El-Rufai Assents To 2017 Budget

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By; AMOS MATHEW, Kaduna.
The Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, on Tuesday signed into law the 2017 budget of N214bn for the fiscal year.
The 2017 Budget size is N214.9bn, made up of N83.46bn in recurrent spending and N131.45bn in capital expenditure: “This is a capital to recurrent ratio of 61:39”
El-Rufai while signing the appropriation bill into law at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna , also announced that the state has received the Paris Club refund from the Federal Government which he said would be used to clear six years pension, gratuity and death benefits of retired and dead workers in the state.
 
El-Rufai said: “I wish to inform our legislators that we shall be submitting a Supplementary Budget to enable us capture the debt  refunds we have just received from the Federal Government. Fifty-five  percent of these funds belong to the state government, and the balance is for the local governments. We propose to apply 50% of the funds to
settling the inherited arrears of gratuity and death benefits for  state and local government workers. Some of these unpaid arrears date from as far back as 2010. Mr. Dan Ndackson, the Executive Secretary of  the Bureau of Pension, has done a great job of sorting out these
records and we will be ready to pay once the supplementary budget is  passed. This is unprecedented, but we are happy to clear the problems  created by those before us. The balance of the funds will be dedicated  to rural and urban roads.”
He said the budget was deliberately skewed rising from N172bn approved  for 2016 because “we need to increase spending in a recession.”
“It puts the needs and interests of our people first. In 2017, Kaduna  State will spend N44.84bn on Education; N10.49bn on Health; N24.50bn on Infrastructure and N8.1bn on Water. Agriculture, one of our areas  of comparative advantage, will get N4.58bn,” he said.
He added: “All these investments are meant to ensure that in 2017, we  deliver the Zaria Water project, begin a school rebuilding and  equipment programme that is unprecedented in the history of the state;  complete the refitting of 278 primary health centres and hospitals and  improve our investment profile and job-creation capacity with the
establishment of an agro-industrial zone.
“In addition, we will expand our programme to rebuild and maintain  township roads and kick-off the first phase of the Kaduna mass transit  scheme. An Emergency Nutrition Intervention Programme to reduce malnutrition and hunger amongst our poorest citizens and children will also be implemented.”
While commending the State House of Assembly, the governor said: “Our legislators actually reduced the draft estimates we presented by N1bn when the temptation might have been to pad it. We welcome their commitment to a partnership in the interest of our people, and the
hard work they have demonstrated in passing 20 laws in 19 months. The B+ Fitch Ratings Kaduna State recently got owes a lot to the policy and legal framework created by legislation such as the Tax Codification, Public Procurement, Fiscal Responsibility and Public  Finance Management laws” El-Rufai said.
Earlier, the Speaker Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Aminu  Abdullahi Shagali, said the 2017 budget will have smooth implementation by the executive arm: “To this end efforts will be made  through oversight and other legislative and parliamentary processes to  assist your administration in that direction. The future of the House  is very bright because of the support given by you and would redouble  our efforts through all our legislative competence to maintain standard especially in the area of early  completion of assignments and other mandates” he said.

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