Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa Presenting the 2019 Budget Estimates to the State House of Assembly, in Asaba. PIX; JIBUONR SAMUEL.
ASABA/Nigeria: Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has presented a budget proposal of N367, 095,083,451 to the State House of Assembly for the 2019 fiscal year.
According to the governor, capital expenditure in the projected budget will gulp the sum of N209, 999,054,198 which is 57.21 while the sum of N157, 096,029,253 or 42.79 per cent of the budget would be spent on recurrent expenditure.
It would be recalled that the year 2018 had as its total budget size, N308,888,558,898 (three hundred and eight billion, eight hundred and eighty-eight million, five hundred and fifty-eight thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight naira), comprising N147,273,989,898 (one hundred and forty-seven billion, two hundred and seventy-three million, nine hundred and eighty-nine thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight naira) recurrent expenditure, and capital expenditure of N161,614,569,000 (one hundred and sixty-one billion, six hundred and fourteen million, five hundred and sixty-nine thousand naira.
Presenting the budget at a well attended session of the Delta State House of Assembly which had the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori presiding, Governor Okowa disclosed that the projected 2019 budget christened, “Budget of sustainable growth,” would enable his administration consolidate on the successes and achievements of his administration.
“Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the economy in the last three-and-half years, I humbly note that our State has continued to forge ahead; workers are paid regularly, thousands of previously unemployed youths are gainfully employed, and many of our people now enjoy better facilities in terms of roads, water, education and health. Agriculture has received a strong boost with many cluster farms springing up in different parts of the State and, even more importantly, our people remain committed to peace and harmonious living,” he said.
He asserted, “we shall build on this stable growth to position Delta State as a dynamic economy for the future; indeed, a Stronger Delta beckons.”
Road Infrastructure took the greatest chunk of the budgetary proposal with sum of N79.6 billion while the Education Sector would gulp the sum of N26.8 billion.
Scores Administration High On Universal Health Coverage
The governor has scored his administration high in the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage, saying more than 300, 000 Deltans have enrolled for the health programme.
Governor Okowa observed that Delta State recorded a great feat as the first state in the federation to launch the Universal Health Coverage.
“As at September 30, 2018, the total number of enrolees stood at 316,301; the Scheme has been nationally acclaimed as it received awards for the Outstanding State Government Healthcare Programme of the Year 2017; and the State with the most people covered under its State Social Health Insurance Scheme with a focus on the Poor and Vulnerable population in Nigeria 2018,” the governor disclosed.
He continued, “To ensure quality and efficient service delivery under the scheme, the State Executive Council recently approved the renovation of 107 primary health centres across the State.”
“We have taken delivery of the Doctors and Nurses Quarters at the Government Hospital, Ofagbe while medical equipment for the Dialysis Centre at the Central Hospital, Warri has been procured; we have also undertaken the renovation and rehabilitation of the General Hospital, Bomadi and rehabilitation of facilities at the Cottage Hospital, Ogriagbene also in Bomadi, among others,” he stated.
The Governor who commended Deltans for their cooperation which has made it possible for his administration to record successes in the delivery of democratic dividends, emphasized, “the health sector will continue to receive priority attention in the 2019 fiscal year; the State ambulance scheme is being reactivated; when operational, it would cover Asaba, Warri, Eku, Abraka, Ughelli and Agbor, among others.”
“The ambulance scheme is designed to ensure immediate response to convey accident victims to the nearest health facility; boat ambulances would be used to cover the riverine communities while we also intend to revive the use of mobile doctors to deliver healthcare to the people,” he said, disclosing, “the sum of N8.6 billion is proposed for the health sector in the 2019 fiscal year.”
Asaba Airport to Be Operational Hub of Air Peace
Nigeria’s premier carrier, Air Peace Airline is to make the Asaba Airport its operational hub, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said.
According to the governor who addressed legislators at the special session presided by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, “the management of Air Peace Airline has indicated interest to make Asaba Airport its operational hub, where it can quickly build its maintenance hangers.”
“We have made considerable progress in our quest to make Asaba Airport an international gateway; following the successful completion of the runway rehabilitation work, the airport has been approved and upgraded to a Category 6 Airport to receive and dispatch large aircraft, by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,” he said, adding, “Nigeria’s premier carrier, Air Peace Airline resumed daily scheduled flight operations in and out of Asaba Airport on Monday, 8th October, 2018.”
He continued, “work on our concession plan for the airport has also reached an advanced stage as we are confident that the concession will ensure that we realise our objective of turning the airport into a mega commercial and travel hub in this part of the country in record time in order to boost our economy and create more jobs for our people.”
“We have received strong interests from both local and international investors in the concession exercise and we expect the airport to be fully concessioned in 2019; in this regard, we published a formal “Request for Proposal” in national newspapers on Tuesday, 9th October, 2018,” Governor Okowa stated.