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Bayelsa govt to focus on developmental projects

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — Bayelsa State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Sylva Opuala-Charles, said the state government resources this fiscal year would be directed at existing viable ongoing projects that are targeted at achieving the developmental priorities of the state.

Dr. Opuala-Charles disclosed this at the presentation of the state’s 2010 budget to the public in Yenagoa.
He explained that the government would pursue partnership with private sector in infrastructural development, especially in agriculture and the Central Business District.

The commissioner said the 2010 budget was developed in line with the guiding principles and imperatives required to stimulate the economy and generate employment opportunities.

He added that capital receipts would be largely driven by receipts from the government bond issuance programme of N50 billion, divestment and counterpart funding from various programmes in agriculture, education, infrastructure and water resources.

According to Opuala-Charles, “high priority will be accorded the completion of existing projects and those with high probability for private sector participation, such as the senatorial roads, cargo airport as well as the Tower Hotel and Conference Centre and the construction of Yenagoa Gateway Guardian Angel Project.”

He said “it was the thinking of government that the provision infrastructure is a key strategy for leapfrogging the economic development from the current state to an envisioned level of increased commercial activities and creation of job opportunities.”

Dr. Opuala-Charles noted that work on the three model international secondary schools in the senatorial districts will be completed, while the implementation of the state scholarship policy will be intensified and government would fulfill its obligation to the Universal Basic Education programme.

The implementation of these initiatives he stressed will result in the improvement in the quality of living and promote overall competitiveness of graduates of the state origin as well as motivate literacy noting that education will drive a reduction in the unemployment, crime and militant activities.

The commissioner further explained that the government will strengthen the capacity of institutions responsible for driving efficient public expenditure management, optimize state’s internally generated revenue and carry out periodic budget monitoring exercise to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of MDAs in the implementation of their appropriate budget.

Of the N187bn earmarked for the fiscal year he said personnel cost will gulp over N19.5bn, overhead cost N21.1bn while consolidated revenue charges attracts N78.8bn.

The commissioner puts the government capital expenditure profile at over N68bn emphasizing that the budget is predicated on key assumptions that are consistent with the parameters of the state 2010-2012 medium term expenditure framework.

On the breakdown for the revenue receipts within the period, the commissioner gave over N82bn as statutory allocation, value added tax over N5.4bn, internally generated recurrent revenue N4.4bn while capital receipt is put at over N86bn and other sources over N9bn only.


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