By Kelvin Ohoror
The Delta State Executive Council, today, approved a draft estimate of N378 billion as budget for 2021 which would be presented to the state House of Assembly next week for approval.
This was part of resolutions reached at the State Executive Council meeting presided over by the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
In a post Exco briefing, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu said that about N174 billion would be used for recurrent expenditure while N203 billion would be channelled into critical infrastructure, emphasising that the budget would be used mainly to advance the ‘Stronger Delta Vision’ of the state government.
“The first very important decision that was reached at today’s exco is the approval of the draft estimate of 2021 budget of the state. A budget of N372 billion was presented by the Economic Planning Ministry for consideration at Exco.
“After some adjustments here and there and the need for us to also tackle certain critical infrastructure in the state, the budget was taken up to N378 billion. So, that is what is going to be presented to the state House of Assembly
“Good enough, in that budget, we have about N174 billion and some fractions that will be deployed to recurrent expenditure and the remaining N203 billion and some fractions will be deployed to address critical infrastructure in the state and this infrastructure is aimed at strengthening the ‘Stronger Delta Agenda’ of the administration.
“That budget, by the grace of God, will be presented to the state House of Assembly by next week by His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa so that before the beginning of 2021, the budget would have been signed into law and becomes operational,” the Commissioner who was joined by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Olisa Ifeajika said.
Mr. Aniagwu disclosed that approval was also given for the concessioning of the Asaba International Airport for 30 years, adding that the airport would be developed to meet world class standard.
According to him, Exco also mandated the state Boundary Committee to take proactive steps towards addressing inter community and inter state boundary disputes with a view to promoting peace and economic harmony between Delta and Edo states.
Mr. Aniagwu added that Exco gave approval for the appointment of Ovie Whiskey as the Ovie of Ijerhe Kingdom in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state and Johnson Ologho as the Odion of Emevor in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state.
The Information Commissioner used the forum to debunk the rumour and reports that the total reconstruction of the pathological building and the upgrade of the clinical facilities of the Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara was being handled by a relative of the governor at a whooping amount of money.
He disclosed that the two projects were being handled by two reputable firms to enable the hospital be at par with the ones in developed societies.
On the flooding in parts of the state, Mr. Aniagwu reiterated that the state government was not going to set up holding camps, adding that plans were on to mitigate the impact of the flood on citizens through the Ministry of Environment.
Meanwhile, he expressed hope that the current economic climate cannot derail the ‘Stronger Delta Vision’ of Governor Okowa.