Governor Nyesom Wike of Cross River State.

By Davies Iheamnachor

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has presented a N448,660,773,476 budget for 2021 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

The 2021 budget christened, “Budget of Recovery and Consolidation,” has N305, 894, 284.061 as Capital Expenditure, while N142,776,489,415 is earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure.

The governor, while presenting the budget before the Assembly in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the N448,660,773,476 budget for 2021 fiscal year represents more than 20 per cent increase over the 2020 Revised Budget of N300 billion.

Wike said the capital expenditure, representing 68.18 per cent of the total budget size, constituted as follows: “Administrative sector N 87,790,330,011.37; Economic sector, N105,077,364,248.81; Law and Justice, N1,742,996,000.00; Social sector, N132, 656,033,322.35; and Deductions/Loan repayments, N38,000,000,000.00.”

He noted that N82,957,295,248.81 has been provided for infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and completion of flyover projects at Okoro-Nu-Odo, Rumuola, Rumuogba, and Port Harcourt GRA junction.

He said: “We will also deliver the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo unity road, the Eastern bypass dualisation, 6th and 7th flyover projects and the Wakama road as well as all other ongoing rural roads in our communities and local government areas across the state.”

The governor stated that over N6 billion has been provided in the 2021 budget to stimulate economic growth through investments in commerce, culture and tourism, mineral resource development as well as address environmental challenges to improve the quality of life of all residents.

Similarly, he said N13,861,407,451.97 has been provided to fund various social and economic investment schemes to support the development of small and medium scale businesses as part of efforts to create jobs and reduce poverty.

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The governor noted that economic challenges of COVD-19 pandemic clearly exposed the state’s vulnerability to food insecurity.

Hence, N16,107,080,000.00 will be spent on targeted investments in the agriculture value chain in a bid to create employment and enhance collective food security of the state.”

He said the Recurrent Expenditure of N142,776,489,415 represents 31.82 per cent of the 2021 budget. Of this sum, he said N76,198,906,179 is for personnel costs; N18,863,016,430 is for overhead and N47,704,566,804 will be for grants and transfers to the consolidated revenue charges.

Wike said  “the budget will be funded from Statutory Allocation, 13 per cent Oil Mineral Fund, internally generated revenue, Value Added Tax, refunds for federal projects and excess crude oil deductions, domestic and foreign credit as well as grants from our development partners.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the assembly, Ikuinyi Ibani,  assured the governor that the lawmakers would diligently consider and pass the budget to facilitate the continued development of the state.


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