Kaduna Govt. takes 2020 budget to town hall meeting

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The Kaduna State Government, on Saturday, at a town hall meeting, presented its budget of N245.4 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.

The town hall meeting was held at Gen. Hassan Katsina House in Kaduna.

The budget has provision of N177.29 billion for capital expenditure and N68.11 billion as recurrent expenditure.

The figure represents 27.76 per cent as recurrent and 72.24 percent as capital expenditure.

Education sector has been allocated N33.92 billion which is 30.97 percent, while health sector will get N23.34 billion, 18.28 percent of the budget size.

The Commissioner of Planning and Budget Commission, Mr Thomas Gyang, said that the town hall meeting was convened to increase citizens’ participation in governance, in line with the administration’s Open Government Partnership (OGP).

He said that the 2020 draft budget was based on the State Development Plan 2016-2020 and was developed with citizens’ inputs.

“Your inputs will enrich the budget; this will ultimately enable this administration to provide quality services to you and would subsequently be presented to the state House of Assembly,’’ he said.

Gyang added that the 2020 budget was prepared against some micro-economic backdrops which the state had experienced.

“We have adopted a cautious approach in the 2020 budget, as a sub-national government, we have no control over monetary policies and the national budget.

“Our key fiscal policy, the state budget, is just the tool where we have the main opportunity to insulate our economy from unforeseen negative shocks and turn the tide toward growth and development.”

Gyang stressed that unlike the previous budgets, the 2020 budget would be based on principles of zero-based budgeting, but with primary goal of enabling the administration to achieve its developmental goals captured in the development plan.

“The key objectives of the budget would be ensuring the actualization of the development priorities of the government as captured in the SDP and the respective Sector Implementation Plans (SIPs).

“The budget would also maintain a favorable proportion of capital to recurrent expenditure of at least a target of 60-40 and ensuring adequate provision is made to complete projects in 2020.

“It would also expand the revenue generation capacity of the state and eliminate wastages and other unjustifiable expenditures that are not clearly linked to policy objectives.

“The budget would also sustain the debt position in line with the Federal Debt Management Office criteria and also invest in human capital development, expanding infrastructure and grow the economy of the state,’’ Gyang said.

Mr Kingsley Agu of Connected Development (CODE), on the sidelines of the meeting, said the town hall meeting would ensure citizens’ participation in decision making.

“This is what we have always been asking, the government should open up avenues for interaction with its people as this is the only way for them to know and address the people’s plights and demands.

“The government should take the same exercise down to the local government levels or the zonal levels to enhance more participation which would give more chances for development across the state.”

Agu advised the government to do more in the social investment sector and commended the government for proposing more on education and health sector.

Another participant, Aminu Nasir-Jasawa, also commended the government for its commitment towards ensuring citizens participation in decision making.

“The government should make it mandatory for local government chairmen to also engage in such kind of interactions with the people. By doing so, there would be more development which would be a credit to the state.

“The local government is closer to the people, the government should do more on agriculture, infrastructure, and education sectors, these would have a direct impact on the people”, Nasir-Jasawa said.

The state Deputy Governor, Hajiya Hadiza Balarabe, commended the people for their participation, assuring that their inputs would be captured in the budget before it is forwarded to the state assembly.

See more pictures from the meeting below: