Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Monday signed the Delta State 2018 Appropriation Bill of N308 billion into law, with an assurance that his administration will ensure full implementation of the budget.
The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, accompanied by his Deputy, Friday Osmania, and other principal officers of the legislature presented the appropriation bill to the governor at an event which took place at the Government House, Asaba and was witnessed by members of the state executive council and the press.
Mr. Oborevwori also presented the Delta State Remunerations, Salaries, Allowances, Gratuities and Pensions of Certain Public Office Holders and Bodies Amendment Bill 2017 which was also, signed into law by the governor.
Mr. Okowa who lauded the synergy that exists between the three arms of government in the state, especially, between the executive and the legislature, described the budget as “realistic and realisable.”
“Realising the need to pass the budget right in time for us to utilise the dry season to work for our people, we presented the 2018 appropriation bill early enough and members of the Delta State House of Assembly worked very hard, even on the days they were supposed to be on vacation for us to have this bill which we are signing into law today; with this, Delta State is the second state in the country to sign its budget into law,” the governor said.
Throwing more light on the budget, Mr. Okowa asserted, “The budget is N308 billion and we are happy that the provision for the capital expenditure is more than what was provided for in the recurrent expenditure.”
“I urge Deltans to cooperate with us, partner with us because, with peace, we will fully implement the 2018 budget, ours is to make Deltans happy and we are confident that at the end of 2018, we will be having 100 per cent performance if not more than that,” the governor assured, disclosing that the crisis that rocked the Niger Delta region in 2015 which led to the destruction of oil facilities coupled with the recession that hit the country affected the execution of his agenda for Deltans despite the fact that the people were applauding the management of the state resources by his administration during the trying times.
He used the occasion to take a swipe on those alleging that his administration has not implemented its budget, observing that the Delta State House of Assembly is made of men of honour and integrity and that details of the budget can be received through the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning.
The governor reiterated that his administration cannot be derailed by propagandists, noting most youth of the state through the Job Creation Office have become wealth creators while more persons will be empowered in the 2018 fiscal year through the Job Creation Office.
Governor Okowa had on October 19 presented a 2018 budget proposal of N298 billion. But, the House of Assembly raised the budget by N10 billion.
On the Delta State Remunerations, Salaries, Allowances, Gratuities and Pensions of Certain Public Office Holders and Bodies Amendment law 2017, Mr. Okowa expressed hope that the law will correct the anomalies in salaries and allowances so that people will earn what they are entitled to.
Mr. Oborevwori had told the governor and members of the state executive council who witnessed the event that the budget passed through due process, through different committees of the Legislature before it was passed, more than one month after it was presented by the governor.
He assured Mr. Okowa that the legislature will always work for the interest of Deltans.