Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai at the weekend presented the 2017 draft budget to members of the public to make inputs from stakeholders before presentation to State House Of Assembly.
The draft budget stands at N189.9b, that is N17bn higher than the 2016 budget.
In his remarks entitled ’Making Kaduna Great Again through pro-poor Budgeting’ at the meeting in Kaduna, Governor el-Rufai, said the rich interaction of 2016 budget showcased what citizen engagement can achieve.
El-Rufai who spoke through his deputy,Yusuf Bala Bantex, said
everything the administration had done since 29 May 2015 has been guided by the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State specific version of the All Progressives Congress,APC’s national manifesto.
The governor said Kaduna introduced zero-based budget paradigm to ensure that the state budget was anchored more in reality than the graphic fantasy that the incremental budgeting system had become.
El-Rufai said: “I wish to begin by saying a warm welcome to everyone present at this town hall to discuss the 2017 Budget.
Through your presence, you are doing a great service to our state and its people who deserve the very best service from their government. As you would all recall, we subjected our draft 2016 Budget estimates to debate at a Town Hall Meeting before we presented it to the House of Assembly”
“Based on very cogent and coherent recommendations at that meeting, we inserted new capital projects that increased our budget by as much as N2bn. I look forward to similarly rich engagement today as we discuss the draft 2017 budget”
He noted: “Everything we have done since 29 May 2015 has been guided by the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State specific version of the APC’s national manifesto. The Restoration Programme prioritized Education, Health, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Jobs and Security. None of these key objectives was inserted by happenstance”
“Each of them was included because our research indicated that these were the problems of everyday life that conspired to hobble our people, perpetuate poverty and inflict the severe loss of
self-confidence that became epidemic across the north zones of our country. Recalibrating these social and economic sectors in the interest of our people became our mission and reason for seeking the responsibility of governance”
“Thus our first budget attempt sought to construct the 2016 budget
estimates as a coherent elaboration of what making Kaduna great again will entail. Having embarked on an aggressive campaign against fraud and waste, we proceeded to exert control over public finances by implementing the Treasury Single Account within six weeks.
By 1 December 2015, we were able to present the budget to the state House of Assembly. Our legislators worked so hard that by 22 December 2015, we had a signed 2016 Budget.
Now, we are even poised to present the Budget earlier. We are
budgeting in a tough climate, with declining revenues and a
contracting economy. But we must meet the challenges of the times, weather the storm and do our best for our people.
BY MIDAT JOSEPH.