country to so do.
The total budget sum of N214.9 billion comprises of N83.46 billion recurrent expenditure and N131.45 billion in capital expenditure.
According to the governor, the budget represents “a capital to recurrent ratio of 61:39”.
Governor El-Rufai, also announced that the state had received the Paris Club refund from the Federal Government, adding that the money would be used to clear six years of pension, gratuity and death benefits of retired and dead workers in the state.
He said: “I wish to inform our legislators that we shall be submitting a Supplementary Budget to enable us capture the debt refunds we have just received from the Federal Government.
“Fifty-five percent of these funds belong to the state government, and the balance is for the local governments.
“We propose to apply 50% of the funds to settling the inherited arrears of gratuity and death benefits for state and local government workers. Some of these unpaid arrears date from as far back as 2010,” he said.
Throwing more light on the budget, El-Rufai explained that it was a people-friendly budget.
“In 2017, Kaduna State will spend N44.84bn on Education; N10.49bn on Health; N24.50bn on Infrastructure and N8.1bn on Water. Agriculture, one of our areas of comparative advantage, will get N4.58bn,” he said.
He explained further: “We (will) deliver the Zaria Water project, begin a school rebuilding and equipment programme that is unprecedented in the history of the state; complete the refitting of 278 primary health centres and hospitals and improve our investment profile and job-creation capacity with the establishment of an agro-industrial zone.
“In addition, we will expand our programme to rebuild and maintain township roads and kick-off the first phase of the Kaduna mass transit scheme.”
The governor added that the budget will enable the state government to implement “an Emergency Nutrition Intervention Programme to reduce malnutrition and hunger amongst our poorest citizens and children.”