By Mohammed Lawal Shehu Molash
On the 12-December, 2017 governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai signs into law the Kaduna State Government 2018 budget. In his speech at the signing ceremony, El-Rufa’i commended the legislators, whom he also referred to as hardworking and cooperative for passing the budget on record time.
However, the perception of the general public is different. Most especially, given that lately, the Kaduna State House of Assembly have come under massive social media attack where they were accused for being El-Rufa’i’s Rubber stamp for their inability to show concern over the many El-Rufa’i anti -people policies and programs in the state.
An appraisal of the approved 2018 budgetary allocations to the KDSHA confirms the concerns of the general public.
(Please see below the Breakdown of the 2018 approved Recurrent expenditure and Capital Expenditure schedules)
Total recurrent expenditure is N3.3billion (made up of N672 million personnel cost and N2.6 billion overhead costs)
The 34 members of the KDSHA are living fat on the meager resources of the state meanwhile, they remain silent on the many anti -people policies and programs of El-Rufai administration that continues to affect the citizens they are supposed to represent negatively. The legislatures have approved for themselves in the 2018 Budget the whooping sums of N1.3 billion on Committees works, another N254 million for members welfare, and N218 million for members entertainment and hospitality etc.
On the Capital Expenditure, a very shocking and disturbing act of both the executive and legislative arms in the 2018 budget was the provision of a whooping sum of N1 billion on the capital expenditure section for the construction of Legislative quarters at the Millenium city. This is pure government rascality, wastage and double speak.
It is instructive to note, that shortly after El-Rufai was sworn-in and the inauguration of the Fifth Assembly (in the Fourth Republic). The KDSG and the KDSHA collaborated to share government houses and other critical government assets to public officials, their friends and families through the disposal of those assets by auction at giveaway prices.
One cannot but imagine the new rationale for a government which says that it can not continue to bear the cost of maintaining government quarters and as a result embarked on their sales but is coming midway to say that it planned to spend N1 billion to build new government quarters at the Millennium city layout.
As if the insult on our sensibilities is not enough, government went further to set aside the sum of N556 million from the $350 million world Bank loan it hopes to get in order to augment the funding requirement for the execution of the legislative quarters project. Amidst poverty, hunger and job losses is building legislators quarters for only 34 members with world bank loan still our priority?
Certainly NO. Kaduna state citizens deserves better!