By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba – Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday presented a budget estimate of N367.09 billion for the 2019 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly for approval.
Presenting the budget christened, “Budget of Sustainable Growth,” Okowa said it was made up of N157.09 billion and N209.99 billion Recurrent and Capital Expenditures respectively.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the proposed budget is N58.20 billion higher than the 2018 budget of N308.88.
According to the governor, the 2019 recurrent expenditure is higher than that of 2018 by N9.823 billion
“The proposed capital estimate for 2019 is N209 billion is N48.3 billion or 29.9 per cent higher than that of 2018 capital budget of N161.6 billion,” he stated.
He said that in order to achieve the proposed target, government would intensify enforcement of appropriate tax legislation to increase the tax base to N73.4 billion annually.
Okowa said that the budget would be funded through an expected statutory allocation of N217.89 billion, a Value Added Tax, (VAT) of N13.05 billion and other capital receipts of N62.73 billion.
The governor highlighted other sources of funding for the proposed budget to include Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N73.4 billion, representing 20.77 per cent of the total projected revenue.
A breakdown of the budget showed that N79.6 billion was allocated for roads, N2.9 billion for agriculture, N3.9 billion for sports development and N1.1 billion for jobs creation.
Water resources got N1.6 billion with health and education getting N8.6 billion and N26.8 billion respectively.
“We have christened it a budget of sustainable growth, because the year 2018 witnessed a significant improvement in our revenue receipt; it is our hope that this trend is sustained in 2019.
“Our expenditure profile from January to June, 2018, showed that N66.5 billion was spent on recurrent items as against a proportionate approved budget of N73.7 billion, representing a budget performance of 94.4 per cent.
“Also, N161.6 billion was budgeted for capital expenditure in the same period, with N38.6 billion spent as against N80.8 billion, representing a performance of 47.8 per cent,” he said.
The governor said though capital expenditure performance was not a true reflection of performance, better performance was being expected in the third and the fourth quarters of 2018.
“The first three budgets of this administration were largely centered on charting five main pathways critical to actualising our reform agenda of job and wealth creation.
“The proposed 2019 budget will consolidate, expand and deepen the process as we pursue our transformation goal of building a strong diversified and inclusive economy,” he said.
Receiving the budget proposal, the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori, lauded its timely presentation.
Oborevwori assured the people of the state that the legislature would do justice to the proposal and give it accelerated passage. (NAN)