Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai, has responded to the call made by Mr. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, that the Kaduna State government should disclose details of its security votes and local government expenditure. Mr. Dogara's call was a response to Mr. El-Rufai’s request to the National Assembly (NASS) to lift the cloak of opacity by providing further details the on N115 billion 2016 NASS budget.
Responding to Mr. Dogara via a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Mr. Sam Aruwan, the Kaduna State governor said he welcomed Mr. Dogara's challenge because such is necessary to strengthen the country's democracy.
Specifically, El-Rufai told the House of Representatives Speaker that the budgets of all state governments in Nigeria are detailed and presented under the headings of personnel cost, overhead and capital expenditure which, unlike the NASS budget, is a single-line item of over N100 billion. The governor also noted the the federal legislative budget discloses no information or details.
"NASS can, at least, break down its own single-line budget into the hundreds of line items that are detailed in every state government budget in Nigeria. It is disingenuous to respond to every request for transparency by casting aspersions," said Mr. El-Rufai.
He explained that the Kaduna State government has regularly made public all its budget details.
"In 2016, in an unprecedented step, the state published not only its own budget, but also that of all the 23 local government councils online on the www.openkaduna.com.ng website. The local government budgets provide details of the recurrent and capital spending of every single local government in a transparent manner. The proposed 2017 local government budgets, currently before the State Assembly, are also already online on the same website, and on www.kdsg.gov.ng. Approved State Budgets 2016-2017 can be found on http://openkaduna.com.ng/Budget/approved-budget," the Kaduna State governor stated. He invited Mr. Dogara to download the budgets and go through at his convenience.
On the subject of security votes, Mr. El-Rufai said if Mr. Dogara had bothered to conduct an online search, he would have found the details of the state government's spending priorities on security.
The governor explained that the Kaduna Comprehensive Security Architecture (KADCoSA), which shapes security spending, rests on four pillars: Justice, Technology, Community Engagement and Support to Security Agencies.
"The 2017 budget details specific amounts N1.5billion for the procurement and installation of CCTV cameras for monitoring and surveillance towards reducing criminal activities within the metropolis; N193million for procurement of Geo-position Interceptor and location of GSM UMTS System to check the trends and Intercept/locate kidnappers’ GSM calls N265 million for the procurement of drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to identify locations of armed bandits in our forest reserves across the state and the establishment of a forensic laboratory to assist in determining substantial evidence in cases that otherwise proved difficult. In addition, N2.6billon is allocated in 2017 to support the network of federal security agencies in Kaduna with communications, logistics and materials," the governor further stated.
He equally told Mr. Dogara that details of actual spending in 2015 for security and every line item in the state budgets are also publicly available via the annual report of the Kaduna State Accountant-General, which is accessible on www.kdsg.gov.ng. The 2015 accounts of the state, he added, have been audited, while the audit summary was published in major newspapers and on the state website on 21 June 2016.
In addition, said El-Rufai, the Accountant-General's report for 2016 has been finalized and its audit is ongoing and will be published as usual.
"The audited state government accounts can also be found on http://openkaduna.com.ng/Budget/audited. The Kaduna State government will continue to remain transparent and open in all its finances. That is what we have promised to all our people and that is what our party, the APC and our President stand for," said Mr. El-Rufai.
In an apparent bid to reinforce his claim of transparency, Mr. El-Rufai made public his pay slip, which shows he earns a net salary of N470,521.74. See the pay slip below: