Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has presented a budget proposal of N530,813,357,619.00 for the 2020 fiscal year to the Rivers State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.
The 2020 budget was christened as, “Budget of Reassurance, profound impact for inclusive growth and shared prosperity.”
Recall that the Rivers state government had in 2019 budgeted N480billion for recurrent and capital expenditure.
Presenting the 2020 budget proposal to the Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday, Wike stated that the budget has total recurrent expenditure of N156,659,436569.00, while capital expenditure is N374,153,920,743.00.
The governor said, “The capital expenditure for 2020 is estimated to be N374,153,920,743.00, which constitutes nearly 70 per cent of the total budget. The summary of sectoral allocations of the capital expenditure are as follows:
“Administrative sector -N15, 061, 008, 000 .00; Economic sector – N136, 444, 523, 766.60; Law and Justice – N2, 400, 000, 000.00; Social sector -N138, 558, 553, 322 .35; Special Head – N57, 367,124,462.0 and Loan repayments – N24,322,731,192.00
“The substantial increase in capital over recurrent expenditure, once again reflects and underscores our commitment to direct more resources to the growth and productive sectors of our economy.
“This administration is poised to fulfill every promise it made to our people. Consequently, various expenditure portfolios have been allocated to all the relevant MDAs to fund capital expenditures and deliver physical and socio-economic infrastructure and development for our people.”
The highpoint of the recurrent expenditure is the allocation of funds for the new minimum wage and the recruitment of new employees.
“The sum of N70,227,748,472.32 is earmarked for salaries and wages; N8,000,000,000.00 for the new minimum wage, while N18,429,375,634.45 is for overheads.
“Also, N5,000,000,000.00 is set aside for new recruitments, N3,000,000,000.00 as counterpart fund for pensions, N900,000,000.00 for death benefits and N33,176,728,931.33 as monthly pensions and gratuities. Government has also provided over N400,000,000.00 as counterpart contributions for donor programmes.”
He stated that the sum of N93, 968, 823, 766.60 has been provided for the Ministry of Works to continue to fund the strategic road development programme for 2020.
Wike said several roads are under construction, but the state government is committed to delivering some key roads by the end of 2020.
The governor listed the roads to include: Kira–Sakpenwa–Bori–Kono road linking Gokana, Tai, and Khana local government areas; Andoni – Opobo Unity road linking Opobo/Nkoro and Andoni local government areas and Abonnema Ring Road in Akuku Toru local government area.
Others include; Isiokpo internal roads in Ikwerre local government area; Rumuekini–Aluu road linking Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre local government areas; Rumuepirikom internal roads in Obio/Akpor local government area and Rumuakunde and Isiodu roads in Emohua local government area, amongst others.
Wike stated that the following schools would be upgraded in 2020, including; Enitonia High School, Port Harcourt in Port Harcourt City local government area;
Government Secondary School, Ogu in Ogu/Bolo local government area and Community Secondary School, Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor local government area, amongst others.
In his remarks, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi Ibani assured the Rivers State Governor and Rivers people that the Assembly will diligently consider and pass the budget to facilitate the continued development of the state.
He said the budget is critical to the development process, and commended Governor Wike for his commitment to the development of Rivers State and for prioritising capital expenditure.