By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson yesterday presented a budget estimate of N275.8 billion to the State House of Assembly for the 2019 fiscal year.
It was a substantial reduction compared to last year’s budget which was N316. 9 billion, which the government said was due to recent financial projections at the national level.
While presenting the budget tagged, “Budget of Final Completion” to the state House of Assembly for consideration and passage, the Governor assured that concerted efforts would be made to complete most of the ongoing projects before his administration comes to an end in February 2020.
Dickson said the 2019 budget proposal consisted of statutory allocation of N233.5 billion representing 84% of the total budget and value added tax of N9.7 billion or 3.55 per cent.
He noted that other revenue projections comprised of internally generated revenue of N16.7 billion representing 6.7 percent and capital receipts of N15.6 billion or five percent of the total budget,
Governor Dickson listed the proposed expenditure as: Personnel cost, N47 billion (17.1%), overhead cost N49 billion or 17.79 per cent, consolidated revenue fund charges N66 billion or 23.49 per cent. The governor who said the capital expenditure was allocated a lion share of N113.5 billion representing 41.16 percent, put the performance rate of the 2018 budget at 50 per cent as government received N153 billion out of the budgeted N316 billion.
On sectoral allocation, the Governor allotted N31 billion to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, which is the highest followed by Education, N23 billion, while N6 billion was earmarked for Health.
Also, N4 billion each was allocated to the ministries of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Sports Development and Trade and Investment while Housing and Urban Development was allotted N3.5 billion.
Others include: Transport N2.5 billion, Information N2 billion, Water Resources and Science and Technology N1.5 billion each while Local Government Administration got N720 million.
Also, Ministry of Culture and Ijaw National Affairs got N700 million, Environment N505 million, Labour and Productivity as well as Women and Social Development were allocated N500 million each.
Other components of the 2019 budget include, Public Debt Servicing N35 billion, Deductions for federation account N20 billion, Transfer to 32 rural development authorities N3.5 billion and N514 allotted to the Local Government Pensions Board.
The governor also said N7 billion had been earmarked to create a special fund to address the problem of gratuities of workers which he described as a national challenge.