A detailed examination of the Kano state financial proposal for 2014 indicates that infrastructural development and education are going to be the two key drivers of public spending.
The two sectors, according to the plan currently being debated in the Kano State House of Assembly, are to consume about half of the total budget size of N219 billion.
Specific allocations to the two sectors show that infrastructural development got the single biggest allocation of N80.01 billion which represents about 40 percent of the budget;
Education got the second biggest vote of N20.85 billion, that translated to about 10 percent of the entire public spending.
The focus given to the infrastructural development in the plan is a continuation of the pattern of spending in the 2013 fiscal year when the bulk of the allocation was given to the sector.
The pattern of disbursement in the 2013 financial year shows that the largest allocation, N62.4 billion of the total amount for the year was earmarked for the ministry of land and physical planning, for the purpose of infrastructural development.
In the same year, the second largest allocation of N41.8 billion went to ministry of works, also specified for projects and programmes related to infrastructural development.
A study of the pattern of annual public spending since the advent of the currently administration of Governor Rabi`u` Musa Kwankwaso, in 2011 indicates that emphasis has been placed on the restoration of the collapsed social infrastructure in the state.
Speaking to BusinessDay, on why the administration had resolved to focus the two sectors, Yusuf Bello Dambatta, commissioner for budget and planning, said the emphasis on the two sectors was borne out to the need to put the state on a sound infrastructural and educational footing.
According to him, the allocations in the budget are anchored on the quest to complete all on-going development project initiated by this administration.
“It is indeed a Budget of total economic consolidation, as it is aimed at meeting the yearnings and aspirations of our people, anchored on our zeal to position Kano state at the forefront of the comity of states in Nigeria.
“The major policy thrust of the 2014 budget, which is anchored on the completion of the on-going projects by dedicating 90% of the capital provisions for completion of the on-going projects, while, 10 % is for new projects” he said.
On why the second major emphasis in the year is being placed on education, Dambatta said “In our collective resolve to drive a knowledge based economy, government has already concluded arrangement to adopt free education for all indigenes of the state at all levels: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Institutions in the state.
“This is in addition to sponsoring of Kano indigenes to pursue their various degree programmes locally and internationally. Permit me at this point to announce the commencement of free education for all Kano Indigenes from Primary, to Secondary and Tertiary Institutions starting from 2014”
Adeola Ajakaiye, Kano