Friday 22nd September, 2017
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GOLDEN JUBILEE BUDGET: Capital projects take 70% of Rivers N470bn 2017 Budget

GOLDEN JUBILEE BUDGET:   Capital projects take 70% of Rivers N470bn 2017 Budget

 It’s for rapid devt, says Gov Wike''
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has changed the face of budgeting in Nigeria by devot­ing 70% of the 2017 Appropria­tion Bill to capital projects.
This development is a major shift from the traditional budg­eting system in Nigeria where recurrent expenditure takes the lion’s share of states and nation­al budgets.
In the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N470 billion he present­ed to the State House of Assem­bly on Wednesday, Governor Wike allocated N329 billion, representing 70%, to capital ex­penditure while N141 billion is for recurrent expenditure.
Wike christened the appropriation bill “The Golden Jubilee Budget for Accelerated Development.”
He said: “Rivers State will be 50 years old next year, and to herald this historic land­mark, we have christened the 2017 Budget ‘the Golden Jubi­lee Budget for Accelerated De­velopment’.
“This budget is premised on the need to consolidate on our achievements for 2016 and re­store the state’s economy to a sustained growth path and ex­pand economic opportunities for all.
“This budget is underpinned by the following basic principles: First, enhancing the business environment, including tack­ling the security challenges for the private sector to grow, ex­pand our tax revenue base, and drive our economy through the value chain into becoming one of the largest economies in West Africa.
“Second, committing a greater proportion of available resources towards infrastructure development and public works to stimulate economic growth, create employment and reduce poverty”.
Gov. Wike affirmed that pri­ority would be given to security of life and property, infrastruc­ture development and mainte­nance, education, healthcare de­livery and empowerment.
A breakdown of the budget showed that the sum of N77.409 billion, representing almost 40 percent of the total capital ex­penditure, was allocated to the Ministry of Works to accelerate the development and expansion of infrastructure in the state.
The governor disclosed that N30 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Education for the provision of educational infra­structure and improving the quality of education in the state.
The health sector got N27 billion while Women and Youth Development was allocated N1 billion for empowerment pro­grammes. Another N12 billion is spread across the budget for women empowerment.
Wike said: “As we have often stated, the days of wasting scarce public resources on frivolities or unviable social and economic programmes are gone for good.
“We have demonstrated in the last 17 months that focus­ing on real priorities not only delivers progress but also ena­bles us to do more with less, and we will not deviate from this po­sition in 2017.
“Furthermore, we shall con­tinue to encourage, support and attract private-sector invest­ments, both local and foreign, in the diverse sectors of our econ­omy to create well-paying jobs, reduce poverty and improve the socio-economic conditions of our people”.
The governor said that the budget will be funded with rev­enue receipts from the Fed­eration Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), the 13% derivation proceeds, Value Added Tax (VAT), sundry re­imbursements, Internally-Gen­erated Revenue (IGR) and do­mestic credits.
He continued: “We are pro­jecting an aggregate sum of N220 billion from FAAC, dis­tributed as follows: N23 bil­lion from Statutory Allocation, N102 billion from 13% miner­al derivation fund, N16.6 bil­lion from VAT, N8 billion ex­change gain, N70 billion from Paris Club and other reimburse­ments, and N400 million from capital receipts.
“We are also projecting to generate an aggregate sum of N168.857 billion from IGR”.
Governor Wike said that in terms of sectoral alloca­tion, the projections showed that N14.160 billion is allocat­ed to the administrative sector, N115.245 billion to the eco­nomic sector, N125.630 bil­lion goes to the social sector while N3.050 billion is allocat­ed to the Law and Justice sec­tor, and N70.915 billion for spe­cial heads.
“The unprecedented in­crease in the capital expendi­ture, once again, underscores our commitment to direct sub­stantial resources to the critical growth sectors of our economy, including addressing infrastruc­ture gaps to accelerate economic growth, secure the state and im­prove the wellbeing of our peo­ple,” he stressed.
In his remarks, the Speak­er of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Dabo Adams, said the governor had proven that he is committed to the de­velopment of the state.
He commended Wike for ensuring that the budget cov­ered all sectors in the state.