Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has presented a N378.48 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year to the state’s House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
Named “Budget of Recovery”, Okowa told the lawmakers on Tuesday that the budget was made up of N207.52 billion for capital expenditure and N171.32 billion for recurrent expenditure.
According to Okowa, the capital expenditure constituted 54.76 per cent of the budget, while 45.24 per cent represented recurrent expenditure.
He said that the allocations were consistent with his administration’s plan of spending more on projects and programmes that would impact directly on the socio-economic wellbeing of Deltans.
The 2021 budget is N96.2 billion or 34.05 per cent higher than the N282 billion revised approved budget of 2020.
“The 2021 budget proposals reinforced the state government’s commitment to road infrastructure, education, health and job and wealth creation programmes as the principal-drivers of the stronger Delta agenda,” he said.
“N113 billion, representing 89.94 per cent of the capital budget, is allocated to the economic sector while N35 billion is assigned to the social sector; the administration sector got 10.93 billion and the regional sector, N42 billion.
“In 2021, we propose to spend N66.66 billion on road Infrastructure; N6.79 billion on health; education will gulp N23.55 billion; agriculture, N2.04 billion and water sector, N1.83 billion.
The governor stated that the budget, which was derived from the state’s 2021-2023 FSP/MTEF, was anchored on crude oil production benchmark of 1.86 million BPD, an oil price of 40 dollars per barrel, the exchange rate of N379 per dollar, National Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of three per cent and 11.95 national inflation rate.
The governor pointed out that due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the global economy, government spending was severely hampered by the pandemic, and that Delta was no exception.
Welcoming the governor earlier to the House of Assembly’s chamber, the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori, stated that the House would continue to support the state government through passage of people-oriented and development-driven legislations.
“We are more than ready to cooperate with the Executive to develop a smart, sustainable and knowledge-based economy that will be the envy of all,” the speaker said.
A motion to accept the appropriation bill for consideration was moved by the majority leader of the House, Tim Owhefere, and was seconded by the minority leader, Innocent Andi and lawmakers also approved a motion, scheduling the second reading of the budget for October 28, 2020.