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.