From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Delta State government on Monday said an indicative budget of N459 billion has been approved for the 2023 fiscal year.
Commissioner for Economic Planning Dr Barry Gbe made this known in Asaba at the commencement of bilateral discussion with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the 2023 budget estimates.
Gbe said the State Executive Council had considered the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), and other budgetary instruments by the State Executive Council (SEC) before approving the indicative budget which would be subjected to further scrutiny in preparing the 2023 Appropriation Bill to be forwarded to the state House of Assembly for consideration and passage.
He listed the factors that influenced the indicative budget as Russia/Ukraine war, galloping inflation, and the volatile exchange rate.
Gbe said the Russia/Ukraine conflict has negatively affected cash flow to third-world countries including Nigeria, adding that the inflationary trend has also affected contractual obligations, leading to an upward review of the cost of ongoing projects.
“We are looking at a production benchmark of 1.6 million barrels per day in the context of ongoing vandalism, oil theft,
“We are looking at oil price sold at $70. The average for this year is $107 but if there is a drop, it would not be as drastic as bringing it to $57 which was the benchmark for 2022. So, we don’t want to be very ambitious.
“The exchange rate is N435 to $1 as against N410 to $1 in 2022. We will be doing 13.1 per cent as against the 13 per cent of 2022. With all of these put together, we arrived at N459 billion as the indicative size of the 2023 budget.
“I am calling it indicative because this is not the final to it. We will also go back to the State Executive Council where we will debate this again and then proceed to the House of Assembly for it to be looked at.
“Hence, the outcome might be more or less than this. The N459.2bn that we are going to distribute is an indicative figure and will be presented to the State Executive Council as a draft document,” he said.