Ifeanyi Okowa

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—DELTA State Government, yesterday, said it had proposed N459.2 billion indicative budget figure for 2023.

State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Pere Gbe, who disclosed this during the opening of the 2023 budget defence in Asaba, however, said the indicative figure was subject to change.

Gbe said the figure was based on the state government adoption of the micro-economic framework set by the Federal Government for the 2023 fiscal year.

Explaining that the N459.2 billion was an indicative global size figure, he said the figure was subject to approval by the State Executive Council before it could be forwarded to the state House of Assembly.

He said: “The budget circle starts with going to the Executive Council with what we call a global figure or indicative figure. If it is approved, we then return  to the ministries and do a re-evaluation.

“Inflation, exchange rate, GDP and economic happenings around the world are discussed and the budget is returned to the State Executive Council for approval and then taken to the state Assembly.”

He said the issue of upward review of some ongoing projects due to inflation, would be considered in the 2023 proposed budget.

The commissioner insisted that the state government would not embark on any new project unless it was specially approved by the state governor, adding that the 2023 budget would focus on the completion of ongoing projects and debt servicing.

He said: “For capital projects, we will not take any new project but will try to complete existing ones. Only things we can finance and that falls within the policy trust of the administration will be done.

“Due to inflation and exchange rates, prices of things have gone up and the contractors are requesting for upward review of contracts. Such request will be rolled over to the 2023 budget or we may go for a supplementary budget. Although I cannot give you an exact figure because we are still receiving memos from contractors, but we are projecting N150 billion for project reviews.”

According to him, there would be a drop in net financing from N46billion to N15 billion with the aim to reduce its commercial debt profile, saying: “We do not want to leave a huge debt profile for the new administration that will come in by May 29, 2023.”

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