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Bayelsa State House of Assembly receives N310.7b Appropriation Bill for 2022 . Calls for improve internally generated revenue

    By Inegbagha Majesty

Bayelsa State House of Assembly in its plenary on Wednesday received the 2022 appropriation bill of N310,717,608,353.00 presented by the Governor of the state, Senator Douye Diri at the Sacred floor of the House tagged "Budget of Sustainable Growth."

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The Governor who arrived the State Assembly Complex by 10am along with his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the Secretary to the State Government, Rt Hon Konbowei Friday Benson among others was escorted to the sacred Floor of the House by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Michael Ogbere and other members.

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Presenting his Budget address, Governor Diri acknowledged with profound gratitude to the Most High God for His loving-kindness and tender mercies, which has continued to preserve the people of the state.

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He noted that the state was created on 1st of October this year marking her 25th anniversary of the creation, and salute the courage of the founding fathers; and to without, equivocation, reiterate that their vision for a prosperous Ijaw nation, that will be the Glory of All Lands, is on course under his stewardship.

A breakdown of the allocations of the budget to ministries shows that the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure had the highest allocation of N51 billion to drive the critical infrastructure programme of his administration while the Ministry of Agriculture was allotted N12 billion followed by education and health sectors, which got N4 billion each while the Ministry of Finance was allotted N3 billion.

Ministries of Power, Transport and Information, Strategy and Orientation got N1.5 billion each while that of Housing and Rural Development, Special Projects and Ijaw National Affairs were allotted N1 billion each.

The Ministry of Water Resources received N600 million while ministries of Trade and Investment, Budget and Economic Planning, Science and Technology, Culture and Tourism and Youths and Sports Development got N500 million each.

Giving a breakdown of the budget, Diri said capital expenditure would gulp N110.98 billion representing 35.72% of the budget while personnel cost was estimated at N67,413,549,335, representing 21.69% of the total projected expenditure.

Running cost was also estimated at N70,568,791,500, which is 22.71% of the total budget estimate.

Consolidated revenue fund charges, pension and gratuity, Group of 32 Rural Development Areas, federal deductions, debt repayment and other deduction were estimated at N61,755,267,518, which represent 19.88% of the total budget.

Senator Diri also highlighted the budget revenue estimates with an opening balance of N1.902 billion, which include statutory allocation of N43.034 billion, Value Added Tax 15.233 billion, 13% derivation N117.3 billion, excess crude N43.57 billion, internally generated revenue N20 billion among other items and a loan of N43.57 billion to make up a grand total of N310.7 billion.

The Bayelsa state Chief Executive said the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Strategy Paper was based on some key assumptions, which are crude oil production per day of 1.88 million barrels, oil price projections of 57 US dollars to a barrel and an exchange rate of N410.15 to one US dollar.

The governor said expected aids and grants from development partners at national and international levels was estimated at N24.7 billion which is 8% of the total budget estimate, noting that the government projected a deficit of N45.5 billion, which 14.4% of the total budget to be funded by loans.

He said: "Our projections for this year are slightly lower than that of the 2021 budget by N19 billion. The outgoing year's budget was N329 billion, indicating a reduction of about 3.54%. It is thus my conviction that this Budget of Sustainable Growth will steer us in the right direction by prudently allocating resources."

According to him, "some of the key priorities of the Budget of Sustainable Growth are building critical infrastructure, sustaining urban renewal and green environment, wealth creation and job opportunities, building human capital, diversifying the economy and improved security."

He said in the 2021 budget, some of the strategic infrastructure projects embarked upon by the administration include construction of the Sagbama- Ekeremor road, the Unity Bridge in Nembe and the Elebele Bridge in Ogbia.

Others are dualisation and redesigning of the Tombia roundabout, installation of all-in-one solar street light on the Sani Abacha, Melford Okilo and other major roads in Yenagoa metropolis as well as construction of the Yenagoa- Oporoma Road, AIT-Igbogene outer ring road, Amassoma- Igbedi road and the Glory Drive road.

In this regard, I wish to commend your efforts in approving expeditiously the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

It is my confidence that you will continue to partner with the Executive arm by ensuring that deliberations on this 2022 Budget estimates are completed in record time so that the Appropriation Law can effectively start from next year January.

In spite of the several difficulties that constrained the implementation of the current Year 2021 “Budget of Growth,” our determination to succeed has always been fervent.

Consequently, we were able to realise major achievements and implemented cardinal programmes and projects that formed the bedrock of the 2021 Budget.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, may I crave your indulgence to read out some of the key achievements in the ongoing 2021 Budget of Growth,” the Governor said.

He pointed out that there were revenue shortages from the Federal and other projected sources due to drop in oil prices that affected the projected revenue.

 “Notwithstanding this shortfall in our expected Revenue inflows and the rise of our internal expenditures, we gave approval to augment the payment of new minimum wage to the Local Government workforce, our Primary School Teachers and cleared the minimum wage arrears.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, our half year appraisal of the 2021 Budget performance in critical sectors of the economy shows a Government with the passion, determination and political will to develop our State and bring about a shared Prosperity to our people.

On a positive note, analysed objective indicators of our performance in critical sectors show that approvals, financial releases and milestones on projects surpassed our half year projections.

The 2021 Budget of Growth, Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, as you may be aware, was framed to give the State a positive outlook and drive it to a genuine path of Prosperity after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic,” he averred.

According to the state Chief Executive the education sector of the state is enjoying robust funding, infrastructure upgrade and improved policy implementation, adding that machineries have been put in place to establish vocational schools and technical skill training centres to aid the training of the youths and women in skill-sets that are of high demand to make them employable.

He averred that almost all the programmes in our state owned tertiary institutions have been fully accredited.

Also, he said in partnership with the Federal Government the administration has embarked on massive rehabilitation of school facilities in primary and post primary schools across all our local government areas.

He noted with pleasure that six new model schools have been approved and building is almost completed to meet the challenge of increasing school enrolment in the state.

The Governor discosed that the state collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria to cleared and allocated land as well as provided seedlings to 3,500 farmers in the eight local government areas of the state.

Speaking further, he said “On the 30th of June, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a European consortium, Africa Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries, to train 2,500 Bayelsans and generate 4,000 jobs as well as set up a boat building yard and fish processing plant of over 20 thousand metric tonnes capacity.

“It may interest you to know, Mr Speaker, that as of 30th June, a total sum of 36.01 Billion Naira representing 133.37% of the half Year allocation of 27 Billion Naira to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure has actually been released and expended on important infrastructural projects,”

These projects he said include Construction of Unity Bridge in Nembe, Construction of Elebele Bridge in Ogbia, Dualization and Re-designing of the Tombia Roundabout, Installation of all-in-one

Solar Street Lights on Sanni Abacha road, Melford Okilo road and other major roads within Yenagoa Metropolis, Construction of the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road, Construction of Yenagoa–Oporoma Road, Construction of AIT–Igbogene Outer Ring Road, Construction of Amassoma to Egbedi Road and Construction of Glory Drive amongst others.”

Under the same budget, he said the administration in recognition of the the media has embarked on the ongoing construction of the Bayelsa State Ultra-Modern Media Complex to house all its media outfits.

He added the administration has equally started the construction of the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme (BHIS) building to give the scheme a befitting edifice.

“Mr. Speaker, our communities are not left out in the developmental strides of our government as about 130% of the half Year budgetary provision to the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development has already been approved, released and expended to bring visible development and democratic dividends to our people at the grassroots.

Mr. Speaker, our Sports Men and Women made us proud as their performances justified the provisions for the 2021 Fiscal Year. Our State came third, for the first time, at the National Sports Festival. Our darling football teams, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens won the AITEO FA Cups, thereby creating a new record of the same State winning both the Male and Female category of the competition. Their outstanding performances are well appreciated,” he maintained.

We have consistently met our debt servicing obligations and we are also up to date on the payment of staff salaries, statutory transfers and running costs. As of 31st August, a total of Fifty-Two Billion, Five Hundred and Sixteen Million, Nine Hundred and Seven Thousand, Nine and Three Naira, Fifty-Seven Kobo (N52,516,907,903.57) had been released for Capital Expenditure.

While aggressively implementing this budget, we have kept faith with our transparency initiatives and sustained the operational efficiencies of Government Parastatals, working hand in hand with other arms of government to improve revenue generation and accountability.

We will not relent in taking feedbacks from our people through the People’s Citizen Budget Sessions in line with global best practices and ensure the formation of citizen-driven budgets that meet our collective aspirations.

Mr. Speaker, our Prosperity Government is also formulating a 30-year long-term development plan for the State. This plan will set out our short-term targets and benchmarks to dovetail into our medium and long-term goals.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, may I now proceed with a summary of the 2022 Appropriation Bill tagged “BUDGET OF SUSTAINABLE GROWTH.”

Key priorities of the budget of sustainable growth 2022, Mr Speaker, in formulating this budget, we undertook exhaustive consultations with our people.

We predicated these estimates consistent with parameters in the State’s 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Strategy Paper (SP), whose key assumptions are as follows:

Crude Oil production per day at 1.88 million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day), Oil price projections of 57 US Dollars to a barrel and Exchange rate of 410.15 Naira to One US Dollar,

The allocations to MDAs in this 2022 Budget were guided strictly by our vision of prosperity and desire for sustainable growth in line with the MTEF as approved by this House, which include: Building critical infrastructure, Sustained Urban Renewal and Green Environment, Wealth creation and job opportunities, building human capital, Strengthening the Agro-Business value chain Improved Security and Diversifying the economy.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, I am pleased therefore to present to this House and to the People of our great State this proposal of Three Hundred and Ten Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventeen Million, Six Hundred and Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Naira (N310,717,608,353.00) only,” the Governor stated.

On the projected revenue for the 2022 fiscal year he said that it will be funded by1.902 billion naira from Opening Balance, 43.034 billion naira, Statutory Allocation, VAT,16.233 billion naira, 13% Derivation,117.374 billion naira, Excess Crude, 43.575 billion naira, IGR, 20 billion naira,

SIFTAS, 8 billion naira, NG-CARES,4 billion naira, RAAMP,4 billion naira

, SDGs,5 billion naira, SUBEB, 3.7 billion naira and LOANS, 43.575 billion naira.

“Personnel Cost is estimated at Sixty-Seven Billion, Four Hundred and Thirteen Million, Five Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Naira (N67,413,549,335.00) only, representing 21.69% of the total projected expenditure.

Running Cost is estimated at Seventy Billion, Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety-One Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N70,568,791,500.00) only, representing 22.71% of the total budget estimate for 2022.

Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges, Pension and Gratuity, G32 Council Areas, Federal Deductions, Debt Repayment etc. is estimated at Sixty-One Billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five Million, Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighteen Naira (N61,755,267,518.00), which represents about 19.88% of the total budget.

Capital expenditure is One Hundred and Ten Billion, Nine Hundred and Eighty Million Naira (N110,980,000,000.00) only, representing 35.72% of the budget.

We expect the fiscal operations of the State to result in a deficit of 45.4 Billion Naira. This represents 14.4% of the total budgets, indicating a manageable size of revenue and it is projected to be funded by loans.”

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In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, urged the state government to do more in the area of internally generated revenue drive to shore up the finances of the state as it is solely dependent on revenues from the federation account and assured that the assembly would give a speedy passage to the appriopriation bill





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