Kaduna State House of Assembly, yesterday, passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill, three weeks earlier than it did last year.
The lawmakers approved the N214.921 billion budget: recurrent expenditure, N83.46 billion; capital spending, N131.45 billion, presented to the House by Governor Nasir el-Rufai on October 12.
Commending the lawmakers for their effort in scrutinising the draft budget, the governor noted that the lawmakers approved a budget that was N1 billion lower than the draft estimates.
“We are proud of Kaduna State House of Assembly for not padding or inflating the budget,’’ the governor said, noting that education, infrastructure and health got the biggest budgetary allocations.
Muhammad Abdullahi, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, explained the sectoral allocations: Education, N44.84 billion; health, N10.49 billion; water, N8.1 billion; infrastructure, N24.50 billion and agriculture, N4.58 billion.
Speaking at the presentation of the draft estimates, Governor el-Rufai explained why Kaduna State chose an expansionary budget.
He had said: “We are convinced that the pursuit of economic recovery must now be a national focus. Even with the limited influence any of the 36 states can alone exert on our national economic fortune, we can encourage some buoyancy in each of our states and collectively support the effort of the Federal Government to secure economic recovery.
“Moments of recession have an out-sized adverse effect on the most vulnerable and we must not let it persist. Therefore, we reinforce our commitment to social justice by retaining high levels of spending on our social programmes. Social justice obliges us to sustain investments in education, health, infrastructure and social development.”