The Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) has reacted to an online report that the Isoko Nation was allocated a mere 1% of the year 2018 budget of the state government, describing peddlers of the fake news as nothing but enemies of Isoko Nation.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon Tim Owhefere who doubles as the Chairman House committee on Information, said in a statement that of the One Hundred and Sixty One billion naira (N160,000,000,000) capital expenditure of the Delta State 2018 budget, the fiscal value of projects allocated to Isoko Nation runs into Four Billion naira (N4,000,000,000).
Hon Owhefere who represents Isoko North Constituency in the House said the amount does not include other projects earmarked but captured by a single head code, stressing that the sponsors of the online report were merely bringing their political differences and failures to bear on their judgement of the good works being done by Dr Ifeanyi Okowa’s led administration.
The lawmaker listed some of the projects and their value as captured by the 2018 budget in respect of Isoko nation to include, construction of Ozoro Modern Market, Three Hundred Million naira (N300,000,000), construction of community road in Iyede, One Hundred and Eighty million naira(N180,000,000), construction of Oteri-Iyede road, Eighty million naira (N80,000,000), completion of Owhelogbo-Abbi road, Three Hundred million (N300,000,000), construction of Oleh-Emede road, Two Hundred and Eighty million naira (N280,000,000), construction of Umeh road, Three Hundred million naira (N300,000,000) and construction of Idheze bypass, Four Hundred million naira (N400,000,000).
Others include construction of Otor-Owhe internal road, Two Hundred and Fifty million naira (N250,000,000), interlocking of old Uzere road, Enuto community, Emede, Fifty million naira (N50,000,000), Aradhe-Ellu road, Sixty million naira (N60,000,000), Emede township road, Five hundred million naira (N500,000,000), construction of Ikpide-Irri internal roads, Three hundred and Fifty million naira (N350,000,000), construction of Aviara Ring road, One hundred and Fifty million naira (N150,000,000), construction of Oleh township road, Fifty million naira (N50,000,000), Faculty of Engineering building, Oleh Campus, One hundred and Fifty million naira (N150,000,000), construction of Auditorium at Ozoro Polytechnic, Fifty million naira (N50,000,000) and construction of other selected roads in Isoko North, Four hundred Million naira (N400,000,000).
Owhefere stressed “a budget is never a note of finality as budgeting by the executive arm of government and subsequent approvals by the State House of Assembly is a continuous process. A good and workable budget therefore is usually built on certain perspectives namely Economic needs, population, Urban and Rural consideration amongst others”.
Continuing “The year 2018 budget of Delta State Government as passed by the State House of Assembly and subsequently signed into law created a capital expenditure of one hundred and sixty one billion, six hundred and fourteen million, five hundred and sixty eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven naira. Where it is practicable, this amount shared among the existing 25 local government areas add up to about six point four billion per local government”.
“However, bearing in mind that there are certain projects considered in the general interest of all Deltans, the above arithmetic cannot hold water. Projects like the Airport in Asaba, road dualization running from Asaba through Kwale/Isoko to Ughelli, the Teaching Hospital in Oghara among others are key projects running into billions of naira”, the lawmaker explained.
He said as the Majority Leader of the House, it falls within his office to peruse all government bills, including the state appropriation bill which is the budget before its passage, maintaining that it is in his position to advise those bandying the rumors to feel free to come to his office to verify their claims before going public with intent to mislead unsuspecting and innocent people of Isoko nation.
Owhefere emphasized “Isoko people have taken cognizance of the projects being executed in Isoko nation by the Okowa administration and will continue to support the government to succeed. Come 2019 we shall vote overwhelmingly for him again. A governor who came in and choose to upgrade Vocational Education in the State and rehabilitated three Technical College almost forgotten including our own Ofagbe Technical College, deserves all measure of commendation “.
He said the Isoko people can see through the veil of blackmail being orchestrated by enemies of the Isoko nation, stressing that the Isokos are too educated to be fooled by the fake news.