Senator Diri Duruoye
By Samuel Oyadongha – Yenagoa
Two months after he assumed office, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Tuesday, presented an appropriation bill of N242.283 billion for the 2020 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for consideration.
Presenting his maiden budget estimate tagged, “Consolidation for Prosperity 2020,” Diri said the appropriation bill defines the structure for the economic activities to be undertaken in the fiscal year.
The appropriation bill earmarked the sum of N51.646 billion for personnel costs, N52.327 billion for overhead and N91.478 billion for consolidated revenue fund charges while N46.736 billion for capital spending.
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A breakdown of the Appropriation Bill showed that the Ministry of Works and Transport led with the sum of N8.6billion and closely followed by the Ministry of Agriculture with N8billion. Others such as Education got N2.1billion, health N1.75billion, Power and Water Resources, N800million, Housing and Urban Development, N640million, Sports, N580million.
While Trade, Industry, and Investment got the sum of N430.9million.
Speaking yesterday during the presentation, Governor Diri assured the people of the state that his administration will take proactive measure in the budget to cushion the effect of the economic downturn in the state by engaging vigorously the Federal Government, the Central Bank, and the multilateral agencies like the world bank to enable the government drives the budget successfully.
The governor emphasised that the policy thrust of his administration in the next four years remains consolidating on the gains already made by the previous government.
“This administration will embark on special programmes and projects aimed at wealth creation.
“Accordingly, the administration will encourage the people to participate in agriculture, small and medium scale enterprises and create opportunities toward attracting the private sector for industrialisation,” he said.
On the current economic outlook, he said “as a result of the ravaging effect of COVID-19 on the global economy, there is a need for prudent management of resources.
“The price of crude oil has nosedived drastically as against the Federal Government’s benchmark pegged at $55 per barrel thus affecting revenue from statutory allocations from the Federation Account.”
As part of efforts to reduce the cost of governance and enhance transparency, he said: “the human resources, financial reporting, budgeting, and procurement component of the state’s Integrated Financial Management Information System (SIFMIS) will be fully implemented this year.”
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The governor, who assured that his administration would continue with the implementation of the Federal Government approved minimum wage for workers, said the payment of gratuity arrears had already commenced for pensioners.
In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abraham Ingobere commended Governor Diri and his team for the steps taken by his administration to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the state.
He stressed the need for the state government to adopt more strategies to raise funds from alternative sources and seek ways to cushion the effects occasioned by the virus.
He assured that the assembly would expedite the passage of the appropriation bill.
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