By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT-HARCOURT â€” Rivers State government, yesterday, presented a budget of N429 billion to the State House of Assembly for approval for 2010.
Making the presentation on the floor of the House, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said the amount would form the total expenditure of the government in the coming year.
Describing it as a budget of consolidation, the governor said the amount was slightly below the N432.28 billion approved for the outgoing year.
Amaechi, who noted that details of the budget was already before the House of Assembly, said the budget would be funded from federal allocation (statutory allocation, 13%, VAT, etc) to the tune ofÂ N275.50 billion; internally generated revenue, IGR,Â N93.50 billion and Rivers State government savings in 2009, N60 billion, thus totaling the N429 .0 billion.
According to him, â€œThis shows that out of the total estimated revenue of N369 billion, Federation Account will contribute 74.66% and internally generated revenue, IGR, 25.34%.
â€œThese figures are comparable to that of last year. This position is predicated on our assumption of $50 per barrel of crude oil and on the need to operate a realistic balanced budget.
â€œThe total expenditure for the year 2010, therefore, is estimated at N429 billion, which is N3.28 billion below that of 2009.
â€œOf this amount, N90 billion, representing 21%, is proposed for recurrent spending and N339 billion, which is 79% of the budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure.
â€œAs expected, capital expenditure in the critical sectors amounted to N222 billion broken down as follows: education, N70 billion, 16%; works, N70 billion, 16%; power, N23 billion, 5.36%; sports, N22 billion, 5.13%; health, N18 billion, 4.20%; water, N14 billion, 3.26%; housing, N3 billionÂ Â 0.70%; agriculture, N2 billion, 0.50%. Total,Â N222 billion or 51.15%.
â€œWages and salaries for fiscal year 2010 are estimated at N65.9 billion, equivalent to 73.2% of the recurrent budget and 15.4% of total expenditure for the year 2010, while overhead cost is projected at N24.01 billion.â€
He said the state would encourage growth of the private sector and assured that his administration would vigorously pursue the tax reform regime.
Speaker of the House, Mr. Tonye Harry, said the budget would be given speedy attention, while lauding the achievement of the administration in the area of education, health, amongst others.