Remarks by Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, at the Town Hall Meeting on the 2020 Draft Budget Estimates, held at the State House, Kaduna on Saturday, 12th October 2019.
- I welcome you all to this Town Hall Meeting on the 2020 budget. This is part of our commitment to entrenching a culture of political responsiveness in our democratic culture. This is the fifth draft budget to be discussed at a town hall meeting.
- We have institutionalised these consultations as part of our commitment to transparency and openness. We consider it important to obtain your views, comments and input before the draft budget estimates are transmitted to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
- The draft 2020 Budget reflects the Putting People First priorities of the Kaduna State Government. These were first outlined in the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State specific iteration of the APC manifesto. We committed ourselves to the following:
- Invest in education, healthcare and social welfare
- Foster the security of lives and property
- Institute a good governance system that is founded on a competent and responsive public service with zero tolerance for corruption.
- Maintain, rebuild and expand Infrastructure (water supply, electricity and road networks) to accelerate economic growth that will create jobs, jobs and more jobs;
- Promote agriculture and food security and reform of land administration as a basis for wealth creation and capital formation, while preserving and enhancing environmental management.
- These are the guiding principles of our governance agenda. They explain our abiding commitment to Education, Health and Infrastructure. Education and Health are the principal components of human capital development. Investments in Infrastructure are critical to maintaining our competitiveness, supporting economic dynamism and promoting the well-being of our people.
- As the first full-year budget of the second term of this government, the 2020 budget is conceived to accelerate the attainment of our governance agenda. We propose a budget size of N245.4bn. The capital component is N177.29bn, an unprecedented figure in absolute and percentage terms in the fiscal history of the state. With recurrent expenses set at N62.9bn, the 2020 budget, when approved, is projected to have a capital to recurrent ratio of 72%:28%.
- Most of the capital spending will be in the Economic Social Sectors, amounting to about N144bn. We propose to spend N68bn on Public Works and Infrastructure. As you are aware, we are implementing an urban renewal programme in Kaduna. This includes the construction of seven new roads and the upgrade of 14 others to improve connections within Kaduna metropolis. Similar projects are envisaged for our two other main cities, Kafanchan and Zaria.
- Capital expenditure on Education and Health are proposed at N33.9bn and N23.3bn, respectively. In the first term, this government doubled primary school enrolment, recruited 25,000 primary school teachers and began a programme of school renovation and rebuilding. But enormous challenges remain in upgrading 4,250 public primary schools and about 500 secondary schools. We inherited these schools in largely decrepit conditions. Many schools have no classroom furniture, and lack water and sanitation facilities. We will continue the patient work required to fix thousands of schools.
- In the Health sector, investments in primary health care will continue to be central to our programme to tackle maternal and infant mortality. We will also fast track the implementation of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.
- I will leave it to our able Commissioner for Planning and Budget to present the outlines of the draft Budget, the full text of which is available online on the Kaduna State Government website.
- Before I do that, I will close my remarks with a quote from Malam Nasir El-Rufai:
“Our purpose in government is to promote equality of opportunity, to give every child the prospect of surviving pregnancy and infancy, with sound health, to absorb decent education and develop the skills to make the best of life. It is to ensure that pregnancy is not a death sentence for our women, and that they have access better life chances. It is to secure for our young people employment opportunities in a vibrant economy, regulated by a competent public service. It is about giving everyone a fair chance in the race of life! It about being for the people and seeking to empower them, not creating and exploiting dependency.”
- I hope that the discussions that will follow the Commissioner’s presentation will be profound, insightful and helpful in strengthening the draft budget proposals in the interest of our people.
Thank you for listening.