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Okowa presents N389 billion as Delta’s 2020 budget

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (left), and Speaker, Delta House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, during the presentation of the state’s 2020 budget to the lawmakers in Asaba.<br />

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has presented the year 2020 budget of N389,190,799,362 billion to the Delta State House of Assembly, with roads, water, health and agricultural sectors getting top priority.

Presenting the proposals, christened “Budget of Sustained Development” with cautious optimism in Asaba, the governor said “in keeping with earlier promise, recurrent expenditure is N171,549,384,315 while the provision for capital expenditure is higher at N217,641,415,047, which represents 44.08 percent and 55.92 per cent respectively, consistent with our agenda to spend more on projects and programmes that will impact directly on the socio-economic well-being of our people.”

He went on: “I am presenting this budget from a position of cautious optimism. Several reasons account for this. Beginning with recent trends in the oil sector, the mainstay of the national economy, there are major policy issues that face the country, not only in this new budget year but over the medium term that will impact significantly on politics and governance at all levels of government.

“Although the global price of oil remains relatively stable at about $57 per barrel, it is still low and under the federal budget benchmark of $60. Matched against the fluctuating oil production levels, which, in recent months, dropped to as low as 1.78mbpd as against the projected 2.18mbpd, there is a serious cause for concern.

“Coupled with the commencement of the deduction at source of the bailout funds to the states by the Federal Government, we are faced with the prospects of continual fiscal adjustments that will no doubt be challenging and problematic. Although all available indices project a positive national economic outlook in 2020, the cost of governance at all levels of government is at the same time expected to rise sharply with the implementation of the new minimum wage”.

He further said: “The new VAT regime of 7.5 per cent, designed to shore up the national revenue, more than likely, will not induce any dramatic changes in terms of the net gain to the fiscal revenue as the anticipated increase will largely be offset by the attendant rise in the cost of goods and services as well as the new minimum wage.

“While the various reforms and fiscal adjustments of the last four years of this administration have placed Delta State on a much more secure and sustained growth trajectory, our GDP is still dominated by the oil and gas sector notwithstanding significant incremental outputs from the social services and agriculture sectors.”

Meanwhile, the governor has congratulated Dr. Osahon Enabulele on his election as president of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA).

The Consultant Surgeon and Associate Professor at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), who is a former president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and member of the Executive Committee of the World Medical Association (WMA), was elected on Monday at the 25th CMA Triennial Conference in Abuja.

In a congratulatory message by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, yesterday in Asaba, Okowa noted that Enabulele had distinguished himself in all previous posts he held, recalling the Edo indigene’s contribution to the enactment of the National Health Act in 2014 when holding sway as NMA boss.


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