Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei
Kwara proposes N94.4bn as Niger budgets N84.09bn Delta assembly passes 12 bills in 2012
Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin with agency reports
Edo State House of Assembly Thursday approved the sum of N149,477,798,805 as the state government’s 2013 Appropriation Bill.
Similarly, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, also presented a budget proposal of N94.4 billion for the 2013 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for approval, just as Niger State House of Assembly passed the state’s 2013 Appropriation Bill of N84.09 billion into law.
Equally, Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei, Thursday said the Assembly passed 12 bills between January and December this year.
Prior to the approval of the budget, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, had last month presented a budget estimate of N150,045,377,060 to the Assembly for its consideration and approval.
The N149.477 billion approval was sequel to the report presented to the Assembly by the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation and Project Monitoring, Hon. Peter Aliu, representing Etsako East constituency.
The approved budget showed a decrease of N594,579,865.00, while the approved recurrent expenditure stood at N42,582,666,405.00, with the consolidated fund charges standing at N20,760,135,800.
Consequently from the approved estimate, the total recurrent expenditure was pegged at N63,342,801,205 billion as against the earlier proposal of N116,479,778,045 billion, while capital expenditure was N86,104,997,60 as against the proposed estimate of N87.40 billion.
The Assembly also approved N7 billion for the state government to service internal debts, N250 million for external debts, bond N6.240 billion, services for local banks charges N300 million while guaranteed loans stands at N300 million.
On his part, Ahmed, while presenting the budget to the Assembly tagged: “Sustained Prosperity”, which represented a 10 per cent increase over last year’s projection of N85.1 billion, said apart from this, “It is also aimed at reducing the state’s dependence on federally-allocated revenue and attract foreign and domestic investments into the state.”
He stressed that the budget was designed to boost infrastructure, accelerate agro-led wealth creation, create jobs and sustain the state’s development.
Ahmed said: “Our resources may be limited but our resolve to overcome these challenges and provide good governance for the benefit of the people is boundless.”
A breakdown of the budget shows a total recurrent revenue of N58.1 billion, while recurrent expenditure was put at N51 billion.
The total recurrent surplus stood at N6.3 billion, while total capital receipt was estimated at N42.6 billion with total capital expenditure also pegged at N42.6 billion.
Reflecting on last year’s budget performance, the governor said the significant progress made was in road development, health, energy, education and water supply, despite the limitations imposed by the realities of the national economy.
Receiving the budget proposal from the governor, Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Abdulrasaq Atunwa, promised that the Assembly would give urgent attention to the budget for quick deliberations and approval in order to assist the governor implement the budget effectively.
Presenting the state’s budget to the Assembly, Governor Babangida Aliyu, said the budget was a slight increase of N300 million as against the N83, 79 billion in the outgoing year.
Chairman of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Alhaji Usman Magaji, told the Assembly that the committee increased the budget by N300 million to cater for certain exigencies.
The Speaker, Hon. Adamu Usman, said the early passage of the budget would earn the assembly the confidence of the people.
“We want the people of Niger to have confidence in Niger Assembly. We want them to count on our leadership and we want to prove to them that 2013 budget is a budget of reality. Earnestly, since 1999, this the first time the budget is being passed before the succeeding year as we suspended everything else, to achieve this for the very first time,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ochei, while fielding questions from journalists in Asaba, said out of the 12 bills passed, seven were assented to by the state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, while five were still pending.
According to him, the Delta State’s Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Terrorism Bill 2012, is among the bills awaiting the governor’s assent.
“In the same vein, we have 10 bills still pending before the House, seven of such bills are at the committee’s stage, while three are ready for second reading,” he added.
Ochei explained that the members were spurred by the overriding need to protect their people’s interest in the course of discharging their legislative responsibilities.
He said the Assembly received and treated many petitions from aggrieved individuals over infringement on their rights.
“We shall always do this because the mandate given to us confers on us a responsibility,” he said.
Ochei said the Assembly embarked on oversight functions on projects being executed by MDAs as approved in the budget.
According to him, the standing committees inspected projects across the state and identified lapses so that the people of the state can have value for the money allocated to projects.
He, therefore, assured the people that the Assembly would continue to facilitate the delivery of good governance in the state.
Ochei commended the media for their detailed coverage, reportage and incisive comments on the activities of the fifth Assembly since its inauguration.