From Osakhare Erese, Asaba
The Delta State Government has prevented a budget of N298.07 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, and assured the people of its continued provision of basic infrastructures.
The state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who presented the budget yesterday at the Delta State House of Assembly, Asaba, disclosed that the budget “hope and consolidation”, has an increase of N3.62 billion compared to the 2017 budget of 294, 457, 040, 477.
Okowa who spoke extensively on plans to develop the state, regretted that the had been confronted with environmental challenges including climate change, disclosing that the state government as a result had entered a partnership scheme with the world Bank under the firm NEWMA, and had paid the sum of N500million as mobilization fee to ensure the menace is adequately tackled.
He said that to ensure good atmosphere of the state government had renovated and constructed a total of 1159 classrooms, adding that this 2018 budget would provide for the successes to tackle the challenges in the state.
He noted that paucity of funds had bane to slow pace development, added that the state government was determined despite its financial challenges to provide the dividends of Democracy for the people, and urged oil company who were yet to relocate back to do so as the state currently breaths air of conduciveness and peaceful co-existence, especially within the Niger-Delta region.
According to the governor, “over 4, 000 participants are in touch with the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and the civil service is being repositioned after we have uncovered some ghost workers, the state had when I assumed office as governor over 60, 000, now we have 55, 000, is still on the high side, but we are doing something about the figures through the current biometric process”.
On alleged blank budget in 2017, Okowa visibly angry said: “It is unfortunate the educated people behave as non-educated, I was in National Assembly, it is not possible to have a blank budget, it is unfortunate that the society today permits freedom of speech, but I dare say have that all rumours should stopped”.
The 2018 budget proposal had in the followings; recurrent expenditure; 147, 487, 809, 897, 49.48%, capital expenditure; 150, 590, 669, 000 50.52% while economic 32, 952.119, 208, 25.20%, social 28, 694, 720, 207, 19.05%, environmental, 34, 251, 858, 990, 23.41%, general administration 17.691, 970, 595, 11.75%, DESOPADEC 28, 000, 000.00 18.59%, and contingency fund, 3, 000, 000, 000. The governor explained that Education, Agriculture and Urban Renewal will get N18.7m, N6.66bn, N1.66bn and N2.22bn respectively while capital Territory Development would get N3billion, and thanked the lawmakers for their unalloyed co-operation and sued for its continued.
The Deputy Speaker, Mr. Friday Osanebi however moved for in vote of thanks, and urged Deltans to join hands with the governor to move the state forward.