Budget 2016: Garba raises hope of infrastructural growth in Kano
AMIDST prevailing economic crunch and dwindling allocation from Federation Account, Kano State government has raised prospect of even distribution of infrastructural growth anchored on socioeconomic diversification as encapsulated in the 2016 appropriation.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje recently signed into law the 2016 budget put at N274, 824,600,378 with a reduction of about N500million cut by the state legislature. The total budget is made up of about 69 per cent capital expenditure and 31 per cent recurrent expenditure.
Although the 2016 budget showed that it was N64bllion higher than the 2015 fiscal budget, observers doubts the ability to fund the capital expenditure given the consistent slide in the price of oil at the international market and the drastic drop in the State’s Internally Generated Revenue IGR.
However, the State Commissioner for Information, Youth, Sport and Culture, Comrade Muhammad Garba in an exclusive chat with The Guardian, allayed the fears positing that government was rather positioned to weather all existing and potential storm against the budget implementation. Garba said Governor Ganduje-led administration would instead adopt measures to fulfill his campaign promises to deliver on major capital projects.
Garba, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) enumerated several inherited and freshly undertaken projects scheduled for completion before the government marks its first anniversary in office.
Part of the projects targeted for commissioning by May 29th, according to Garba included: uncompleted five kilometer road in each of the 44 local government areas; the abandoned proposed pediatric hospital on Zoo road; Giginyu general hospital; and the protracted Independent Power Plant Project that had suffered neglect of successive governments.
Garba said: “I can assure you Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje would continue with all the ongoing projects including those inherited from the immediate past administration in view of the fact that he was part of the administration that initiated most of the laudable projects. And if you go round Kano today you will testify that the promises have begun to materialize. An example is the five-kilometer road projects that cut across all the 44 LGA of the state.
“As I speak to you, 11 of these projects have been completed by this government after several months when the contractors abandoned the roads. The governor directed the contractors back to sites and many other projects are still ongoing. Our target by the special grace of God is by the time this government would be marking its first anniversary, we would commission about 25 roads across the LGAs.
According to him, “Work has also resume at the overhead bridges especially the longest of them starting from Triumph roundabout through Sabongari market down to Murtala Muhammed Way. When we took over in May the work done on this bridge was not up to 20 per cent. As we speak the project is more than 50 per cent. By the special grace of God the project is also key to this government and part of the projects we plan to complete and commission during our one year anniversary”.
The Commissioner explained: “Other prominent areas are two major hospitals, one abandoned by Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau’s administration since 2007 – paediatric hospital on Zoo road and that of Ginginyu general hospital. I’m happy to inform you that Zoo road hospital is about 80 per cent completion and it is part of our target as well for commissioning and celebrate by the time will clock one year in office. Work has since kicked off and by the time these two hospitals are completed with the state of the art facilities it would be one of the best in this region and Kano people would be better for it.
He disclosed that the government was venturing into new areas like agriculture, ensuring diversification of the economy to boost the State IGR. “We are intensifying policy on agriculture particularly on Rice and Wheat production in Kano. The government has just approved the release of N100million and N1billion loan to Rice and wheat farmers respectively to boost agricultural production,” he added.
Similarly, he hinted that the Independent Power Plant Project would be completed before the end of first quarter of the year stressing that when completed the energy plant would revive hundreds of moribund industries that went down due to power failure in Kano.
His words: “ The independent power project is one of the projects we inherited from the past administration and its top priority to this government. Here in Kano we are worried about the closure of so many industries due to electricity failure. If you quantify the expenditure incurred on fueling generators alone the end result is nothing to write home about.
Meanwhile, the State Executive Council has approved the sum of over N190million for the supply and installation of 30 power generating sets to power streetlight.
“In Kano we have resolved to remain self-reliant; most importantly we have decided to diversify our IGR and refocus our initiative. The government has reinvigorated the board of Internal Revenue Service and we are presently targeting N10billion monthly from different sources of revenues. We have accumulated revenue both from formal and informal sectors and by this deliberate plan we should be able to fund almost 80% of the budget,” Garba added.