2020 budget: Kaduna MDAs give reasons for poor performance

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Kaduna State, on Tuesday attributed their poor performance in 2020 to non release of funds for their activities.

Some of the MDAs, said at the commencement of the 2021 budget defence before the State Assembly, that their activities were hampered by lack of cash backing even for programmes and projects approved for execution.

They however blamed the situation on the Coronavirus pandemic which affected the global economy.

Dr Amina Baloni, the state Commissioner of Health, told the lawmakers that the situation had hampered the procurement of drugs for Primary Healthcare Centres and other services.

She said that the ministry was also unable to renovate the campuses of the school of midwifery as contained in the 2020 budget.

The Commissioner said although efforts to recruit more staff to bridge existing gap in the health sector was stalled during the year, the ministry plans to replace all vacant positions in 2021.

Baloni added that the challenge of COVID-19 had affected most of their plans, but expressed optimism that with the budget estimate of about N11.5 billion, the ministry would bounce back.

She disclosed that part of the plan is to upgrade 17 out of the 31 general hospitals in the state in the coming year.

In her submission, Hajiya Addakano Umar, Administrator of the State College of Nursing and Midwifery, said lack of funds also hindered their activities.

She said their major source of income was the students fees, which was not forthcoming due to the closure of schools as a result of COVID-19.

Umar also expressed concern that the college risks total closure following the non accreditation of its courses by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

“We were unable to meet up. There are no students in the Pambeguwa campus because we have not been accredited, likewise the Kafanchan campus which has been on interim accreditation since 1989.

“ So if we do not meet up the demand of the council to enable us have full accreditation, we stand the chance of total closure of the college,’’ she said.

Also, the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Hajiya Halima Lawal, who made a presentation of over N10 billion budget for 2021, expressed the hope that the money will be released.

Lawal said “we hope the funds get released because our major challenge is cash backing even though year 2020 came with a lot of challenges, but we pray 2021 comes with a difference.’’

On his part, the Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir said the 2020 budget performance was on the low side due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

“But 2021 will be different as more projects will be implemented, we will clear all out standings as this regime does not intend to handover with any outstanding liability,” he said.

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