The Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has presented a budget estimates of N367, 095,083,451:00 billion for the 2019 fiscal year to the state’s House of Assembly.

Laying the Appropriation Bill christened ‘Budget of Sustainable Growth’ before the Legislature on Wednesday in Asaba, the state capital, Okowa disclosed that N157 billion, representing 42.79 percent of the budgetary provision would be committed to recurrent expenditures while N209.9 billion, or 57.21 percent of the proposed budget is proposed as capital expenditures.

The governor explained that road development and education accounted for the highest funding of the state government for the 2019 capital budget, adding that N79.6 billion is earmarked for road infrastructure and N26.8 billion for education with an additional N2.5 billion for the purpose of meeting counterpart funding in the education sector in 2019.

Okowa listed other areas of priority under economy sector as including, job creation N1.1 billion; Agriculture, N2.9 billion; Sports development, N3.9 billion; water resources, N1.6 billion; and health, N8.6 billion.

Speaking on how government will fund the budget, he explained that a total of N73.4 billion, or 20 percent of the budget proposal would be funded from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) while N217.8 billion, or 59.36 percent would come through statutory allocation including mineral revenue derivation from the federation account.

The governor identified other revenue sources for the budget as the Value Added Tax, (VAT) N13 billion and other capital receipts, N62.7 billion.

He told the lawmakers that N65.7 billion or 41.8 percent of the proposed recurrent expenditure would be spent as personnel costs while overhead costs would gulp N55.2 billion, adding that a total of N36.1 billion or 23 percent of the recurrent expenditure proposals is provided for consolidated revenue fund charges and social benefits.

On the performance of the 2018 budget of N308 billion, Okowa said that from January to June this year, a total of N66.5 billion was spent on recurrent items against the proportionate approved budget of N73.7 billion, representing 90.04 percent performance.

He disclosed a capital expenditure performance of 47.8 percent, saying that the state government spent N38.6 billion as against the proportionate budget figure of N80.8 billion and that the 2018 fiscal year witnessed a significant improvement in the state’s revenue receipts.

Okowa clarified: “We are poised to consolidate our successes and achievements and institutionalize the policies and practices that made them possible. “Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the economy in the last three and half years, I humbly note that our state has continued to forge ahead.

“Workers are paid regularly, thousands of previously unemployed youths are gainfully employed, and many of our people now enjoy better facilities in terms of roads, water, education and health.

“Agriculture has received a strong boost with many cluster farms springing up in different parts of the state, and even more importantly, our people remain committed to peace and harmonious living.

“Going forward, we shall build on this stable growth to position Delta State as a dynamic economy for the future. Indeed, a stronger Delta beckons”, the governor added.