By Codratus Godson
The Rivers State House of Assembly has approved the spending request of N530.81Bn sent by Gov Nyesom Wike for the year 2020. The Rivers State House of Assembly has passed the 2020 Budget of N530.813Bn for the sustained development of the state.
The House of Assembly passed the 2020 Budget on Friday after members debated on the highpoints of the budget at their plenary.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Ibani, posed the question for the passage of the budget which was unanimously approved by members of the House who were present
He said the passage of the 2020 Rivers State Budget will ensure the sustained development of the state from January to December, 2020. “The House has approved the 2020 Budget of Rivers State. The clerk should liaise with the legal department to get a clean copy for presentation to the Rivers State Governor for his assent”, Ibani said.
He said that the Rivers State House of Assembly worked on the budget to create the platform for immediate implementation.
He said: “In undertaking this sacrifice, we want to ensure that our people from first January have access to the dividends of democracy and the Government will hit the ground running.”
Gov Wike presented the 2020 Budget Proposal to the Rivers State House of Assembly on 17th December, 2019. The Budget has capital expenditure of about 70 percent to sustain the roll out of projects.
Governor Wike had said: “The capital expenditure for 2020 is estimated to be N374.15Bn which constitutes nearly 70 per cent of the total budget. The summary of sectoral allocations of the capital expenditure is as follows: Administrative sector: 15Bn; Economic sector N136Bn; Law and Justice N2.4Bn; Social sector N138.5Bn; Special Head: N57Bn; and Loan repayments N24Bn.
“The substantial increase in capital over recurrent expenditure, once again reflects and underscores our commitment to direct more resources to the growth and productive sectors of our economy.”
Governor Wike stated that the sum of N93.9Bn has been provided for the Ministry of Works to continue to fund the strategic road development programme for 2020. He said that several roads are under construction, but that the State Government is committed to delivering some key roads by the end of 2020.
The governor gave the list of roads that would benefit from the huge allocation to works, adding that the State Government has allocated N26.08Bn for Bureau for Special Projects to fund the completion of key ongoing projects. The governor proposed the sum of N49.471Bn to fund the education sector for 2020.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Ehie Edison, said the budget will enhance the transformation of Rivers State, as key projects have been outlined for the development of the State.
He said that the 2020 budget captures all sectors of the state’s economy. He said that with the 2020 budget, Rivers State will remain on the path of development.
Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Martins Amaehwule, said that the highpoint of the 2020 budget is the inclusion of funds for the new minimum wage.
Deputy Majority Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Major Jack, said that the 2020 Budget has been designed to ensure that all parts of Rivers State continue to benefit from the pro-people leadership of Governor Wike. He said that the State Lawmakers will continue to support the Wike Administration.
He said: “This sum represents 20% of the total budget and is the highest ever budgetary allocation to education, reflecting the level of our commitment to investing in the future of our children.
“In 2020, we will continue to ensure the systematic rehabilitation, upgrade and transformation of our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and build new ones where the population demands to deliver a more conducive learning environment across schools in RiversState. For basic education, we will promptly access the contributory grant from the Federal Government and deploy same to improve access, standards and quality. We will also continue to improve access to ICT infrastructure, employ more teachers to further reduce the teacher/learners’ ratio, especially in English Language, Mathematics, Science and technology and ensure the training and retraining of teachers to deliver measurable results and outstanding outcomes in our primary and secondary schools.”
The Highpoint of the recurrent expenditure is the allocation of funds for the new minimum wage and the recruitment of new employees. “The sum of N70.2Bn is earmarked for salaries and wages; N8Bn for the new minimum wage, while N18.4Bn is for overheads.