Gov Okowa signs N294.5B 2017 state budget into law …. To spend N31B in debts servicing

By Akpos Oghenetega,

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has assented to the State 2017 Appropriation Bill of N294.5 billion assuring Deltans that his administration will not waver in its commitment to infrastructural development.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (2nd left); Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya (2nd right); Delta State Attorney-General, Barr. Peter Mrakpo (left); and Clerk of the House, Barr (Mrs.) Lyna Ocholor, during the signing of the 2017 Appropriation Bill in Government House, Asaba.

The bill which was signed into law in Government House Asaba was witnessed by the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi, Clerk of the House, Mrs Lyna Ochukor, and other principal officers of the House, and members of the State Executive Council and other top government functionaries.

According to the governor; “the budget is made up of N158 billion in recurrent expenditure and N136 billion in capital expenditure. 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.”

“The recurrent expenditure is high because we have a heavy wage bill when it comes to the issue of payment of salary but, beyond that, the state is also spending N31 billion in the servicing of debts in the course of the year.”

He commended the Delta State House of Assembly for its cooperation with the Executive arm especially with regards to the speedy passage of Executive Bills, adding 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, noting 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,” he said, reiterating, “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.”

Rt. Hon. Igbuya while presenting the budget, informed the governor that the appropriation bill was presented to the House of Assembly in November, 2016 and passed through all due legislative procedures before it was passed by the House in February, 2017,

He assured Governor Okowa of the continuous cooperation of the House in making laws that will improve the lots of Deltans.

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