Delta Assembly Jerks Up 2020 Budget By N6.2b, Passes Appropriation Bill Into Law

The Delta State House of Assembly has jerked up the N389.19 billion 2020 budget estimate presented to it by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, leaving an increment of about N6.2billion naira.

The increment was contained in a report by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriations headed by Hon. Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, laid before the Committee of Supply on Wednesday, showing N395, 475, 393, 668 billion as against the initial N389 Billion presented by Governor Okowa.

BIGPEN Online reports that Governor Okowa, had in his budget proposal christened Budget of Sustained Development ‘’from a position of cautious optimism’’ due to certain prevailing circumstances in the country, put the recurrent expenditure at N171,549,384,315 and capital expenditure at N217,641,415,047.

Comparatively, the 2019 Budget sum of N390,378,671,178 comprised N157,096,029,253 for recurrent expenditure, and N233,282,641,925 for capital expenditure.

The 2020 budget figure represented a decrease of about N1.18 billion from the current 2019 budget by N1.18bn, which totalled N390,378,671,178.

The governor noted that the 2020 revenue and expenditure projections were based on a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), based on the national data of a $57 benchmark price for crude oil at production levels of 2.18 million barrels per day, 10.36 per cent annual inflation, 3.60 per cent projected real GDP growth as well as the exchange rate of N305 to the US dollar.

“This (figure) represents 44.08 per cent Recurrent Expenditure and 55.92 per cent Capital Expenditure, consistent with our agenda to spend more on projects and programmes that will impact directly on the socio-economic well-being of our people,” the governor had said.

But with the addition by the assembly, the capital expenditure now stands at N223.320 Billion while the recurrent expenditure is N172, 154 Billion.

The assembly says the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2020 followed the due process of the House, adding that they critically scrutinised the various sectors and the amount proposed by the Committee and made necessary amendments

After the appropriation committee laid down its report, the Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Kome Owhefere, immediately moved a motion, seconded by Hon. Austin Chikezie from Aniocha South, for the house to dissolved into the House Committee on Supply for the consideration of the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriations.

At the Committee of Supply, chaired by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, the house considered the report in line with the proposals made by the Finance and Appropriations Committee Chaired by Honourable Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu.

Having extensively considered the report of the Finance and Appropriations Committee, the Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere moved a motion for the chairman Committee on Supply to resume his seat as Mr Speaker to report progress and was seconded by Hon. Felix Anirah from Sapele.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori said the House properly scrutinised the recurrent and capital expenditures which increased the initial proposed budget of three 389 billion naira presented to the House by the governor to N395, 475 billion.

Thereafter the Majority Leader, Hon Tim Owhefere moved a motion for the House to take the third reading and pass the bill into Law, and was seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon Innocent Anidi from Ethiop East, before being adopted.

The Speaker thanked members for the passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill, saying that the timely presentation and passage of the bill would enable government commence timely implementation.

In His words; “Dear colleagues, at the Committee of Supply, the year 2020 Appropriation Bill was meticulously scrutinized by members. Relevant contributions and amendments were proposed by Members that were very helpful in the consideration of the Bill. I thank you for a successful Committee of Supply.

According to him, Dear colleagues, I sincerely thank all of you for a job well done. From the First reading of this Bill to its final Passage, your wealth of knowledge and experience was brought to bear and I thank you. By the timely passage of this Bill, Delta State is on a good start to a new year. This bill will greatly impact the lives of Deltans and will move Delta State forward in terms of infrastructure and human capital development.”

He added that; “Permit me to also thank His Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, for his well timed presentation of the year 2020 Appropriation Bill in conformation with international best practice.”

Also at plenary, the House also received the report of the Joint House Committee on Rules, Business, Legal and Judicial Matters and the Special Committee handling the controversial Bill on “The Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor’s Pension Rights and Other Benefits Amendment”.

The report was presented to the House by the Chairman House Committee on Rules, Business, Legal and Judicial Matters, Hon Charles Oniyere from Ughelli North 1.

The House received the report following a motion by the Majority Leader, Hon Tim Owhefere seconded by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon Solomon Ighrakpata.

However the member representing Ughelli South Constituency, Hon Reuben Izeze standing on order 12 rule 81 sought the House to present a minority report which the Speaker insisted that he must come via a motion.

After moving the motion there was no seconder hence the motion did not sail through .