By Mercy Obojeghren
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday presented a N298.07 billion budget for the 2018 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly presided over by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori.
Okowa said that the estimate was made up of N147.5 billion recurrent expenditure and N150.5 billion capital expenditure.
He said that the 2018 budget which was christened: “Budget of Hope and Consolidation’’ was N3.62 billion more than that of 2017.
He said that the budget would be financed through statutory allocation, Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR), Value Added Tax (VAT) and other capital receipts.
The governor said that projected revenue from the statutory allocation was N178.1billion which was N29.1 billion higher than that of last year.
“The reforms we are undertaking in revenue collection, the blocking of leakages in all revenue sources as well as the anticipated return from oil are expected to impact positively on our IGR.
“It is therefore our projection to generate N71.3 billion as IGR in 2018 which is higher than that of 2017 approved estimate by N1.1billion,” he said.
Okowa said that the increase in the projected revenue was based on the optimism that the current peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta region would be sustained.
The governor said that with the relative peace being experienced in the region, some oil companies that left the state would return to the state.
On sectorial allocations, he said that the economic sector had highest amount, N37.95 allocated to it while N35.25 billion was allocated to the environmental sector.
Okowa said that in line with the growth aspiration of the state, N49.3 billion was earmarked for the sustenance of the ongoing road projects in the state.
He said his administration was determined to build a state anchored on inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.
The governor said that his administration had not wavered from its electioneering promises to the people of the state.
According to him, in line with those promises, many programmes and projects had been executed while some others were ongoing and few needed urgent attention.
In a vote of thanks, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Friday Osanebi, commended the governor for the timely presentation of the budget.
Osanebi said that the budget would be diligently scrutinised and assured him that the assembly would continue to partner with the executive.