…Says Rivers the only state yet to slash officeholders salaries
By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike on Monday signed into law the revised 2020 Rivers state Appropriation Bill with total originally budgeted N530,813,357,619.00Billion slashed by 48% to N300,370,071,183.33Billion.
Wike signed the budget at the Government House, Port Harcourt where Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, presented him the revised Appropriation Bill as passed by the House.
The Governor said, “It is most unfortunate that everybody is living a different life now because of Covid-19 which calls for us to face the economic reality. The pandemic has affected economic activities and revenues of government, and it became necessary to review our budget.
“By the revised budget, so many things have to change. We have cut down capital and recurrent expenditure to face reality. We are the only State that has not cut down salaries of political appointees and elected officers.
“Virtually all the States have cut down 20 to 30 per cent of salaries of political appointees. Having cut down recurrent expenditures, the overhead will no longer be the same.”
He assured the lawmakers, “We are working with Julius Berger to reconstruct the Assembly Quarters. We want something that will stand the test of time. A good living environment and quality houses will enhance your input and services to our State.”
Majority Leader of the House, Amaewhule said, “The House passed this Bill to provide for a Law to revise the Rivers State Appropriation Law No. 12 of 2019 to make provision for services of Rivers State for the year ending 31st December 2020.
“Against the sum of N530,813,357,619.00Billion the House approved in 2019, as a result of prevailing economic circumstances of the country, the House now approved a total of N171,33,409,454.55Billion for capital expenditure.
“For recurrent expenditure, we now have N129,336,662,028.77Billion bringing a total of N300,370,071,183.33 Billion.”