Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Saturday held a town hall meeting with stakeholders to deliberate on the proposed 2016 Budget before its formal presentation to the State House of Assembly.
The meeting held at the General Hassan Katsina House in Kawo, Kaduna.
The total estimate of the budget is N166bn, with a sum of N104bn voted for capital expenditure, while N62bn was set aside for recurrent expenditure.
In his address titled ‘Putting the people first: Back to Budget Realism’, the governor accused previous administrations in the state of reducing the yearly budget into a “fictographic art with scarcely any relationship to reality”.
He further alleged that huge annual budgets were approved in the past without being implemented, leaving a legacy of abandoned projects.
Gov. El-Rufai, who said he would always put the people first in all his actions, stressed that the present administration is determined to make the state great again by reversing the neglect that public interest had suffered.
He also disclosed that the proposed budget contains pro-poor programs, including interventions in school feeding, planting of economic trees and waste collection, which he said, would create about 200,000 jobs.
He said: “We have called this meeting today to present to you the broad principles informing the policy choices that are reflected in the draft 2016 budget. The budget is anchored on the commitments outlined in the Restoration Programme, the manifesto platform on which the Kaduna State APC campaigned.
“When we formally launched our election campaign, we made it clear that the APC believes in the capacity of our people to make the best choices for themselves if they are properly educated, given decent healthcare and jobs in a secure environment”.
El-Rufai continued: “Year after year, only the recurrent part of the budget attained perfect performance. Capital investments repeatedly suffered, sometimes reaching only 1% in some sectors or 17% performance overall. They had reduced budgeting into a fictographic art, with scarcely any relationship to reality. Huge annual budgets were approved without being implemented, leaving a legacy of abandoned projects.
“We knew we had to reorient the whole thrust of governance, replacing it with a culture that puts the people first. Democracy construes the people as the masters; we must obey their command to improve their lives.
“Capital investments captured in the draft budget include the Kaduna Ring Road, comprehensive security interventions in partnership with neighbouring states, textile revival and youth entrepreneurship programs, lighting up Kaduna with streetlights and the statewide Tree Planting programme”.