Home Anti Corruption Kaduna: Supplementary Budgets and the Need for Social Accountability

Kaduna: Supplementary Budgets and the Need for Social Accountability

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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By Yusuf Ishaku Goje

On the 5th of December, 2022, that is 26 days to the end of the year, the Kaduna State House of Assembly passed the 4th Supplementary Budget Appropriation bill for the Government of Kaduna State to the tune of about N5.8 billion into Law.

Interestingly, on the same day, the bill expressly passed the 1st and 2nd readings as well as sent to the Committee on Appropriation for Legislative action before passage into law. This is not the first time supplementary budgets have been passed expressly and a few days to the end of a year.

In 2017, on the 27th of December, a few days before the end of the year, the Kaduna State House of Assembly passed a 2nd Supplementary Appropriation of N19.2 billion. Subsequently, in December 2018, the Assembly passed a Supplementary Appropriation of N10 billion for the 23 local government areas, after the receipt of the Paris Club Debt refund.

Conspicuously, this time around, as it is now the norm, despite the State’s commitment to an Open Budget under the State Action Plan (SAP, 2021-2023) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) – there was no citizens’ engagement both at the level of the executive and legislative arms before the passage.

More worrisome, a few days to the end of the year, details of the 4th supplementary budget are yet to be made publicly available, not even to the members of the OGP Technical Working Groups. Thereby, raising concerns about responsiveness, transparency, accountability, and proper utilization of the funds in the face of overwhelming ongoing election campaigns.

This is especially when monies are allocated to activities that are difficult to track or account for. For instance, in the 2nd Supplementary budget this year, the Government House and Kaduna State Legislature got recurrent expenditure allocations of N464 million and N400 million respectively for Citizens Engagement.

Combined, that is a total of N864 million for citizens’ engagement with no evident cost-benefit analysis or value for money. This is in a State, according to the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (2022) survey, that houses about 8 million MPI poor people. As well as unemployment and underemployment rates of about 44% and 22% respectively. Not to forget a rising public debt charge of about N12.3 billion as of the 3rd quarter of this year.

There is no better time than now for the citizens of Kaduna State to engage the budget implementation, ask the right questions, and hold the government accountable.

Compliments of the season!

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