ASABA/Nigeria: Delta State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday, approved a budget size of N469.4 billion for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Pere-Gbe who disclosed this in a post Exco press briefing at Government House, Asaba, said the approval was in line with the state fiscal responsibility law.
Dr. Pere-Gbe said after a thorough review of the N425 billion indicative budget size earlier proposed by his ministry, Exco had a fairer view of what the 2022 budget size should look like.
He pointed out that the approved budget was more than what his ministry had earlier proposed in Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF and FSP), adding that it was the MTEF and FSP that determines the budget size.
“After a review of the indicative budget size we were able to have a fairer view of what the budget size should look like. It was to a large extend, more than what we proposed in the MTEF and FSP,” he said.
While saying that the N469.4 billion budget estimate of the state was cut out from the MTEF, the Economic Planning Commissioner said resolved to grow the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state grow the IGR from N75 billion to N80 billion
“We have to grow the IGR from N75 billion to N80 billion. We increase our assumptions around the capital receipts and borrowing to sufficiently fund our expenditure side.
“We will fund facilities in the new universities, facility procurement in the Ministry of Health, as well as do procurement and funding contract around technical education ministry.
“We will be doing a whole lot around education generally (higher and basic) and also roads.
“We intend to complete the bridges that are yet to be completed especially the Ayokoromo bridge that his Excellency is so particular about,” Dr. Pere-Gbe said.
He pointed out that the state government will not stop at creating entrepreneurs in the year 2022, saying “we are expanding the net around the girl-child programme and every other empowerment programmes.”
Also speaking during the briefing, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu said the state EXCO continued consideration of the white paper of the findings of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry which was set up last year to examine allegation of police brutality and extra-judicial killings known as #EndSARS.
“Today, we concluded the consideration of that particular report except for some few items that we have to carry out some investigations with a view to arriving at the right decision, particularly some directives that will require the Attorney General to find out further details so that we don’t take decision in error.
“In all, we have gotten to the end of that consideration except those other few items we jumped because we needed further information before we can ratify or possibly approve the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
“As a result of our determination to finish strong, we deliberated on the need to take full advantage of the dry season that is about to set in to deepen our infrastructural development of the state.
“We have been able to take step to mop up funds with a view to ensuring that we remobilise a number of contractors to site for them to fast track work,” Aniagwu said.