Posted by News Express | 7 January 2014 | 3,878 times
Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, today presented a budget estimate of N485.5 billion for the 2014 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly for deliberation and passage into law.
Speaking during the presentation at the Old Auditorium of Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, Amaechi noted that the 2014 budget is 0.98 per cent lower than the 2013 budget of N490.32 billion.
He emphasised that the focus of the budget will be on completing ongoing projects in Health, Education, Roads, Transport, Power, Water, Agriculture and other critical infrastructure.
Amaechi also noted that capital and recurrent provisions are N247.573 billion and N237.950 billion respectively, while capital to recurrent ratio is 76.24 for the financial year 2014 as against 70.30 achieved as at September in this outgoing year.
According to him, “In the light of the 2014 budget, we will not accommodate new projects. This is in the light of current realities and out of a resolve to guarantee efficient service delivery. The economic realities arising from already dwindling resources since mid 2013 suggests a need for prudence and good sense this year. Government will continue to demonstrate good sense of management by making more money available to finance the completion of projects next year.
In the process of formulating this budget, we kept our tradition of consulting widely with all relevant stakeholders in the state. These consultations have helped us remain focused on our commitment to set goals and targets. Policy makers and civil servants from the MDAs with the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning worked together to produce this proposal. The entire approach was participatory.”
On the 2013 budget, Amaechi said further analysis shows that overall revenue performance was at 82.5 per cent for Internal Generated Revenue and FAAC put together amounts to N268.133 billion as at September 2013 against N325 billion estimated for the year.
On the 2013 budget expenditure profile as at third quarter, from January – September, the governor said that the N490.3 billion aggregate expenditure proposed for 2013 fiscal year was made up of a total recurrent expenditure of N177.924 billion and a capital expenditure of N312.396 billion on Agriculture, Works and Transport, Power and Energy, Education, Health, and the environmental sector.
On the 2014 budget thrusts, Government Amaechi told the lawmakers that the budget was formulated to achieve the agenda of his administration with the overall objective of prospering the state and promoting the wellbeing of the people.
He noted that the 2014 budget will be implemented on the policy thrust of his administration on the commitment to aggressive and sustainable Internal Revenue drive and moving towards financing recurrent spending from internally generated revenue and completion of all critical ongoing capital projects that are central to the vision of his administration.
The governor also pointed out the need to improve functionality and efficiency of the healthcare system in the state and further improve the quality of education, while building agriculture as main drive of our sub national economic growth and job creation, including improvement in physical infrastructure, roads, transport, water supply and power.
Continuing, Amaechi said: “We shall ensure maintenance of efficient, effective and well-motivated public service for enhanced productivity, sustenance of good governance through budget discipline, probity and accountability in the utilization of public fund, reforming and maintaining a robust public financial management structure, system and processes that brings about efficiency and effectiveness of use of resources, as well as improving the business environment.”
On the 2014 budget recurrent expenditure, the governor said that about N117.09 billion has been earmarked, which is 24.12 per cent of the total budget, stating that his administration expects to meet salary, overhead, debt service obligations, leaving N66.96 billion for salaries and N23.34 billion for overhead, while capital expenditure for 2014 is N368.43 billion against N312.396 billion in 2013, and which represents 75.88 per cent of the total budget.
On Economic, Social Service and Environmental sectors, Amaechi said Education and Healthcare services will remain cardinal programmes of his administration, while commitment to gender equality and youth development will continue to provide the required attention and support to strengthening existing gender based programmes.
He maintained that his administration will maintain a greener and cleaner environment across the state and assured that adequate provision in the 2014 budget for the running, proper functioning and maintenance of all government institution in the state will be met.
The governor thanked the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan-Amachree, and the other lawmakers for the support and encouragement and urged them to sustain the tempo in the interest of Rivers people.
While moving the motion for the temporary use of the old Auditorium of Government House for the Assembly members and presentation of the 2014 budget, Deputy Leader of the House, Robinson Ewoh, said the incident of July 9, 2013 which led to the vandalisation of equipment by aggrieved lawmakers, and the recent barricade of the Assembly Complex by the Police, the Assembly had made it necessity to use the old Auditorium of Government House as temporary legislative chambers to carry out their legislative functions pending when the Executive arm of Government would carry out a wholistic maintenance of the Assembly Complex. The motion was seconded by the lawmaker representing PHALGA Constituency II, Mrs. Irene Inimgba.
Adopting the motion, Speaker Dan-Amachree said that going by the insecurity in the state, especially, the bombing of two High Courts in Ahoada and Okehi in the Etche local government areas respectively, there was need to adopt the use of the old Auditorium of Government House for temporary legislative seating until the Assembly Complex has been fully renovated for use.
•Photo shows Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, presenting the 2014 Budget Appropriation to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan-Amachree . . . today in Port Harcourt.
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