Okowa Presents Budget Of N298.078 Billion For 2018 Fiscal Year Amidst Controversy Of Blank Budget


*DESOPADEC Gets N28 Billion

*Ojougboh’s Comment On Blank Budget Is “Stupid And Unintelligent”—Okowa

Amidst the controversy of blank budget,  Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has presented a budget estimate of N298.078 billion for the 2018 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly. Budget christened “Budget of Hope and Consolidation” has the sum of N28 billion set aside for the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), in the 2018 fiscal year.

Okowa while presenting the budget Thursday at the floor of the house, assured of his administration’s commitment to “build a state anchored on inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.” explaining that the “amount comprises the sum of N147.5bn or 49.48 per cent for recurrent expenditure, and N150.5 or 50.52 per cent for capital expenditure.”

While presenting a review of the 2017 budget performance from January to September, Governor Okowa said the expenditure profile “shows that the total sum of N127.0 Billion was spent; out of which, the sum of N104.2 Bilion was incurred on recurrent items, as against a proportionate approved budget of N118.5 Billion, representing a budget performance of 87.97 per cent.”

“The 2018 budget proposal shows an increase of N3.62 Billion or 1.21 per cent, compared to the 2017 approved budget of N294.4Billion,” the Governor said, adding that it was expected that the sum of N71.3 Billion would be generated internally (IGR), Statutory allocation including Mineral Revenue Derivable–N178.1 Billion, Value Added Tax–N10.7 Billion, other capital receipts–N37.8 Billion totalling N298.0878 Billion to finance the projected budget for 2018 fiscal year.

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From the budget proposal, road infrastructure will gulp the greater chunk of the money as Governor Okowa asserted, “in line with our growth aspirations, the sum of N49.3 Billion is earmarked in the proposed 2018 budget to sustain the current momentum in road infrastructure, including drains,” followed by (DESOPADEC).

Reacting to the allegation of blank budget by Cairo Ojougboh, Coordinator, Leaders Council of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Delta state, governor Okowa described Ojougboh’s allegation as “Stupid and Unintelligent”

“In the first instance, I would not ordinarily want to react to comments made by somebody who though went to school but he is making unintelligent comments. You (journalists) were here last year when the budget was presented, the budget was considered and passed by the House, and you were there when the budget was signed.

“I have been to the National Assembly and I believe that the Delta State House of Assembly is very credible. We have followed the due processes which we have again started for next year’s budget. Is it possible to have a blank budget? Then what is the budget if it is blank?

“So his comments appear stupid and unintelligent, but somehow we are in a nation where anybody can say anything because of freedom of speech. However, it is only fair that people who went to school should speak in a manner that we went to school. When we speak unintelligently, it is unfair,” Okowa said.

The plenary which was attended by top government functionaries in the Okowa led administration was presided over by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborovweri.


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