2019 BUDGET ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR, DR IFEANYI OKOWA, THE GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE, TO THE DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2018.

Mr Speaker

Honourable Members

It is my pleasure to present to this honourable House the fourth budget in this Government’s first four-year mandate. The first three budgets of this administration were largely centred on charting five main pathways critical to actualizing our reforms agenda of job/wealth creation, fiscal stability, and sustained economic growth. The proposed 2019 budget will consolidate, expand and deepen the process as we pursue our transformative goal of building a strong, diversified and inclusive economy.

2. 2019 is a peculiar year because of the general elections at both the federal and state levels. That poses a challenge of its own, quite different from the relative predictability of the outgoing year. Traditionally, electioneering periods tend to exert huge toll on governance while impacting negatively on fiscal stability. The challenge for us as an administration is to maintain our focus, ensure strong, stable macroeconomic fundamentals and sound public finances.

3. STRATEGIC IMPERATIVES FOR THE 2019 BUDGET

  • A major thrust of the 2019 budget proposal is to reflate the economy and scale down our level of exposure as much as possible. To achieve this, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies ranked their budget proposals in descending order of priority taking 100% of all outstanding commitments of 2015 and 2016 into account, while 60% and 40% of existing contractual obligations in 2017 and 2018 were respectively factored into the 2019 budget plan.
  • Road and physical infrastructure, education and health continue to receive priority attention in our on-going efforts to uplift the standard and quality of life of the population.
  • Creating new opportunities for job creation and private investment is a recurring theme as we seek to instil in our youths the entrepreneurial spirit while supporting and promoting the growth and development of MSMEs.
  • Policy harmonization and coordination is critical for sustainable value creation as we march towards our absolutely challenging goal of building a strong and resilient economy that will deliver our goal of prosperity for all.
  • Central to the effective implementation of the 2019 budget proposals is the compelling need to uphold and strengthen the values of good governance, bolster the various peace building platforms, ensure fiscal discipline, drive effective public communication, promote community engagement and excellence in service delivery.

SCORECARD

4. Before I delve into the details of the 2019 budget proposals, it is only fitting and proper that I take a few minutes to reflect on the achievements of our administration in the past three and half years.

i. Fiscal and Macroeconomic Stability

5. Mr Speaker, you will recall that in my inaugural address to this honourable house I disclosed that the Government was beset with a Revenue Bond and indebtedness to commercial banks totalling N98.62 billion (Principal sum), while outstanding contractual obligations was N538, 601,962,421.50. I am happy to announce to you that this exposure has been significantly reduced to about N228, 328,360,009. We were able to achieve this through revalidation, repudiation, reconciliation and value for money exercise. We remain committed to sustaining this exercise through prudent awards of contracts and payment of same to key and significant projects.

6. I extend my profound appreciation to this House for their cooperation and support in reducing the deficit. Indeed, the synergy between this House and the executive arm of Government has been nothing short of superlative. This sense of mission and unity of purpose are what we need to engender long-term economic development, social harmony, political stability, and general well-being of our people. My sincere appreciation also goes to the Civil Service Establishment, the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and all workers’ unions and associations for their understanding and support.

7. Internally Generated Revenue equally took a downturn as a result of the economic crisis.  To worsen matters, the relocation of some oil multinationals like Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, and other oil servicing companies from the State had occasioned a steep decline in internal revenue generation from N50b and N42b in 2013 and 2014 respectively, to N40 billion in 2015.

8. To shore up the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), we had to systematically overhaul the entire revenue generation machinery of the State. This included expanding the tax payers base, fortifying enforcement/regulatory measures, introduction of e-Receipt and Central Billing System aimed at blocking leakages as well as other fiscal management reforms. As a result of these measures, the tax agent database for the formal sector rose from 1,800 to 7,200. Also, the database of taxpayers in the informal sector jumped from about 5,000 to 336,061.

9. Subsequently, the internally generated revenue of the State has witnessed a steady growth resulting in N44billion and N51 billion being generated in 2016 and 2017 respectively. As at the end of the first half of 2018, the sum of N31.2bn has been generated.

ii.   Peace Building for Sustainable Development

10. It is a maxim in development economics that no meaningful development can take place without peace. To the glory of God, I am happy to report that Delta State has enjoyed social and political stability for the major part of our first four years in office. And this is largely due to the peace building measures we proactively took to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

11. The first of these measures was the one-day Stakeholders’ Summit to address “Security and Environmental Challenges in the Oil and Gas Sector in Delta State” in January 2016. The meeting was necessitated by the need to devise appropriate security strategies, regulatory frameworks, and countervailing measures needed for adequate protection of our oil and gas installations.

12. That summit proved to be prophetic because less than two months after the summit took place, there was a resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta. The attendant destruction/vandalism of oil and gas facilities, leading to fall in oil production, impacted negatively on the nation’s revenue receipts from oil exports. A catastrophic resultant effect was mass spillage and destruction of aquatic life. Delta State bore the major brunt of the damage following the bombing of the Forcados Export Terminal.

13. In a swift move to stanch the bleeding, I inaugurated a 9-man Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities with His Excellency, Barr. (Dcn) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, Deputy Governor of Delta State, as Chairman.

14. Through the efforts of the Committee the Forcados Export Terminal was successfully reactivated. It is worthy to point out that over 200,000 barrels of crude oil is fed into the country’s export from the Forcados 48 – inch underwater export pipeline operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).  Ensuring the repair and activation of the export line meant a higher level of crude export for the national economy and Delta State, the host State of the facility, has been better for it.

15. In addition, the Advocacy Committee has continuously engaged youths in the oil bearing communities for intelligence gathering and surveillance of oil and gas facilities from May 2017 till date.  This, no doubt, has helped to boost oil and gas production/export in the State resulting in improved earnings.

16. Let me also add that our continuing efforts at youth training and entrepreneurship development have in no small measure helped to ensure peace and stability. Many of our once idle and restive youths are now meaningfully engaged in productive endeavours. Aside from the enterprise development programmes undertaken by the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer, we have also inaugurated a State Steering Committee on Special Youth Intervention Training and Empowerment Programme with the Honourable Commissioner for Youth Development as the Chairman.

iii.   Road and Physical Infrastructure

17. This administration has prioritized the development of road infrastructure to interconnect our rural communities and enhance urban renewal and integration. Our road projects portfolio since May 2015 is 317 projects comprising 1,000km of roads and 344km of drains valued at over N243b. Out of this number, 135 projects covering 405km of roads and 159km of drainage channels (alongside roads) have been completed.

18. Worthy of mention are the roads that have been embarked upon in riverine communities with their difficult terrain. In particular, I will like to cite the Main Axial Road and Okerenkoko Township roads in Warri South West Local Government Areas as some of the flagship projects of this administration. There is also the on-going rehabilitation and Asphalt Overlay of the 19.7km Obutobo 1 –Obutobo11 – Sokebolou – Yokori road in Burutu Local Government Area. These projects have excited the residents of these communities and underscore our resolve to break new frontiers and bring development to every part of the State no matter how remote.

19. The Asaba Storm Water Drainage Project is on course.

  • The channel from Nnebisi Road through DLA to Jesus-Saves road is already completed except for ancillary road works that are currently on-going.
  • The Ralph Uwaechue through Ibori Golf Course to Anwai River channel is 64% completed and should be fully ready in February 2019
  • There is the third channel from DBS through Cabinet Road to Amilimocha River. This is 44.7% done and should also be completed in February 2019.

20. The recently completed Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba, complete with tartan tracks, digital score board, new flood lighting technology, is a beauty to behold and one of the few stadia in the country with fully covered stands. The 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, which took place at the stadium, was one event that registered high scores for Nigeria in the areas of project execution and hosting of sporting events. At the end of the competition, athletes broke African and national records, changed their minds about the initial hiccups experienced and Asaba 2018 registered the highest number of participating countries and foreign journalists since the commencement of the championship in 1979.

21. I am delighted to report that we have made considerable progress in our quest to make Asaba Airport an international gateway. Following the successful completion of the runway rehabilitation work, the airport has been approved and upgraded to a Category 6 Airport to receive and dispatch large aircraft, by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Consequently, Nigeria’s premier carrier, Air Peace Airline resumed daily scheduled flight operation in and out of Asaba Airport on Monday 8th October, 2018. 

22. Furthermore, work on our concession plan for the airport has also reached an advanced stage. The concession will ensure that we realise our objective of turning the airport into a mega commercial and travel hub in this part of the country in record time, in order to boost our economy and create jobs for our people. So far, we have received strong interests from both local and international investors in the concession exercise. For example, the management of Air Peace Airline has indicated strong desire to make Asaba Airport its operational hub, where it can quickly build its maintenance hangers. We expect the airport to be fully concessioned in 2019. In this regard, we published a formal “Request for Proposal” in national newspapers on Tuesday, October 09, 2018.

iv.  Human Capital Development

  1. Enterprise Development

23. Across board, the thrust of our human capital development policy is to build a knowledge economy, equip our people with the skill sets to create jobs and wealth, stimulate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and enhance the business competitiveness of the State. The Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer, a Special Purpose Vehicle, was created with this goal in mind.

24. By design and implementation, their two flagship programmes, Skills Training and Entrepreneurship programme (STEP) and Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), have been very effective in turning unemployed youths between the ages of 18-35 into entrepreneurs, leaders and managers, with high levels of personal effectiveness. The Ministries of Agriculture, Women Affairs and Youth Development as well as the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency have also been very effective in the training and empowerment of our people to create wealth and earn a decent living.

25. As at May 29, 2018, 15,041 of persons have been trained and established in their various enterprises by this administration. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer      = 3,073
  • Ministry of Agriculture                                 =  3,562
  • DEMSMA                                                       = 7,566
  • Women Affairs                                               =     640
  • Youth Development                                       =     200

26. I want this honourable House to please note that these figures do not include the multiplied thousands of direct and indirect jobs created through our massive investment in road and physical infrastructure.

  B.  SEEFOR

27. Delta State is one of the four Niger Delta Pilot States for the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) Project, a World Bank/European Union Intervention in partnership. The Project Development Objective is to enhance opportunities for youth employment and access to socio-economic services while improving the public financial management processes of each implementing State. The project has three main components namely: youth employment through small public works and access to socio-economic services; public financial management reforms; and project management.

28. The SEEFOR project has provided direct employment for over 8,455 youths and indirect employment for about 5,000 persons in the State. In addition 733 youths were trained on short-term vocational enterprises under Technical, Vocational, Educational and Agricultural Training (TVEAT), in a project co-founded by the State.

29. In order to improve the efficiency of our business process, a new state-of-the-art, converged infrastructure has been procured, installed and currently in use for upgrade of the SAP ERP Application software. A new SAP license regime has been put in place leading to a savings of $600,000 p.a. for the State Government through the waiver of $2.3 million as well as the reduction of the legacy annual license from $750,000 p.a. to $145,000 per annum by the SAP Management.

C.     Education

30. As you very well know, the shift in focus from certificate acquisition to skills acquisition has been the centrepiece of our reforms in the education sector. Towards this end, the six technical colleges in the State have been given a new lease of life. To date over ₦3 billion (Three Billion Naira) has been spent on infrastructural upgrade and supply (and in some cases refurbishment) of equipment to the Technical Colleges. Full accreditation has been obtained for all programmes in the six Technical Colleges from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).

31. It is a thing of joy that our investment in the technical colleges is yielding the desired dividends. Enrolment has doubled between 2015 and now as shown in the table below:

S/N

INSTITUTIONS

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

1

Sapele Technical College

425

482

665

911

2

Ofagbe Technical College

232

313

376

480

3

Agbor Technical College

590

634

1074

I269

4

Issele-Uku Technical College

210

328

522

765

5

Utagba-Ogbe Technical College

728

485

753

753

6

Ogor Technical College

239

285

430

640

TOTAL

2424

2523

3820

4818

32. With improved linkages and partnerships, all Six Technical Colleges now enjoy a World Bank/SEEFOR grant of ₦45 million annually. They now run vocational programmes thus positioning them as Vocational Enterprise Institutes (VEIs) and for the National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF). For the full utility of personnel, equipment and instructional facilities, Junior Secondary Education (JS 1-3) has been approved in Technical Colleges

To enhance access to education and in consonance with SDG 4, the UBE Act and new National Policy on Education, we have established 12 primary and 34 secondary schools, most of them in difficult to reach areas of the State. With the new additions, Delta State now has 1,124 public primary and 465 public secondary schools.

33. Infrastructural development in our schools is going on steadily. As at today we have completed the following model schools: Ogbemudien Secondary School, Agbor; Alema College, Abigborodo; Burutu Grammar School, Burutu; Owa Model Secondary School, Boji-Boji Owa and Otu Jeremi Secondary School, Otu Jeremi

34. The problem of poor teacher quality requires a pragmatic solution that will ensure teaching excellence and improved welfare at the same time. Consequently, the State Executive Council approved the establishment of a Teacher Professional Development Centre at Owa-Oyibu, Ika North East Local Government Area. The construction of Phase 1, which consists of the main block (incorporating the Admin Offices and Lecture Theatres) and external works (incorporating the perimeter fence and utility buildings) is ongoing and at approximately 65% completion. When fully completed, the Centre will help to train, retool and upgrade teachers at various levels to ensure optimum output.

35. In the tertiary education sector, we have continued to invest heavily in physical infrastructure to provide a more conducive learning climate, in addition to ensuring that the academic standard is kept high to merit continuous accreditation by the relevant regulatory authorities. Some of the on-going projects in our tertiary institutions include:

– Construction of standard library complex, Sapele

– Construction of Lecture Theatre for the Faculty of   Engineering, Oleh Campus, Delta State University

  Construction of Faculty of Science Building, Abraka Campus Delta State University

– Construction of Multi-Purpose Lecture Theatre, Abraka    campus, Delta State University

– Construction of 12 Classroom Storey Building Block at the Delta State Institute of Continuing Education, Asaba

– Construction of Faculty Building and 2nos of 500 Sitting Capacity Lecture Theatre, Anwai Campus, Delta State University.

– Construction of Auditoria at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro

– Construction of Auditoria at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku

  1. Health

36. The Universal Health Coverage of the State Government is a success. You will recall that under this administration Delta became the first State in the federation to launch Universal Health Coverage. As at September 30, 2018, the total number of enrolees stood at 316,301. This is broken down as follows: 
          i.​ Equity Plan Enrolees 189,349 (Comprising 74,763 –

                     Pregnant women and 114,586 – U5 children)

           ii.      ​Formal Plan Enrolees 118,798 (comprising 47, 255 Primary Enrolees and 71,543 Dependants)

        iii.​   Informal Plan 8,154 (comprising 3, 646 widows, 4,508 Keke Riders and 40 Royal Fathers).

37. The Scheme has been nationally acclaimed as it received awards for the Outstanding State Government Healthcare Programme of the Year 2017; and the State with the most people covered under its State Social Health Insurance Scheme with a focus on the Poor and Vulnerable population in Nigeria 2018.

38. To ensure quality and efficient service delivery under the scheme, the State Executive Council recently approved the renovation of 107 primary health centres across the State. In addition, we have taken delivery of the Doctors and Nurses Quarters at the Government Hospital, Ofagbe while medical equipment for the Dialysis Centre at the Central Hospital, Warri has been procured. We have also undertaken the renovation and rehabilitation of the General Hospital, Bomadi and rehabilitation of facilities at the Cottage Hospital, Ogriagbene also in Bomadi, among others.

Water Resources Development and Management

39. This administration has made significant breakthroughs in water resources development and management in the State. When we assumed office in May 2015, the Delta State Public Water baseline was at about 706 Water Schemes, out of which about 288 being 39%, were functional. We can assert today that we now have 900 Water Schemes in the State out of which 630 being 70%, are functional.

40. The Warri Effurun Water Supply Scheme PPP model, aimed at resuscitating and providing cheaper potable safe water to over 16,000 (Sixteen Thousand) households in the Warri/ Effurun environ through prepaid water meters, remains a flagship and indeed the First Water Supply PPP model, not only in Delta State but Nigeria. All approvals, except the consent of the Federal Ministry of Finance, are now in place. It has taken some time but we are now assured that the Private Investor will be on site before the end of November this year.

41. Delta State has over the past three years paid its counterpart contribution totalling N705million in its partnership with EU/UNICEF and accordingly attracted grants of over N3billion from the EU towards improving Water Supply in Delta State. The impact of this partnership in the supply of portable water to our people is being felt substantially in virtually all rural areas of Ndokwa West and Isoko South LGAs. Water Schemes valued at over One billion naira has been advertised and is being processed for virtually all the rural areas of Ukwuani and Ethiope East LGAs. Furthermore, EU/UNICEF has donated a Data Centre with a face value of N150, 000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) to Delta State. The Data Centre is located at the premises of Delta State Urban Water Board.

42. A new strategy for improved service delivery in the provision of potable water to Deltans, particularly in the urban centres, has culminated in the award of contracts for the upgrade of Asaba and Ughelli Water Supply Schemes to Regional Schemes, at the costs of N233,781,350.00 (Two Hundred and Thirty Three Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Naira) and N144,296,212.50 (One Hundred and Forty Four Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Two Hundred and Twelve Naira Fifty Kobo) respectively. This will not only improve the volume of public water supply in Asaba and Ughelli but will enable the direct connection of public water to 2,000 and 1,000 individual households respectively through pre-paid meters in this first phase.

43. The Bomadi Water Scheme is a landmark achievement of this administration. For over twenty years, the Bomadi people did not enjoy public water supply. This is because the cost of construction of a borehole in Bomadi as in Ogwashi-Uku is beyond the reach of the average resident because the soil is iron prone. This means that even if you are able to fund the cost of borehole construction, you must contend with the issue of treatment to make your water source usable. Today we now have a functional water scheme in Bomadi with over 25 water fetching island, a functional treatment plant with adequate capacity to treat enough water volume to supply treated and potable water to over five more communities in the Bomadi environ, namely Kpakiama, Tuomo, Oboro, Okpokunu and Gbaregolor. A massive Solar and Inverter System that ably supports the Generator Sets and a 100,000 Water Tank with adequate Booster pump is being constructed. The connection to these other five communities will be the second phase of the Bomadi Water Project.   

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

44. We have completed a new office complex for the office of the Head of Service. We are following that up with an ultramodern Central Secretariat complex that is currently under construction. Contract for the project was awarded in November, 2017 and the project is expected to be completed two years from the date of award. The new secretariat complex, located between the two existing secretariats along Maryam Babangida Way, is a modern architectural complex of six floors and is expected to accommodate 28 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State. It covers a land area of over 40,000 square metres and will be the first public building in the State with disability access, crèche, clinic and banking hall.

45. I have no doubt that when completed the new secretariat will enhance coordination and synergy among the various MDAs as well as making a strong case for more efficient and cost-effective government. It will save the State Government billions of naira it currently forks out annually on rented apartments, aside from that most of the rented buildings are not suitable for office use as they were originally designed and constructed for residential purposes.

46. These are but a few highlights of our numerous achievements. From the foregoing it is crystal clear that we are fulfilling our promises to the people. On all the five pillars of our S.M.A.R.T agenda we have delivered even as we steadfastly march toward our goal of prosperity for all.

REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF 2018 BUDGET (January – June)

47. Mr Speaker and distinguished Honourable members, I will now turn my attention to review the performance of the 2018 Budget.  The total budget size was N308,888,558,898 (three hundred and eight billion, eight hundred and eighty-eight million, five hundred and fifty-eight thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight naira).This comprised N147,273,989,898 (one hundred and forty-seven billion, two hundred and seventy-three million, nine hundred and eighty-nine thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight naira) recurrent expenditure, and capital expenditure of N161,614,569,000 (one hundred and sixty-one billion, six hundred and fourteen million, five hundred and sixty-nine thousand naira).

48. The profile of the 2018 budget is as follows:

REVENUE:

S/N

Sources of Funds

Approved 2018 Budget

% Appropriation

I

Internally Generated Revenue

71,360,419,715

23

Ii

Statutory Allocation Including Mineral Rev. Derivation

   178,056,627,329

58

Iii

Value Added Tax

     10,767,532,297

3

iv

Other Capital Receipts

48,703,979,557

16

 

Total

308,888,558,898

100

EXPENDITURE:

S/N

Details

Approved                2018 Budget

% Appropriation

I

 Recurrent Expenditure

147,273,989,898

48

II

 Capital Expenditure

161,614,569,000

52

 

Total

308,888,558,898

100

BUDGET PERFORMANCE (JANUARY TO JUNE, 2018): REVENUES

49. The State Government, during the period under review generated N150.9bn representing a performance of 97.7% over the expected proportionate revenue receipts of N154.4bn. Out of this amount, the sum of   N108.6bn was received as Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account. The amount represents 122.1% performance over the proportionate estimate of N89.0bn.

50. On the other hand, the sum of N6.4bn was recorded as receipts from Value Added Tax (VAT) out of the proportionate projected estimates of N5.4bn representing a budget performance of 118.8% for the period under review.

51.  In the first half of the year, the sum of   N31.1bn was recorded as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) out of the proportionate projected revenue of N35.8bn, representing a budget performance of 87.3%. Some of the factors responsible for the good performance include better public engagement, expanded tax payers’ base, and strict enforcement measures. We are confident that by the end of  2018, we shall record a modest increase over the current performance.

BUDGET PERFORMANCE (JANUARY TO JUNE, 2018):

EXPENDITURES

52. Our expenditure profile for January to June, 2018, shows that the total sum of N66.5bn was spent on recurrent items as against a proportionate approved budget of N73.7bn, representing a budget performance of 90.4bn%. The breakdown of the recurrent expenditure is summarized below:

53. The sum of N161.6bn was budgeted for Capital Expenditure in the 2018 fiscal year.  During the period under review (January – June, 2018), the sum of N38.6bn was spent as against the proportionate budget figure of N80.8bn, which represents a performance of 47.8bn%. This is, however, not a true reflection of the level of jobs accomplished/completed within the comparable period, which stands at about 50%.  We were constrained by our cash flow and weather conditions.  We, however, look forward to a better 3rd and 4th quarters with increased activities and funding.

54. The breakdown of the sectoral performance for the period is as follows:

2019 BUDGET PROPOSALS

55. Mr Speaker, taking into consideration the above factors and the projections derived from our Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), a total budget of N367, 095,083,451 is being proposed for the 2019 fiscal year.  This amount comprises the sum of N157, 096,029,253 or 42.79% for recurrent expenditure, and N209, 999,054,198 or 57.21% for capital expenditure. The summary is as follows:

SOURCES OF FUND:

56. The main sources of funds for the 2019 budget as proposed are as follows:

INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE 

57. With the sustenance of all the measures put in place to overhaul the revenue infrastructure, the IGR for 2018 is expected to improve. The signs are obvious with a performance of 87% in the first half of the current year. We shall continue to sustain and improve on the measures taken thus far which culminated in the increased revenue profile. While new sources of revenue are being explored, we shall also intensify enforcement of appropriate tax legislation. It is, therefore, our projection to generate the sum of N73.4bn as Internally Generated Revenue in 2019, representing 20.77% of the total projected revenues for the year. The IGR estimates for 2019 is higher than the 2018 approved estimates by N1.9bn or 2.80%.

STATUTORY ALLOCATION

58. Using the forecast derived from the State’s Fiscal Strategy Paper as a guide, the sum of N217.8bn or 61.5% of projected total revenue for the 2019 fiscal year is expected to come from Statutory Allocation. This amount is more than the sum of N178.0bn budgeted for the 2018 fiscal year by N39.8bn or 22.3%.

59. The increase is a function of the relative calm that has returned to the oil producing region and the improvement in the price of oil in the international market as well as the return of some oil majors back to full operation in the State.  This positive development is reflected in the robust performance of the receipts from this revenue budget line in the first six months of 2018 where we recorded 122% performance over the proportionate budget estimates for the period.  It is also our realistic expectation that this positive trend will continue in 2019.

OTHER CAPITAL RECEIPTS/MISCELLANEOUS

60. The proposal for Capital Receipts for the 2018 Budget has been increased from the sum of N48.7b in the 2018 Budget to N62.7b, showing a variation of N14b. The reduction is informed by the overriding objective of reducing the loan burden on the State.

RECURRENT EXPENDITURE

61. The proposed recurrent expenditure estimates for 2019 of N157, 096,029,253 is made up of personnel costs of N65, 736,621,939 or 41.8% and overhead costs of N55, 243,917,068 or 35.2%. For Social Benefits/Consolidated Revenue Fund, we have a proposal of the sum of N36, 115,490,246 or 23.0%. This is made up of grants and contributions, gratuities, consolidated wages and loan repayment. The breakdown is as follows:

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES

62. CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES

22. The proposed capital expenditure estimates for 2019 is N209bn. The proposal is N48.3bn or 29.9% higher than the 2018 capital budget of N161.6bn.

The sectoral breakdown of the capital expenditure estimates is as stated hereunder:

HIGHLIGHTS OF PRIORITY SECTORS

Job Creation

63. Our job creation programmes are having verifiable positive impacts on the lives of previously unemployed Delta youths and on the economy and development of the State. Across the state, there are testimonies of successful small businesses by those who were trained and established under STEP and YAGEP.

64. Some have grown to become employers of labour and are training other youths to become self-employed. Others have innovatively diversified into other businesses/trades or entered into business partnerships and relationships to enhance their incomes. Still, many have achieved greater employability through these programmes and are now gainfully employed in the industrial and other sectors.  Through its partnership and collaboration with private sector training centres, the job creation scheme is also impacting positively on the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State.

65. In the 2019 fiscal year, the State Government will give emphasis to consolidating on the gains of the past three programme cycles, strengthening programme implementation and enhancing beneficiary sustainability.

66. The sum of N1.1bn is being earmarked for the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer in 2019.

Agriculture

67. The State Government, through advocacy to the Local Government Councils, community leaders and traditional rulers, has acquired three thousand, eight hundred and fifty hectares (3,850ha) of farmland to facilitate the ease of doing agricultural business in Delta State. The State Land Acquisition Committee is handling the documentations of the donated land.

68. Over 244 Sub-projects have been completed across the State under SEEFOR – Fadama II intervention leading to yield increases of 22%, 84%, 26%, 86% and 200% for agricultural enterprises of cassava, poultry, piggery, aquaculture and plantain respectively.

69. In line with the agricultural transformation and wealth creation objectives of this administration, we are implementing several public-private partnership initiatives for the development of agricultural value chains and agro-industries. An example is the joint venture project for the establishment and operation of Agro-Industrial Park at Aboh Ogwashi-Uku in partnership with Mirai Technologies Ltd. In addition, we are running a Pilot Scheme on foods export, starting with high quality garri. The foods export initiative is designed to process standardized agricultural products, create regular markets and sustained incomes for our farmers and achieve market-driven development of the agricultural value chain.

70.. Delta Government has signed a $20 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norsworthy Investment, a private firm, for the cultivation of 3,000 acres of oil palm and processing plant project under a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with the Delta State Government to embark on an oil palm plantation on 3,000 Hectares of land at Akwukwu-Igbo and the development of the full value chain for oil palm. The project is set to kick off with 1,000Ha of oil palm plantation and has the potential of creating over 5,000 jobs for our people in the agricultural value chain.

71. The sum of N2.9bn is earmarked for the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture in the forthcoming fiscal year.

Road Infrastructure

72. We are irrevocably committed to link our towns and cities with standard road networks to ease the movement of goods and services and thereby boost commerce and trade.  In the same vein, we shall vigorously pursue urban renewal and integration to build liveable towns and cities for the benefit of current and future generations.

73. The sum of N79.6bn has been earmarked for road infrastructure in 2019.

Sports Development

74. Delta is gradually regaining its glory days in sports. The Principals Cup football competition among secondary schools is in its second year while the Headmasters Cup football competition for primary schools was introduced in 2018. Delta State emerged first in the recently concluded National Youth Sports Festival.

75. This administration is keen on sustaining the momentum generated because of the immense potential of sports to engage our youths, provide recreation and create wealth.

76. The sum of N3.9bn is being proposed for the sub-sector in the 2019 budget.

Water Resources

77. The achievements recorded in this sector will be consolidated in 2019 even as the State Government leverages on its partnership with EU/UNICEF in delivering safe, potable water to our people. As a result of the transparency shown in the partnership between the State and the EU/UNICF and the reforms that are being implemented in its water sector, Delta State has been prequalified amongst 14 States for the phase one intervention by the USAID.

78. Upon further verifications, six States out of the 14 pre-qualified will be selected and about US$3.5million will be given to each successful State as a grant, fully funded by the United States Government. This is part of the United States Government’s efforts to address gaps in urban water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in Nigeria. The goal of USAID/Nigeria is for the USA to support the improvement of urban water service delivery by working with Nigerian partners to strengthen the governance, financial and technical viability of six State Water Boards in Nigeria. We are confident that Delta State will be selected.

79. The sum of N1.6bn has been earmarked for the water sub-sector in the 2019 budget.

Health

80. The health sector will be given more attention in the 2019 fiscal year. The State ambulance scheme is being reactivated. When operational, it would cover Asaba, Warri, Eku, Abraka, Ughelli and Agbor, among others. The ambulance scheme is designed to ensure immediate response to convey accident victims to the nearest health facility. Boat ambulances would be used to cover the riverine communities while we also intend to revive the use of mobile doctors to deliver healthcare to the people.

81. The sum of N8.6bn is proposed for the health sector in the 2019 fiscal year.

Education

82. Education remains a powerful tool to drive socio-economic development of any society. This underscores the reason this administration places high premium on the comprehensive development of the education sector and, in particular, Technical and Vocational Education. It is also our belief that every child should have unfettered access to basic education.

83. To ensure we continue to access the UBE funds, the State Executive Council recently approved the release of ₦1,286,343,183.55 counterpart fund to enable us assess the 2017 UBEC fund which places it as one of the few States in the country to do so.

84. The sum of N2.5bn is budgeted for the purpose of meeting the counterpart funding needs in the 2019 fiscal year. 

85. The sum of N N26.8bn has been earmarked for the education sub-sector in the 2019 budget proposals.

Conclusion

86. Mr Speaker and Members of the House, we have christened our 2019 budget a BUDGET OF SUSTAINABLE GROWTH. The year 2018 witnessed a significant improvement in our revenue receipts and it is our hope that this trend is sustained in 2019. We are poised to consolidate our successes and achievements and institutionalize the policies and practices that made them possible.

87. Despite the fluctuating fortunes of the economy in the last three-and-half years, I humbly note that our State has continued to forge ahead. Workers are paid regularly, thousands of previously unemployed youths are gainfully employed, and many of our people now enjoy better facilities in terms of roads, water, education and health. Agriculture has received a strong boost with many cluster farms springing up in different parts of the State and even, more importantly, our people remain committed to peace and harmonious living.

88. Going forward, we will build on this robust momentum to position Delta State as a dynamic economy for the future. Indeed, a Stronger Delta beckons.

89. It is on this note, Mr Speaker, that I now request your kind permission to place before this honourable House the proposed 2019 Budget for your consideration.

90. Thank you for your time and attention.

91. God bless us all.

Office of the Governor

Government House      

Asaba

 

October, 2018