Kaduna State Government has proposed a N216.55bn budget for 2018. Presenting the budget estimates today to the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Governor Nasir El-Rufai described it as a Budget of Consolidation structured to complete the many projects the government is undertaking.
Keeping with the tradition of the El-Rufai government, the Budget of Consolidation maintains a priority for capital projects. Its capital vote of N131.bn is 60.54% of the budget, with a recurrent expenditure of N85,440,998,051.95. (39.46%). Malam El-Rufai said that the capital to recurrent ratio is “consistent with our agenda to spend more on the people than on running government”.
The proposed budget has expanded beyond the initial size of N201bn that was the subject of a special budget town hall meeting, the third by this government, on Saturday, 7th October 2017. Input from the public at the town hall meeting informed the rejig of the budget.
In his budget speech to the State Assembly, El-Rufai explained that “the 2018 revenue and expenditure estimates are based on a robust medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) which assumes a $42 benchmark price for oil at production levels of 1.8 million barrels per day, 17.5% inflation, 1.9% projected real GDP growth and an exchange rate of N305 to a Dollar”.
At N51.4bn, Education, Health and Social Development take 39.2% of the N131.1bn capital budget. Education takes 25% at N33bn, while Health takes N17bn (12%) of capital.
El-Rufai described how he compiled an album showing graphic pictures of the condition of the public schools he inherited. He said that fixing the schools would require about N60bn, and that the album helped to show the development partners the scale of investments required. The governor disclosed that it was that discussion that led to the decision of the World Bank to grant Kaduna State a budget support facility of $350m. El-Rufai said that the state will begin accessing the funds once the National Assembly approves the Federal Government’s 2017 borrowing plan.
According to the Governor, the 2018 budget prioritises the completion of projects started in the 2017 budget. “We shall be prioritising completion of these projects in the coming year. We are in a time of consolidation, and the budget reflects this thrust. Development is a continuum, and we are firmly building on the foundations we have laid in the preceding years, according El-Rufai.
“As at mid-2017, there were 443km of township roads and 16 intercity roads with a distance of 414.8km at various stages of completion. In addition, 17 rural feeder roads with distance of 172 km are being constructed. We campaigned vigorously against the poor state of public schools.
“There are many schools being rebuilt, hospitals being upgraded and equipped, water works being refitted, rehabilitation centres being fixed. We are very proud to have initiated these projects in the interest of our people. And we have been clearheaded enough to take on inherited projects that we consider feasible and viable!
“The Kaduna State Government will stay focused on delivering on our promises. We shall not relent in promoting development and progress for the people who have invested their hope in us.”