Kaduna (Nigeria) – The Kaduna State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mohammad Sani Abdullahi, has alleged that the previous administration in the state spent N2.1billion on sweets and juice yearly.
He also revealed that a sum of N500-N600 million was spent on purchase of newspapers annually.
Abdullahi made this revelation on Saturday in Kaduna during a round table discussion on the Kaduna State 2017 drafted budget, organized by the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with the Kaduna state government.
According to the commissioner, the present administration felt such expenses were not necessary, as such it erased some provisions and limited the number of newspapers to the offices of the Permanent secretary, commissioners and the libraries. He stressed that the government did that to correct spending and diverts such funds for projects development.
The commissioner also added that the previous administration equally spent about N2 billion yearly on staff trainings which does not have any corresponding output, noting also that the present government is working on modalities on how it could conduct trainings which are relevant to staff’s field.
While noting that adoption of the treasury single account (TSA) and the zero base budget had assisted the state government in generating N38 billion to an open balance of 2016 budget, he said they are borrowing larger percentage to fund the 2017 budget to develop infrastructure.
Also speaking, Senior special Adviser on Media and Communication to the Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai, Muyiwa Adekeye, noted that the discussion offers journalists an opportunity for accurate reportage of the process of Budget and other development agenda.
In a remark, NUJ vice president North-West zone Yusuf Idris, urged journalists on the need to bridge the gap between the people and government, adding that journalists are saddled with the responsibilities of analyzing government policies to educate the public.
Speaking earlier, in her welcome address, the state acting NUJ chairman Zhiroh Jatau, said the discussion had provided an opportunity for members of the press and public to be better informed on what the administration was providing for the overall development of the state as well as ensure full implementation by proper monitoring and reportages in all stages.