The Kaduna State Executive Council has approved the Fiscal Responsibility Bill. The bill, which provides for an independent commission to monitor and enforce the provisions of the proposed law, will now be submitted to the state’s House of Assembly for legislation. The council also decided to abolish payment of fees for admission forms and processes.

A statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, disclosed that these are some of the highlights of this week’s meeting of the Kaduna State Executive Council.

“Briefing reporters after the fourth meeting of the State Executive Council, Finance Commissioner Suleiman Kwari disclosed that the Fiscal Responsibility Bill is designed to help protect the state from fiscal indiscipline by reforming public financial management in the state. 

He said that the absence of a guiding framework for fiscal policy by previous governments had seen the state become one of the most indebted in the country. Therefore, the new government has decided to pursue macro-fiscal discipline, compliance with rules and the attainment of budget credibility.

“Kwari said the that when passed into law, the bill will limit possible deficits to not more than five per cent of aggregated revenue. The law will also create a Kaduna State Fiscal Responsibility Commission (KADFREC) which shall be independent and be capable of recommending violators for prosecution, which on conviction may result in imprisonment or the payment of fines.

“The finance commissioner also reminded MDAs that extant laws prohibit the receipt of cash payments from members of the public.

“At the press briefing, Dr. Shehu Usman Adamu, the commissioner of education, announced the cabinet decision that henceforth admission forms and admission processes will be free in all tertiary institutions owned by the state government. Adamu said that under no condition should scratch cards be sold to admission-seekers for access to school portals.

He explained that council is persuaded that the aspirations of young people for admission into higher institutions should not be treated as a revenue source. Adamu also conveyed the council decision that all non-teaching occupants of school quarters should vacate the premises within 90 days, while teachers transferred to other schools will have six months to give up their former quarters.

“Concluding the briefing, the health commissioner Professor Jonathan Andrew Nok had good news for the student-midwives of the state’s College of Midwifery, Tundun Wada. These students, many of whom were admitted starting in 2009 for a three-year course of study, are yet to graduate due to problems with accreditation of the school.

The government has decided to post them to public hospitals for practical training under qualified midwives pending when they will be able to write their qualifying exams. This would ensure that the students are not penalised for the mistakes of officials who admitted them without accreditation. Their postings to public hospitals is expected to help boost the number of skilled birth attendants in the state. The council approved the payment of a monthly stipend of N15,000 to the student-midwives for the period of their practical training.”