Kaduna State Government says it has set Aug. 18, the deadline for Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), to submit their expenditure proposals for the 2021 fiscal year.
Ms Linda Yakubu, Deputy Director, Budget in the Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), disclosed this at a two-day Review Meeting on allocation, releases and utilisation of nutrition budget, on Monday in Zaria.
The meeting was organised by Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), in partnership with the PBC and Save the Children International (SCI).
Yabuku said that the projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), had been determined from which a circular on budget ceilings was forwarded to the MDAs.
She noted that the state recorded an impressive budget performance in the health sector in 2019 with 96 per cent performance rate as against the 30 per cent recorded in 2018.
The director said that a total of N184.1 billion was allocated for capital expenditure in the 2020 budget, adding that so far, N13 billion (7.09%) had been spent.
Yakubu attributed the low budget performance on scarcity of funds which was compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Also speaking, Salisu Lawal, Director, Development Aid Coordination of the PBC, said that the State Committee on Food and Nutrition would meet with the Commissioner for Health on the creation of nutrition budget lines in MDAs.
Lawal recalled that nutrition budget lines were created in some line MDAs in the 2019 budget.
The director, however, said that they were later centralised as a single budget line and domiciled at Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan under the Ministry of Health.
He stressed that good practices required that budget provisions be made in every line MDAs implementing nutrition programmes in the state for maximum result.
Lawal urged the MDAs to make adequate allocations for nutrition interventions from their 2021 budget ceilings
According to him, efforts will be made to ensure that they are approved.
Similarly, Mr Mohammed Adamu, Planning Officer, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, stressed the need to pay attention to funds releases and cash backing which he described as a major challenge.
Adamu said that more than N600 million was allocated for nutrition interventions in local government areas, adding that not much of the funds had been released.
Also, Mr Ahmed Mohammed, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Appropriation and Budget in the Kaduna State House of Assembly, noted that there were inadequate funds in the state.
Mohammed, however, urged MDAs to make the best use of allocated funds and pushed for releases and cash backing to carry out planned nutrition activities.
Earlier, the State Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Musa, said that no fewer than 15,842 malnourished children were admitted in various Community Management of Acute Malnutrition centres from January to June.
Musa, however, said that 11,328 of the malnourished children had been successfully treated while 94 children died.
In his contribution, Mr Kunle Ishola, Project Assistant, CS-SUNN, Abuja, said that the objective of the meeting was for stakeholders to ascertain the level of nutrition investment and performance in the state.
“We also want to understand the current malnutrition situation in the state and the need for prompt action.
“The meeting will also help stakeholders to secure state commitment toward improving domestic investment in high-impact, low-cost interventions as captured in the state-specific plans of actions in the 2021 annual budget,” he said.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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