Okowa Presents N389.19bn as Delta 2020 Budget

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Ifeanyi Okowa

Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, wednesday presented the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N389,190,799,362 approximately N389.19 billion to the state House of Assembly.

Okowa noted that he was presenting the 2020 Budget Estimates, christened Budget of Sustained Development ‘’from a position of cautious optimism’’ due to certain prevailing circumstances in the country.

The budget estimate comprised Recurrent Expenditure of N171,549,384,315 and Capital Expenditure of N217,641,415,047.

This disparity between total recurrent and capital estimates signalled a positive development, indicating that the state government intended to spend more on capital projects than recurrent for the financial year.

Comparatively, the 2019 Budget sum of N390,378,671,178 comprised N157,096,029,253 for recurrent expenditure, and N233,282,641,925 for capital expenditure.

The 2020 budget figure represented a decrease of about N1.18 billion from the current 2019 budget by N1.18bn, which totalled N390,378,671,178.

Nevertheless, the governor noted that the 2020 revenue and expenditure projections were based on a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), based on the national data of a $57 benchmark price for crude oil at production levels of 2.18 million barrels per day, 10.36 per cent annual inflation, 3.60 per cent projected real GDP growth as well as the exchange rate of N305 to the US dollar.

“This (figure) represents 44.08 per cent Recurrent Expenditure and 55.92 per cent Capital Expenditure, consistent with our agenda to spend more on projects and programmes that will impact directly on the socio-economic well-being of our people,” the governor said.

Nonetheless, Okowa expressed appreciation for the responsible manner the state lawmakers conducted their legislative functions vis-a-vis the Assembly’s convivial relation with the executive arm of government and others in the overall development of Delta State.

Okowa said: ‘’As an elected governor, I consider myself and, indeed, the state blessed by the candour and civility with which this House conducts its business. It is one that makes for unabridged development and I continue to count on this strong partnership as we strive to build a stronger Delta standing on the tripod of prosperity, peace and progress.

‘’I will begin by saying that I am presenting this budget from a position of cautious optimism. Several reasons accounted for this.’’

Shortly after receiving the 2020 appropriation bill on behalf of the legislature, the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, said: “I believe strongly that after the Assembly’s legislative processing of the budget, diligent implementation by the executive and scrupulous over-sighting by the legislature, the budget will impact the state economy and the general well-being of our people positively.

“As usual, we are duty-bound to painstakingly look at the details of the budget for the purpose of transforming same for the benefit and aspiration of our people.’’

Delta State Government had at its state executive meeting of October 16, proposed a total budget estimate of approximately N389 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.

The proposed figure made up of N217 billion capital estimate and N171 billion for recurrent expenditure, however indicated that the state government would spend more on capital projects than recurrent for the financial year.

The approved estimates were expected to be presented to the state legislature by Okowa as the state’s 2020 Appropriation Bill soon.

The figure, which was announced to newsmen after the executive meeting, yesterday in Asaba, by the state Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr. Barry Gbe, was N1 billion shy of the current 2019 Budget of N390 billon.