11 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Thursday presented a total budgetary outlay of N510 billion for the 2018 financial year.
The Governor while presenting the budget proposal at the State House of Assembly for consideration and subsequent approval, the governor said the proposed 2018 Budget has N379billion as capital expenditure, while N132 billion will be used for recurrent expenditure.
Christened the budget of Consolidation, advancement, and empowerment, Wike said the budget will consolidate and advance the state’s investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and security, as well as in growing the economy to create jobs and empower the people.
According to him, “This gives a capital to recurrent expenditure ratio of 75percent to 25percent respectively.The substantial increase in capital over recurrent expenditure, once again, underscores our commitment to direct substantial resources to the critical growth sectors of our economy.
“The 2018 budget will be funded from Statutory allocation N40billion, 13% oil minerals derivation fund: N120billion, VAT N6billion Internally Generated Revenue N132billion, Reimbursements N70billion, Domestic/International Credits N70billion and Capital receipts N20billion.
The governor stated that a total portfolio of N90 billion and N35 billion have been allocated to the Ministry of Works and the Special Projects Bureau respectively to fund the delivery of capital projects in the 2018 budget.
He said that the administration is committed to the completion of key road projects in different parts of the state, including dualization of roads in Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Khana, Ikwerre and internal road networks in Andoni, Opobo, Akuku-Toru, Okrika amongst others
Other key projects also earmarked for delivery in 2018 are Bonny – Bile Waterside jetty; Mile one market, phase 2; Reclamation works in Abalama in Asari Toru Local Government Area, Real Madrid Football Academy; Luxury living quarters for Judicial Officers from the State; and the cinema and restaurant project in the Pleasure Park among other projects.
The Governor said, “We are devoting N50 billion to fund the education sector for the 2018 fiscal year. This sum is N20 billion more than that of 2017. In addition, we have proposed a capital grant of N500 million to each of our tertiary institutions to bolster infrastructural development and improve quality.
“Apart from proposing the sum of N2 billion for the provision of scholarships for critical areas of the State’s manpower needs, we have also proposed to set aside another N2 billion to partner, encourage and support the development of private universities and improve access to tertiary education for Rivers indigenes in the State.”
Governor Wike stated that his administration is providing the sum of N30 billion in 2018 to enhance all aspects of the healthcare delivery system in the State, including the provision of health infrastructure for health institutions, recruitment, and training of medical doctors and other healthcare personnel.
On Security, Governor Wike said that the State Government will continue to invest heavily in the security of lives and property through the funding of security agencies and provision of logistics for them to effectively secure the state.
In order to tackle the high level of youth unemployment and poverty, the governor said that empowerment has been prioritised in 2018. Governor Wike proposed N6 billion for employment generation, N7 billion for women development and N2 billion to support youth development.
He added that the state government will inject N1 billion into the State’s Microfinance Agency to provide loans and support the development of small-scale enterprises in the State.
“For us, our State deserves meaningful development and we must, as a Government, continue to do our best to deliver to our people. That is why we are offering a realistic budget for 2018, which takes a balanced and pragmatic approach towards solving the developmental challenges of our State and take it to the next level of transformation,” the Governor.