The Delta State Appropriation bill for a law that will shape the income and expenditures of the state government for the 2019 fiscal year, has passed the second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
The second reading of the bill followed the conclusion of debates on its merits at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
Opening debate on the bill, the House Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere disclosed that the 2019 proposed budget of three hundred and sixty seven billion naira was presented to the House on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 last week by the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
He said the proposed budget christened “budget of sustainable growth” would further spread development to all parts of the state going by the state’s fiscal strategy paper.
The Majority Leader argued that the proposed budget took into cognizance some key sectors which were critical to the Socio economic development of the state.
He said the job creation programme of the Okowa administration which had attained global recognition was given a proper place in the 2019 appropriation bill as one point one billion naira was earmarked for the programme.
Hon. Owhefere noted that the STEP and YAGEP programmes under the job creation scheme had created employment for several Deltans with training in various skills which had added values to the state’s economic growth.
The Majority Leader stated that the Sports sub sector was allocated three point nine billion naira adding that Delta state had remained tops in sports in the country with many laurels to its credit while Agriculture got two point nine billion naira.
He said the agricultural programmes of the state government had further revolutionised food production hence two point nine billion naira was allocated to it while the Health sector got eight point six billion naira to further enhance quality healthcare delivery to Deltans, while Education got twenty six point eight billion naira and road Infrastructure, seventy nine point six billion naira .
Hon Owhefere argued that road was critical to development stressing that the Okowa administration had given road infrastructure it’s pride of place with more roads and drains to be constructed and rehabilitated as captured in the 2019 fiscal year .
The Majority Leader said the 2019 proposed budget clearly stated the expected sources for the funding of the budget such as internally generated revenue, Value Added Tax, other Capital receipts and statutory allocation from the federation accounts.
While stressing that the state government expects to get seventy three billion naira from internally generated revenue, two hundred and seventeen billion naira from the federation accounts, thirteen billion naira from VAT and sixty two point seven billion naira from other capital receipts to fund the 2019 proposed budget, Hon. Owhefere said Delta was on the right path of development.
Others who spoke include Honourables Reuben Izeze, Anthony Elekeokwuri and Daniel Mayuku said the proposed budget had spread of projects including the riverine areas which had been neglected.
They said ongoing projects in the state would be properly funded as allocation was made for their completion in the 2019 proposed budget.
The lawmakers argued that there was improvement in the internally generated revenue, development of mediums scale enterprises and tractor services to enhance further growth and development.
The motion was unanimously adopted when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori.
The Speaker referred the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriations with other standing committees as sub committees for further legislative action.
The Committee is expected to report back to the House on Tuesday, November 20, 2019.