The Delta state governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has presented a budget proposal of two hundred and sixty five billion, six hundred and sixty eight million, one hundred and fifty six thousand, one hundred and seventy four naira (N265, 668, 156, 174) for the 2016 fiscal year to the Delta State House of Assembly.
This amount comprises one hundred and fifty three billion, one hundred and fifty six million, eight hundred and fifty two thousand, nine hundred and fifty six naira (N153.156, 852,956) or 57.65 per cent for Recurrent Expenditure, and one hundred twelve billion, five hundred and eleven million, three hundred and three thousand, two hundred and eighteen naira (N112, 511,303,218) or 42.35 per cent for capital expenditure.
According to Governor Okowa the year 2016 budget proposal shows a marginal increase of twelve billion, seven hundred and twenty four million naira (N12.724bn) or 5.03 per cent when compared to the year 2015 amended budget of two hundred and fifty two billion, nine hundred and forty three million naira (N252.943).
A sectoral breakdown of the budget shows that the sum of N2.296 billion would be spent on the State Job and Wealth Creation Scheme, Transport Sub-sector, N15.421 billion, Health sector N5.9 billion, and Education N10.1 billion, while Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission was allocated N28 billion.
Christened, ‘Budget of Renewed Hope and Inclusive Development,’ the governor stated that being the first budget that is conceived by his administration; the grim forecasts from these documents place a moral burden on the administration to adopt a pragmatic approach in the 2016 budget estimates based on prudent management of public finances without necessarily playing to the gallery or raising false hope.
“The budget is admittedly tight but it is consistent with our vision for maintaining strict fiscal discipline”, he said.
He noted that the health of the state’s public finances was crucial to good governance which would inspire hope and confidence, attracting investors, ensure the sustainable development of the state’s economy as a whole and maintain the basic principles of prudent management of public finances in strict adherence to due process and keep expenditure within revenue limits.
“As part of our resolve to avoid the mistakes of the past and ensure that we get full value for every kobo spent the project monitoring and supervision function is being handled by a Directorate under the leadership of the Senior Policy Adviser.” he said.
To this end, the Governor warned that no contractor will get away with any shoddy or uncompleted jobs. According to the Governor, it was for this reason that the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Economic Planning has been strengthened to enable it discharge its responsibility as the due diligence outfit for Government.
Similarly Governor Okowa observed that the State Executive Council has resolved that from now on, any government official who, either by omission or commission, allows the State to be short-changed in its investment projects will be severely sanctioned. He noted that the goal of his administration was for Delta to become the most prosperous state in the country.
Governor Okowa was accompanied to the Delta State House of Assembly by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, his commissioners and top government functionaries for the budget presentation session ,which was presided over by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya.
Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi thanked Governor Okowa for his respect for the legislature and for working in the interest of Deltans and moved a motion for the budget proposal to be accepted as a working document while the member representing Oshimili South Constituency, Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya seconded the motion for the adoption of the motion which was overwhelmingly done.