Delta state Governor, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has presented budgetary proposal of two hundred and seventy billion, nine hundred and ten million naira (N270.910bn) christened “Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Steady Progress,” to the State House of Assembly for the 2017 fiscal year.
Governor Okowa accompanied by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, members of his cabinet and other top political office holders including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in the state, Barr. Kingsley Esiso did the budget presentation yesterday (10/11/16) at the sitting of the House of Assembly presided by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya.
According to the governor, “I wish to announce a budget proposal of two hundred and seventy billion, nine hundred and ten million naira (N270.910bn) for the services of Delta State Government in 2017; this amount comprises the sum of one hundred and fifty-one billion, nine hundred and nine million naira (N151.909bn) or 56.07 per cent for Recurrent Expenditure, and one hundred and nineteen billion, one million naira (N119.001) or 43.93 per cent for capital expenditure.”
“The 2017 budget proposal shows a slight increase of two billion, seven hundred and thirty-one million naira (N2.731bn) or 1.02 per cent, compared to the 2016 approved budget of two hundred and sixty-eight billion, one hundred and seventy-nine million naira (N268.179),” Governor Okowa said.
The Governor disclosed that fall in price of oil in the international market and the continued destruction of oil facilities in the State militated against the implementation of the 2016 budget.
He asserted, “for us in Delta, it was a particularly painful and harrowing experience as much of the bombings and disruption of oil production occurred in our State; consequently, we found ourselves in double jeopardy – with receipts from the Federation Account already plummeting, our plight was aggravated as our share from the Derivation Formula reached an all-time low.”
“What our brothers and sisters need to know is that pipeline vandalism hurts us more than it hurts other parts of the country; accruals to Delta State from the Derivation Formula is a function of how much oil we supply to the national oil company for export; regrettably, the activities of the militants saw us slump from being number two among oil producing States to number four, resulting in severe damage to our finances,” Governor Okowa continued, noting, “as at today, the nation has realised only a fraction of its projected earnings, no thanks to the continuing low price of oil and the unfortunate incidents of pipeline bombings in the Niger Delta region.”
The governor who commended the House of Assembly for being vibrant in their legislative duties added, “even though the price of oil in the international market was, for most of the year, marginally higher than the budget benchmark of $38 per barrel, the country could not benefit from it because we fell far short of the production quota of 2.2 million barrels per day as result of the deleterious effects of militancy in the Niger Delta.”
The Majority Leader of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Tim Owhefere had earlier moved a motion for the governor to present the budget and the motion was seconded by the member representing Ika South constituency, Hon. Chuks Okoh.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi on behalf of the legislators thanked Governor Okowa for the cordial relationship between all arms of government in the state, noting that Governor Okowa despite the economic down turn in the country has managed the resources of the state to the benefit of the people.