- …. Pledges to complete airport, other ongoing projects
By Abubakar Mashiru
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Wednesday presented the 2017 fiscal year budget estimate of N221 billion to the State House of Assembly for consideration and passage, as against the N191.5 billion of the previous year.
Presenting the appropriation bill christened, “Budget of Repositioning for Consolidation,” Governor Dickson said, the estimate comprises a recurrent expenditure of N136.9 billion, while capital expenditure is N84.3 billion.
According to the Governor, the budget is expected to be funded, through statutory allocation estimated at N191 billion, Value Added Tax N6.9 billion, internally generated revenue of N15 billion and capital receipts of N8.07 billion.
On sectorial allocations, Governor Dickson announced the sum of N26.9 billion for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, which got the lion share, followed by Education with N13.5 billion, Health N5.9 billion, while Agriculture and Natural Resources got N4.024 billion.
Power Ministry was allocated N3.4 billion, Budget and Economic Planning N3.3 billion, Housing and Urban Development N3 billion, Sports Development N2.5 billion, while Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs was earmarked N2.3 billion.
Dickson, who said the budget was intended to complete all the on-going projects, allocated N2 billion to the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Transport N1.9, Finance N1.7 billion, Trade, Industry and Investment N0.739 billion, Information N0.631 billion and Water Resources N0.500 billion.
He noted that, the budget was targeted at achieving increased IGR, through taxation, re-organization of the public service, commercialization of the government-owned agencies and funding of tertiary institutions.
Commenting further on education, he assured that, by next year the government would only provide monthly subventions to its tertiary institutions, including the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, to enable his administration address critical infrastructure deficits and accreditation challenges facing them.
The Governor also said a special fund of N5 billion would be injected for the promotion of entrepreneurship scheme, which is expected to be run through a counterpart funding arrangement.
He mentioned some of the projects earmarked for completion within the budget year to include, the state international airport, model secondary school, the 350 Melford Okilo Memorial Hospital, as well as the take-off of the State Healthcare Insurance Scheme.