Kaduna 2023 Draft Budget: Citizens call for cash releases
By: Femi Mustapha
Concerned Civil Society Organizations, (CSOs) in Kaduna have called for timely releases of funds for various approved projects in the
2023 Draft Budget.
The Citizens Co-chair Health at the Open Government Parternership, (OGP) Mallam Mustapha Jumare of Kaduna Maternal Accountability Mechanism, (KADMAM), asserted this while making input in the draft budget during a Town Hall meeting held in Kaduna on Saturday.
According to him there is a need to ensure timely releases of funds for various health budget lines and provide adequate funds for routine immunisation, family planning, and primary health care under
One roof programmes and activities.
Jumare also said the state needs to to increase the health budget to 15 percent allocation in line with the
2001 Abuja Declaration, noting that there should be reversed in the reduction of the family planning funding in 2023.
He stressed that there is a need to sustain a culture of dedicated budget lines for Family Planning and Routine Immunization for transparency and accountability.
“There is also a need for the state government to ensure realistic budgeting. Activities and
Programmes to be included in the budget should be those that the state would have the resources to implement.
In his remarks, Project Director,
Global Initiative for Women and Children, (GIWAC), development Research and Projects Center, (dRPC) – Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, (PACFaH) Project, Aminu Babangida, said his organization deemed the town hall meeting very important, hence it supported it.
According to him, the main activities of the GIWAC-dRPC-PACFaH project, advocates on key issues like the family planning, routine immunization, primary healthcare under one roof and child killer diseases is evidenced based of some assessments conducted before approaching the government.
He explained that apart from the assessments or score card developed by the GIWAC-dRPC-PACFaH Project, “we realized that the proposed 2023 Draft Budget on health is reduced compared to previous years. And these are some of the findings discovered which dRPC-PACFaH believed it’s important such programmes like the town hall meeting is held so that Government’s attention could be drawn to it,” he said.
Babangida further said, though the Kaduna State is doing very well, especially in family planning, he, however, said there were a few challenges in terms of cash backings of budget releases.
“Though the Government gave it’s reasons for the decreased in budget allocation to sectors in the draft budget due to economic bruises being nursed by the country following the worst recession in thirty years, the war between Ukraine and Russia has presented another source of distress to the economy,” the GIWAC dRPC-PACFaH Project Director, said going by what the Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission, Hajiya Umma Aboki, said “the government will review the budget.”
Speaking earlier, Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasir El-Rufa’i, said the need to engage citizens in every step of the governance process, his administration deliberately institutionalized town hall meetings as an avenue for citizens and government to engage, exchange ideas, co-create and obtain feedback.
El-Rufa’i who was represented by the state Commissioner of Public Works, Mr. Thomas Yang, said the roundtable approaches to governance have ensured that projects and policies of government remain people-centred, especially in the spirit of the Open Government Partnership which was pioneered by the Kaduna State in Nigeria.
“It is my firm belief and hope that these and other reforms that we have institutionalized will continue to guide the delivery of quality public services to the good people of Kaduna State,” the governor said.
Presenting the Draft 2023 Budget, tagged “Budget of Continuous Growth and Development”, Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission, Hajiya Umma Aboki, said Kaduna has significantly improved its IGR profile, growing by 16 per cent in 2021 from 2020 to exceed pre-pandemic levels.