The Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on Wednesday presented budget estimates of N367, 095,083,451:00 billion for the 2019 fiscal year to the state’s House of Assembly.
Speaking on the Appropriation Bill christened ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’, Okowa said N157 billion, representing 42.79 percent would be committed to recurrent expenditures while N209.9 billion, or 57.21 percent of the proposed budget is for capital expenditures.
Expatiating on the capital budget proposal, the governor explained that road development and education accounted for the highest funding of the state government for the 2019 fiscal year, saying that N79.6 billion is earmarked for road infrastructure and N26.8 billion for education with an additional N2.5 billion for the purpose of meeting counterpart funding in the education sector in 2019.
According to him, other areas of priority under economy sector include job creation N1.1 billion; Agriculture, N2.9 billion; Sports development, N3.9 billion; water resources, N1.6 billion; and health, N8.6 billion.
Speaking on how government will fund the budget, the governor explained that a total of N73.4 billion, representing about 20 percent of the budget proposal would be funded from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) while N217.8 billion, or 59.36 percent would come from statutory allocation including mineral revenue derivation.
He listed other revenue sources for the budget to include; Value Added Tax, (VAT) N13 billion and other capital receipts, N62.7 billion.
On the proposed recurrent expenditure, Okowa said that N65.7 billion or 41.8 percent of the proposed recurrent expenditure would be spent as personnel costs while overhead costs will gulp N55.2 billion, adding that a total of N36.1 billion (23%) as consolidated revenue fund charges and social benefits.
Speaking on the performance of the 2018 budget of N308 billion, Okowa said from January to June this year, a total of N66.5 billion had been spent on recurrent items against the proportionate approved budget of N73.7 billion representing 90.04 percent performance.
This is even as he put the capital expenditure performance at 47.8 percent, saying that the state government spent N38.6 billion as against the proportionate budget figure of N80.8 billion.
He pointed out that the 2018 fiscal year witnessed a significant improvement in the state’s revenue receipts.
He explained: “We are poised to consolidate our successes and achievements and institutionalize the policies and practices that made them possible. “Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the economy in the last three and half years, I humbly note that our state has continued to forge ahead.
“Workers are paid regularly, thousands of previously unemployed youths are gainfully employed, and many of our people now enjoy better facilities in terms of roads, water, education and health.
“Agriculture has received a strong boost with many cluster farms springing up in different parts of the state, and even more importantly, our people remain committed to peace and harmonious living.
“Going forward, we shall build on this stable growth to position Delta State as a dynamic economy for the future. Indeed, a stronger Delta beckons”, the governor added.