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Kaduna: El-Rufai signs 2019 budget

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has signed the N157.449bn appropriation bill for the state and the N62.34bn budgeted for the 23 local government council…

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has signed the N157.449bn appropriation bill for the state and the N62.34bn budgeted for the 23 local government council areas of the state into law.

The governor had in August this year presented the budget to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

He said the new financial year for the Kaduna State government and the council areas will begin on the first day of January, 2019.

“The approved budget size for 2019 is N157.449bn. The capital component is N94.47bn, while recurrent expenditure is N62.97bn. The budget is slightly bigger than the proposed 2019 Budget of N155.86bn but it retains the 60:40 capital to recurrent ratio.

“Reflecting our commitment to human capital development, the Social Sector, including Education and Health takes up N39.14bn or 41% of the N94bn capital budget. Education has a capital budget of N25.4bn, while Health has N13.1bn, a concrete demonstration of our desire to promote equality of opportunity by putting people first,” he said.

The governor, while commending the state House of Assembly for the collaborative partnership said a new tradition has now been established to pass and sign state budget in the preceding year.

He said for the fourth straight year, the new financial year for the Kaduna State Government will begin on the first day of January.

“Today, this alignment of the fiscal and calendar year for the budget of the state government is being extended to the budget of the 23 local government councils in the state.

“For the first time in the history of Kaduna State, we are signing the annual budgets for the state government and the 23 local government councils on the same date.

“This means that our local government councils will, for the first time since their creation in 1976, also begin the financial year on the first day of the New Year,” he said.

He said while the overall budget size is smaller than it was in previous years, the proportion devoted to human capital development does not shrink saying the government remains resolute in implementing education reforms which aim to improve the quality of education offered in public schools.

“The programme to improve infrastructure in the Education sector has been hampered by the irresponsible denial at the Senate of our $350m World Bank loan. But we soldier on with the resources we have,” he said.

Governor El-Rufai  said 150 out of a target of 255 primary health centres have now been rehabilitated adding that in 2019, the government expects to recruit over 3,000 health professionals to strengthen the primary health care sector.

He said following the passage of the law establishing the Contributory Health Management Authority, the contributory health insurance scheme will take off in Kaduna State early in 2019.

The Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, who was represented by Deputy Speaker, Nuhu Goro Shadalafiya, said the legislative arm of government will continue to work with other arms for the development of the state.

“Today is unique and historical. I’m proud to say that, we never had it good like under this government of Governor Nasir El-Rufai. I want to assure you that by next year we will embark on oversight functions in 2019 to the local government areas,” he said.

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