N221 billion was presented as 2017 fiscal year budget to Bayelsa House of Assembly by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, for consideration and passage.
Presenting the appropriation bill christened, “Budget of Repositioning For Consolidation,” Governor Dickson said the estimate comprises a recurrent expenditure of 136.9 billion Naira while capital expenditure is 84.3 billion Naira.
According to the Governor, the budget would be funded, through statutory allocation estimated at 191 billion Naira, Value Added Tax 6.9 billion Naira, internally generated revenue of 15 billion Naira and capital receipts of 8.07 billion Naira.
On sectoral allocations, Governor Dickson announced the sum of 26.9 billion Naira for the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, which got the lion’s share, followed by Education with 13.5 billion Naira, Health 5.9 billion Naira while Agriculture and Natural Resources got 4.024 billion Naira.
Power Ministry was allocated 3.4 billion Naira, Budget and Economic Planning 3.3 billion Naira, Housing and Urban Development three billion Naira, Sports Development 2.5 billion Naira, while Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs was earmarked 2.3 billion Naira.
Governor Dickson said the executive had made provision in the budget to complete all the on-going projects, allocating two billion Naira to the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Transport 1.9 Naira, Finance 1.7 billion Naira, Trade, Industry and Investment 0.739 billion Naira, Information 0.631 billion Naira and Water Resources 0.500 billion Naira.
He noted that the budget was targeted at achieving increased Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), through taxation, re-organisation of the public service, commercialisation of the government-owned agencies and funding of tertiary institutions.
Commenting further on education, he assured residents that by next year the government would only provide monthly subventions to its tertiary institutions, including the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, to enable his administration address critical infrastructure deficits and accreditation challenges facing them.
The governor also said a special fund of five billion Naira would be injected for the promotion of entrepreneurship scheme, which is expected to be run through a counterpart funding arrangement.
He mentioned some of the projects earmarked for completion within the budget year to include, the state international airport, model secondary school, the 350 Melford Okilo Memorial Hospital, as well as the take off of the State Healthcare insurance scheme.