Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has presented a budget estimate of N275.8 billion as against N316. 9 billion for the previous fiscal year.
Presenting the budget christened, ‘Budget of Final Completion’ to the state House of Assembly for consideration and passage, the governor assured that concentrated efforts would be made to complete most of the on -going projects before his administration comes to an end in February 2020.
Governor Dickson said the 2019 budget proposal consists of statutory allocation of N233.5 billion representing 84% of the total budget and value added tax of N9.7 billion or 3.55%.
He noted that other revenue projections comprised of internally generated revenue of N16.7 billion representing 6.7%, and capital receipts of N15.6 billion or 5% of the total budget.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Governor Dickson as listing the proposed expenditure to include, Personnel cost of N47 billion (17.1%), overhead cost N49 billion or 17.79%, consolidated revenue fund charges N66 billion or 23.49%.
Governor Dickson who said the capital expenditure was allocated a lion share of N113.5 billion representing 41.16%, put the performance rate of the 2018 budget at 50% as government received N153 billion out of the budgeted N316 billion.
On sectoral allocation, the Governor allotted N31 billion to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, which is the highest followed by Education, N23 billion, while N6 billion was earmarked for Health.
Four billion naira each was allocated to the ministries of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Sports Development and Trade and Investment while Housing and Urban Development was allotted N3.5 billion.
Others include, Transport N2.5 billion, Information N2 billion, Water Resources and Science and Technology N1.5 billion each while Local Government Administration got N720 million.
Also, Ministry of Culture and Ijaw National Affairs got N700 million, Environment N505 million, Labour and Productivity as well as Women and Social Development were allocated N500 million each.
Other components of the 2019 budget include, Public Debt Servicing N35 billion, Deductions for federation account N20 billion, Transfer to 32 rural development authority’s N3.5 billion and N514 allotted to the Local Government Pensions Board.
Governor Dickson also said N7 billion had been earmarked to create a special fund to address the problem of gratuities of workers which he described as a national challenge.