Gov. Okowa Presents N298 Bn 2018 Budget Of Hope, Consolidation *Education N18 Bn *Health N6.6 Bn *Environment/Urban Renewal N2.2 Bn *DESOPADEC N28 Bn *DSCTDA N3 Bn

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –: 

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, presenting the 2018 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly on Thursday, October 19, 2017 in Asaba.

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has presented a budget estimate of N298.078 Billion for the 2018 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly, assuring of his administration’s commitment to “build a State anchored on inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.”

Presenting the budget estimate on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the House of Assembly chambers, Governor Okowa disclosed that the “amount comprises the sum of N147.5bn or 49.48 per cent for recurrent expenditure, and N150.5 or 50.52 per cent for capital expenditure.”

While presenting a review of the 2017 budget performance from January to September, Governor Okowa said the expenditure profile “shows that the total sum of N127.0 Billion was spent; out of which, the sum of N104.2 Bilion was incurred on recurrent items, as against a proportionate approved budget of N118.5 Billion, representing a budget performance of 87.97 per cent.”

“The 2018 budget proposal shows an increase of N3.62 Billion or 1.21 per cent, compared to the 2017 approved budget of N294.4Billion,” the Governor said, adding that it was expected that the sum of N71.3 Billion would be generated internally (IGR), Statutory allocation including Mineral Revenue Derivable – N178.1 Billion, Value Added Tax – N10.7 Billion, other capital receipts – N37.8 Billion totalling N298.0878 Billion to finance the projected budget for 2018 fiscal year.

From the budget proposal, road infrastructure will gulp the greater chunk of the money as Governor Okowa asserted, “in line with our growth aspirations, the sum of N49.3 Billion is earmarked in the proposed 2018 budget to sustain the current momentum in road infrastructure, including drains,” followed by the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) which will take N28 Billion from the presented budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

Christened, “Budget of Hope and Consolidation,” Governor Okowa said that more than N18 Billion would be spent on education sub-sector for capital projects in 2018, revealing that “Delta State has 1,021 primary and 469 secondary schools with 443,813 pupils and 332,760 students rrespectivel.”

The Governor further disclosed that his administration has earmarked the sum of 6.6 billion naira to consolidate the ongoing rehabilitation of the health facilities while the sum of N1.2 Billion is set aside to augment the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, especially the Under-5 and Free Maternal Health Care Scheme.

On the issue of environment, Governor Okowa that his administration has proposed the sum of N2.2 billion for the Ministries of Environment and Urban Renewal in the proposed 2018 capital budget.

For the Delta State Capital Territory Development, he said the sum of N3 Billion has been proposed for the rapid development of the Delta State Capital Territory in line with the Master Plan of the State Capital territory.

Earlier, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori who presided at the plenary attended by the legislators and former Speakers of the legislature called for a motion to admit the Governor and his aides into the chamber.

The Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi moved the vote of thanks and commended Governor Okowa for his steadfastness in budget execution, reiterating that the Governor presented the 2017 Appropriation Bill which passed through due process before it was signed into law and the Governor as a law abiding citizen implemented the budget despite the economic situation of the country.

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (middle); Speaker, Delta State House of Assemley, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori (2nd left); his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi (2nd right); Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere (right) and Hon. Pat Ajudua, during the presentation ceremony at the Cambers of the State House of Assembly in Asaba.

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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