BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Benue State House of Assembly, Tuesday passed the 2017 appropriation bill of N176.6billion into law.
The passage of the fiscal estimate was sequel to the consideration of the report of its standing committee on Appropriation in the Committee of Supply, chaired by the Speaker, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange.
Christened “Budget of Rural Transformation” the passed bill was N12.7billion higher than the N163.9billion originally presented to the Assembly last year by Governor Samuel Ortom.
According to the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the House, Mr. Adam Okloho, “the increase became necessary following the non-inclusion of some on going projects by the Ministry of Finance and additional requests by MDAs for inclusion of some critical projects which were omitted in the proposed estimates.”
A breakdown of the estimate showed that N66.7billion was allocated to recurrent expenditure while N109.9billion would go capital expenditure. The deficit financing of the budget stood at N36.1billion.
The House also directed the Finance Ministry to as a matter of urgency ensure releases to MDAs as at when due to enable them carry out the implementation of their Capital Expenditure votes.