By Andrew Ikehi in Asaba
The 2021 Delta State Appropriation Law Amendment Bill, Wednesday, scaled second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
This is coming following robust debates by the Lawmakers on the import of the supplementary budget which they noted, would enhance the existing peace, good governance and socio-economic development of the state.
Opening debates on the imports of the Supplementary Bill, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon Ferguson Onwo said the state government’s focus is to take care of priority areas in its policies and programs, stressing that it would help the current administration in its poise to finish strong.
Cutting relevant sections of the constitution of federal republic of Nigeria as regards the issue of budget and budgeting, the Majority Leader explained that the state Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is irrevocably committed to the principles of accountability and fiscal responsibility.
Hon. Onwo said the amount being realign is N66 Billion, adding that the reasons adduced by the Governor in his letter to the House on the need for the supplementary budget were germane.
The breakdown of the amount, according to the Lawmaker, include N15.7 Billion for recurrent expenditure and N50.7 for capital expenditure.
The Majority Leader explained that the 2021 budget size of N384Billion remains the same, pointing out that the budget was only being reordered to take care of areas of serious needs in the state.
He said paucity of funds as a result of drop in federal allocation to the state as well as high rates of inflation, global economic meltdown caused by the rampaging Covid 19 pandemic, among others has made it imperative for government to prioritize areas of expenditure.
In their contributions the Deputy Majority Leader, Oboro Preyor, Deputy Chief Whip, Solomon Ighrakpata, Chief Whip, Pat Ajudua, Hon Jude Ogbimi, Emeka Nwaobi, Anthony Elekeokwuri, Emomotimi Guwor, Peter Uviejitobor, Charles Emetulu and Ovuakpoye Evivie, commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his proactive approach to governance, saying that the supplementary budget would enhance development in the state.
The Lawmakers also expressed happiness that the expenditure lines and vote-of-charge set out for realignment were returns from some ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs and do not in any affect the 2021 budget size of the state government.
The Lawmakers emphasised that the merits of the supplementary budget would help to move Idle funds to areas of critical needs, stressing that most of the legacy projects of the state government would be completed by the new development.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori subsequently referred the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appreciation for further scrutiny and directed it to submit the report on Tuesday next week.