Okowa Presents N270 Billion 2017 Budget that reflects economic challenges

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    Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, (right), presenting the 2017 Appropriation Bill to the State House of Assembly in Asaba.

    THUR, NOVEMBER 10 2016-Delta State governor has sent a N270 billion budget to the state House of Assembly for approval, a budget largely determined by the revenue challenges the state faces and the overall under-performance of Nigeria’s economy. The Theme of the budget is ‘Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Steady Progress’.

    N151.909bn or 56.07 % of the budget is earmarked for recurrent expenditure while N119.001 or 43.93% is proposed for capital expenditure. The 2017 budget proposal tops the 2016 budget by  N2.731bn or 1.02% which was N268.179 billion.

    According to the governor the optimistic forecast for 2017 is based on expected improvements in the fiscal and financial discipline of the Federal Government, and its engagement with elders/leaders of the Niger Delta Region to resolve the issue of pipeline bombing.

    “It is also assumed that the current reforms by the Federal Government, especially full disclosure of all revenues in line with the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS), will help increase revenues that will accrue to the Federation Account for sharing by the various tiers of Government,” he added.

    Where the money is coming from

    The State government is hoping to cover the financing of the budget with internally generated revenue which it hopes will bring in about N70.165 billion or about 29 % of the total budget. Other sources include statutory allocation including mineral revenue derivation expected to generate and add N148.939 billion, Value Added Tax is also expected to bring in about N10.515 billion while Other capital receipts of N41.290 billion will add up to about 15.24 % of the budget.

    Expectations from the internally generated revenue was cautious for 2017 down over N5 billion from the N75.398 billion from 2016. Capital receipts also is expected to be slower than N44.613 billion 2016 receipt.

    The Payee Tax receipts from oil companies and oil servicing companies have been the major source of IGR receipts for the State Government but as noted by the governor in his presentation, the activities of the Niger Delta militants have continued to impact negatively on the State’s  IGR, resulting in serious cash flow problems.

    He said the State government is currently reviewing the existing rates, fees, charges and levies in the State and is at the concluding stages of harmonizing the various taxes in the State in line with the Consolidated Revenue Law 2009 of Delta State (as amended). The law provides for the assessment, harmonization and consolidation of Internally Generated Revenue chargeable and collectable by the State Government and Local Government Councils in the State.

    “At the end of the day, we want to see a situation where only the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue issues a single “Demand Notice” on taxes and levies collectable by the State. This will go a long way to correct the wrong impression of multiplicity of taxes,” Okowa said.

    N28 billion of the budget is proposed to be spent on Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development. Commission, N24.387 billion on environmental matters, N299.442 on economic issues, while general administration will gulp N15.784 billion and another N20.388 will be spent on social issues.

    The total sum of N1.3billion is provided to sustain the job creation initiative in the 2017 fiscal year. Another N535million will be spent to boost agricultural activity in the state while road infrastructure will be allocated N35.188 billion in the fiscal year.

    The governor said that in the first year in office, more than 17,000 private sector jobs were created in the State.

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