By Mercy Obojeghren
The Delta State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the state 2019 Appropriation Bill of N390.3 billion.
The bill which was passed during the plenary of the assembly in Asaba showed an increase of N23.3 billion to the initial budget proposal earlier presented to the assembly by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa on Oct. 17.
The passage of the appropriation bill followed a report presented by the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mrs Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu.
Presenting the report, Ibori-Suenu said that Okowa had earlier presented the proposed budget of N367 billion to the assembly with N209 billion for capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure of N157 billion.
She said that after careful evaluation of the submissions of the various sub-committees of the assembly and the budget defence of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the appropriation committee had to return a budget size of N390.3 billion.
Ibori-Suenu said that with the increase of the budget size, the capital expenditure now stood at N233.2 billion while the recurrent expenditure remained at N157 billion.
She said that the committee observed that the appropriation bill took into consideration the new account code in compliance with the current International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
It also included the necessary macro-economic framework with national inflation, oil production benchmark, international exchange rate and the medium term expenditure framework.
“The 2019 Appropriation Bill was also carefully planned to improve inter and intra sector resources allocation by prioritising expenditures and dictating resources only to the most important activities with a view to ensuring overall fiscal discipline,’’ he said.
Ibori-Suenu said that the bill would address critical areas to ensure the growth that was common to all sectors.
The Majority Leader of the assembly, Mr Tim Owhefere moved a motion for the House to receive the report which was unanimously adopted by the assembly and seconded by the member representing Udu constituency, Mr Peter Uviejetobor.
Owhefere also moved a motion for the Assembly to suspend “Order 12, 77, 78, 79 and 90’’ to enable the assembly take the third reading and pass the bill.
The Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, thanked the lawmakers for their commitment to the passage of the Appropriation Bill, describing it as a `milestone’.