…the budget passes first reading
By Festus Ahon – Asaba
DELTA State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Tuesday, presented a proposed budget of N378, 184,397,889 for 2021 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly.
The budget according to the Governor was made up of N207.52 billion for Capital Expenditure and N171.32 billion for Recurrent Expenditure.
He said that capital expenditure constituted 54.76 per cent of the Budget while 45.24 per cent represented recurrent expenditure, and explained that the allocations were consistent with his administration’s agenda of spending more on projects and programmes that would impact directly on the socio-economic wellbeing of Deltans.
The 2021 budget is N96.2 billion or 34.05 per cent higher than the N282 billion revised approved budget of 2020.
The governor said that the 2021 budget proposals reinforced the state government’s commitment to road infrastructure, education, health, job and wealth creation programmes as the principal-drivers of the Stronger Delta agenda.
According to him, N113 billion, representing 89.94 per cent of the capital budget is allocated to the economic sector while N35 billion is allocated to the social sector; the administration sector got 10.93 billion and the regional sector, N42 billion.
“In 2021, we propose to spend N66.66 billion on Road Infrastructure; N6.79 billion on Health; Education will gulp N23.55 billion; Agriculture, N2.04 billion and Water Sector, N1.83 billion.
“Job and Wealth Creation Bureau will gulp N1 Billion and Youth Development, N1.25 billion. These key sectors are very essential in our 2021 budget,” Okowa said.
He said that budget, which was derived from the state’s 2021-2023 FSP/MTEF, was anchored on crude oil production benchmark of 1.86 mbpd, oil price of 40 dollars per barrel, exchange rate of N379 per dollar, National Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of three per cent and 11.95 national inflation rate
He disclosed that since 2015, his administration had progressively increased its annual spending on education infrastructure and would continue to scale up investments in the sector as the state continued with plans to establish nine new technical colleges to take off in the 2021/2022 academic session.
The governor pointed out that due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the global economy, government spending was severely hampered by the pandemic, and that Delta was no exception.
He, therefore, stated that “the proposed 2021 Budget for Delta is primarily focused on protecting and supporting our people in a COVID-19 environment, accelerating infrastructural renewal, incentivizing growth, enhancing job creation, engendering social inclusion and developing sustainably.
“Overall, the proposed 2021 Budget is predicated on inclusive economic growth that is sustainable and people-centred, with strengthening fiscal sustainability through increased efficiency in spending, improved revenue mobilization and debt sustainability.
“It also entails improving processes and systems in Public Financial Management, and Monitoring and Evaluation, to bolster better public sector service delivery.”
Earlier, the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori while welcoming the governor to the Hallowed chamber, pledged the commitment of the state Legislature to collaborating with the Executive to develop a smart, sustainable and knowledge-based state and an economy that would be the envy of all.
Oborevwori emphasized that with the feat achieved in the five years administration of Okowa’s led government, the responsiveness and readiness of the House to continue to support the government through passage of people-oriented and development driven legislation, was not in doubt.
The Deputy Speaker, Chief Ochor Christopher Ochor in a motion of appreciation, assured of the House readiness for early passage of the Appropriation Bill.
Ochor stated that the budget which focuses on the recovery of the state economy after the novel coronavirus pandemic, was considered appropriate, stressing the resolve of the House to protect the overall interest of the people and return the state to stronger economy amongst states in Nigeria.
He promised that the state legislature would work with the various ministries and government Departments, maintaining that the positive effect of timely budget implementations in the development of any state, could not be over stressed.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Appropriation bill has passed first reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
The motion for the first reading was moved by the House Majority Leader, Mr Tim Owhefere after it was presented to members by the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
- Second reading has been slated for tomorrow Wednesday, 28th October 2020.