Although, analysts have argued that the increase, as was envisaged, results from the myriad of uncompleted projects and the recent flooding experience in the state, most Deltans have continued to challenge the reason behind the “unholy” hike from the proposed N398,317,113,836 to N472,006,772,179, saying it was unnecessary and superfluous.
The new budget of N472 billion was passed on Wednesday, February 06, 2013 during the resumed sitting of the state House of Assembly presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, following a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Monday Igbuya and seconded by Mr. Kennedy Dubri, is also higher with about N35 billion than the N437.21 billion estimated for the 2012 fiscal year.
According to the new breakdown as passed by the lawmakers, the state’s Recurrent Expenditure is now N157,603,782,607.00 at 23.4 per cent while Capital Expenditure would gulp N314,402,989,563.00 at 66 per cent increases respectively.
The new lift in the budget has however affected the sectoral breakdown of the capital expenditure estimates, as the Economic sector which originally stood at N97,052,878,380 at 31 per cent in the earlier proposal is now N103,866,023,291 with an upsurge of N24,790,594,911 representing 31.4 per cent increase.
Estimates of the Social and Environment sectors have also been hiked as the original N46,984,952,781 representing 18.62 per cent for the Social sector is now pegged at N52,683,153,540 representing 12.12 per cent, just as the Environment sector which had N50,758,764,931 at 20.11 has been reviewed upward with additional N22,853,000,000 representing 45 per cent increase.
In the recurrent expenditure estimates, the overhead costs in the same budget which earlier had N52,201,030,693 representing 35.77 per cent will now enjoy extra N11,661,888,130 representing 8.0 per cent.
Recall that in the initial budget proposal of N398.31 billion for the 2013 fiscal year presented to the state legislature on November 23, 2012 by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the original budget estimate comprised of N145.94 billion or 36.64 per cent for recurrent expenditure and N252.37 billion or 63.36 per cent for capital expenditure.
The governor had explained that the 2013 budget proposal showed a decrease of N38.9 billion or 8.9 per cent when compared to the year 2012 approved budget of N437.21 billion by N38.9billion.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Appropriation, in their recommendation, has said that the increment is due to the urgent need to complete all on-going major projects embarked upon by the Governor Uduaghan’s administration before 2014.