From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Kaduna state government will be spending a minimum of N24 billion on social protection programmes in the coming year to uplift more people from poverty and vulnerability, Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi has said.
According to him, by next year, the state under the current political dispensation would be done with the ongoing urban renewal in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan and then shift attention to social protection programmes.
Already, the state had developed a robust social protection policy and now working on the bill to establish a social protection agency for the sustainability of programmes that will help residents of the state live a dignified life irrespective of their economic status.
The commissioner, who stated this during an interaction with journalists on the passage of the 2022 budget and subsequently signed into law by Governor Nasir El-Rufai quickly added that for the state to be able to fulfil its obligations of relieving more people from shock, 85 percent of people in the informal sector would have to be brought on board tax regime without increasing the existing taxes.
According to him, “In terms of social protection, this is an area the governor is very passionate about especially going into next year. This year, we have finished with our comprehensive social protection policy which spelt out how we are going to ensure that people that are in dire need of support are getting such support.
“This is the first time that we are budgeting this much for social protection. In our last budget, it has been focusing on infrastructure. Going into next year, we want to see how we can uplift humans in Kaduna.
“The budgetary provision for social protection in the 2022 budget is a minimum of N24bn. We have plans to support people that are poor across the 23 local government areas. The ministry of Human Services and Social Development and colleagues in this line were saddled with the responsibility of developing this programme and we expect it to start in the first quarter of next year so we can commence our effort aimed at supporting the federal government at providing conditional cash transfer”, he explained.
On how the 2022 income and expenditure projections would be arrived at to fulfil this thought the commissioner said, the state would continue to improve on its internally generated revenue (IGR).
“When we came in 2015, the highest internally generate revenue so far was N13bn and salaries alone was about 30 billion. So it was clear that when we don’t have money from the federal government we would not even be able to pay salaries.
“So, our first thought was how to generate money that can pay the workers who are working in the state employment. We are happy to say that today, with or without the federal government, we can comfortably pay all our workers.
“That was why the governor announced the 13th-month bonus for all our civil servants. This is the result of what we have been doing over the last five years – removing ghost workers, ghost pensioners, right-sizing the government so we can pay the real and qualified workers properly so they can work well as seen in the private sector.
“Going into next year, we expect that our revenue projection will improve and then we will be able to implement the budget by 100%. In the case that it doesn’t, we then have priorities that will move money around and this is what budgeting is all about – adjusting along with realities”, he explained.

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Source: news