By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT—Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, presented 2019 Appropriation Bill of N480 billion to the state House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
Presenting the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the House, Wike said the strategic thrust for the 2019 budget was to promote economic growth and diversification, create jobs and reduce unemployment, take as many of Rivers people out of poverty and improve the standard of living of Rivers people.
The budget is premised on an oil price bench mark of $55 per barrel, which is $5 lower than that of the Federal Government.
The 2019 budget is christened: “Budget of Sustainable Growth and Development.”
The governor proposed N323,288,970,085.00 as capital expenditure, while Recurrent Expenditure will gulp N157,122,354,564.15.
He said: “The capital allocation of N323,288,970,085 for 2019 fiscal year represents 65 per cent of the total budget. This sum is, however, less than the figure for 2018 by N57,708,717,319.00 due to the reduction in the total size of the 2019 budget as against that of 2018.”
He said because the 2019 Appropriation Bill had set priorities for human capital development and infrastructural provision, a substantial part of the capital budget was allocated to the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Employment Generation and Empowerment, Health, Sports Development, Women Affairs, Works and Youth Development.
The governor proposed N72,911,765,640.21 for the construction and improvement of the state’s road network and transport infrastructure.
He said:“This sum, which constitutes about 24 per cent of the total capital budget, will be utilised to continue with the funding of the construction and completion of roads.”
The sectoral allocation of the capital budget is as follows: (Proposed) Administration sector; N17, 820,704,443.79 , economic sector: N99, 053,565,640.20; law and justice sector; N4,350,000,000; social sector; N127,292,200,000.00 and; special heads, N50,347,500,000.00; loan repayments, N24,425,000,000.00.
Wike said the following roads would be completed in 2019. They include: dualization of Kira– Sakpenwa–Bori–Kono road; Andoni -Opobo Unity road; the Oyigbo town–Ebete road; Tema–Ifoko road, Mbano camp road; Eleme -Obete road; Eteo- Sime–Bayayira-Nonwa-Kira road; Rumuji-Ibaa– obele-Isiokpo road; Akabuka-Omoku road; Flyover bridge at Garisson Junction and Abonnema ring road.
Others are: Abua-Degema – Emoh-Iyak-Ighom-Elok road; Ula Ehuda – Odioku – Anwunugboko – Ubeta – Ihuechi – Odiereke road; Rumuche road in Emouha Local Government Area; Flyover bridge at Rumuokwuta roundabout; Flyover bridge at University of Port Harcourt Junction
Ahoada – Odiemerenyi – Ihugbogo-odieke road; Isiodu roads , Ahoada – Ekpena road; Omoku-Aligwu-Kreigani-Oduoboburu road, Odieku internal roads; Bolo internal roads; Rumukpakani internal roads; and Umuogba– Umuokpurukpu – Umueke – Umunju Umuelechi – Eberi roundabout link road.
Governor Wike proposed N17,112,000,000.00 for the Bureau for Special Projects to fund the completion of land reclamation at Bakana in Degema Local Government Area, land reclamation at Abalama in Asari Toru Local Government Area; land reclamation and shore protection at Kula in Akuku Toru Local Government Area; the Secretariat buildings for Trade Union Congress, Nigeria Labour Congress, National Union of Rivers State Students and Rivers State Students Union Government; and the Fruit Garden market in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
The governor stated that the administration allocated the sum of N25, 300,000,000.00 to fund healthcare delivery in the state. He said key projects in the sector will be comp.