Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa on Tuesday assented to the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N294.5 billion with an assurance that his administration will not waver in its commitment to infrastructural development.
Okowa said the appropriation bill is made up of N158 billion recurrent expenditure and N136 billion capital expenditure.
The state governor had last November presented a budget of N270.910 billion tagged “Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Steady Progress” to the state house of assembly for consideration and passage.
The budget was N2.731 billion (1.02 percent) higher than the 2016 budget proposal of N268.179 billion. The state house of assembly however shored up the 2017 budget by about N24 billion.
He said the recurrent expenditure was high because of the state’s ‘heavy wage bill.’ The sum of N31 billion was being earmarked for the servicing of debts in the 2017 financial years.
According to him, “we have a budget of approximately N294 billion in the year 2017 and it is our hope that the finances coming from various sectors will improve in the course of this year so that we are able to meet with our obligations to our people.”
He however commended members of the State House of Assembly for their cooperation with the executive arm especially with regard to the speedy passage of executive bills, assuring that government will intensify its drive to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to meet its infrastructural drive.
He also thanked the youths of the state for their cooperation in ensuring peaceful environment for developmental projects to take place.
The governor noted that a lot was being done by his administration in attracting developmental projects to the creeks and the riverine communities.
“The state government will continue with its infrastructural development of the riverine areas this year. We are facing the realities on the ground because, the riverine areas needs infrastructure just like the upland.
“The more we put infrastructure in the riverine areas, the less there will be slum areas in the cities and towns; I want to assure you that it is possible to truly impact on these riverine communities and make them better places to inhabit and improve on the economy”, he said.
Speaker of the state house of assembly, Igbuya while presenting the budget assured the governor of the continuous cooperation of the House in making laws that will improve the lots of Deltans,