Government’s ability to meet its statutory obligations to workers and contractors.
Nevertheless, we remained hopeful and confident that with discipline, prudent management of public finances, common sense planning and the can-do spirit of our people, we would ride out the storm and see our economy come out stronger, better and more resilient. In order to address the serious deficit problem and to restore the health of our public finances, we took the following steps:
- Amended the 2015 budget as approved to bring it in line with the prevailing economic realities in the country,
- Embarked on cost cutting measures to plug wastage and leakages,
- Ensured expenditure was kept within revenue limits,
- Emphasised judicious use of available resources,
- Reduced operating expenditure,
- Made political appointments only when the economy could absorb them, and
- Set up a Verification Team to scrutinize the contractual debt profile of the State, ascertain the veracity of outstanding liabilities, and confirm if the contracts were satisfactorily executed; and
- Prioritized our programmes, and the funding of on-going projects/programmes based on their economic/social value.
Due to the combined efforts of all – the civil service, the political class and sundry stakeholder groups – I am happy to report that we have been able to achieve substantial level of fiscal stability, thus creating the right conditions for economic prosperity and achieving sustainable development. My gratitude goes to all Deltans for their patience and continued support for this administration in the face of some tough decisions that we have had to take.
I also thank this honourable House for its cooperation and support in the past six months, obviously a trying time in which we made far-reaching sacrifices and denied ourselves some entitlements. 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.
Mr Speaker, our achievements have not been restricted to the fiscal management of the economy. Permit me to highlight three key areas of achievement as they demonstrate the import of our S.M.A.R.T agenda.
Creating Wealth, Nurturing Entrepreneurs
Job creation is the focal point of the S.M.A.R.T Agenda, and the crucial point of reference on which this administration will be judged both now and in the future. The core principle of the Job and Wealth Creation Scheme is to put resources (skills, tools and complementary services) in the hands of disadvantaged people – unemployed graduates, secondary school leavers, farmers, artisans - and empower them to move from welfare to self-employment, and also give them employability skills.
The existing job and wealth creation programmes include:
- Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP);
- Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP);
- Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP); and
- Microcredit (administered by the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency).
There are two hundred and fifty six (256) YAGEP trainees currently undergoing internship in a total of forty (40) private farms covering piggery, poultry, fishery and crop production. The internship followed the completion of classroom-based agricultural training at Songhai Delta, Amukpe.
STEP is designed to train and establish unemployed youths in preferred skills or trade, and one thousand and seventy youths (1,070) are currently taking part in the programme. The PPSP, an agricultural value chain support programme, has a total of three thousand, six hundred (3,600) smallholder farmers and agro-processors, as individuals or groups participating in it.
To create jobs you need successful businesses. In addition to the presence of basic infrastructure, businesses, especially small scale ones, also need credit at low rates. From June 1 to November 30, 2015 the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (DMSMA), under the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Fund, disbursed a total of four hundred and twenty eight million, one hundred and thirty thousand naira (N428. 13m) as loans to two thousand, five hundred and sixty three persons (2,563). The beneficiaries included eight hundred and fifty one men (851) and one thousand, seven hundred and twelve women (1,712).
The loan recovered during the same period amounted to fifty four million, eight hundred and ten thousand, seven hundred and one naira, seventy four kobo (N54, 810,701.74) only. The Agency also recovered an additional sum of nine million, eight hundred thousand, eight hundred and ninety five naira (N9, 800,895.00) under the Delta State Micro Credit Programme (DMCP).
The rate of recovery indicates that our people are not bad debtors. Under the right leadership and with proper motivation, they will act responsibly and do the right thing. As more monies are recovered, it presents opportunities for more people to be empowered to move from poverty to prosperity, and thus realize our goal for social inclusion.
The focus of the Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency in 2016 is to strengthen the financial and technical capacity of MSMEs for value-added production, increase productivity, facilitate access to markets and create wealth/jobs. The Agency has initiated discussions with national and international Organizations and Agencies involved in MSMEs development, in line with the policy thrust of this administration. Furthermore, the Agency has received positive responses from the private sector on the way forward. We thus look forward to a sustainable industrialized economy in Delta State.
Infrastructure Renewal, Sustainable Development
Despite the lean financial resources of the State, this administration has worked hard to upgrade our infrastructure and improve our living environment. Contracts have been awarded for the following projects, which are under different stages of construction:
- Reconstruction/rehabilitation of Sapele Technical College (Sapele Local Government)
- Reconstruction/rehabilitation of Ofagbe Technical College (Isoko North Local Government)
- Reconstruction/rehabilitation of Agbor Technical College (Ika South Local Government)
- Construction of Alisimie-Oza Nogogo-Ime Obi Road (Ika South Local Government)
- Construction of dual carriageway rigid pavement at Okerenkoko (Warri South West Local Government)
- Reconstruction/Expansion/Construction of Kefas Road/ Old Emede Rd/Uzere Junction, Oleh (Isoko South Local Government)
- Completion of Palace Rd., Boji Boji Owa (Ika North East Local Government)
- Construction of Ejiyere str., Dederu str., and Akemu Street (Warri South Local Government)
- Construction of Access Road to Tankers Park, and Rehabilitation, Resurfacing and Construction of Jeddo- Omadino Road through to Eagle Height University
- Dualization of Nnebisi Rd., ( from traffic light junction to Cable Point), Asaba (Oshimili South Local Government)
- Amukpe/Okirighwre/ATP Roundabout Rd., Dualization (Sapele Local Government)
- Construction of Onomigbo Street, and Ejinyere str., Orodje Street, Orerokpe (Okpe Local Government)
- Okuvo-Kpokpogri Road, Okuvo (Sapele Local Government)
- Completion of Government Hospital Abavo with provision of start-off equipment (Ika South Local Government)
- We have also provided the sum of one billion (N1b) each to Setraco Nig. Ltd, CCC Nig. Ltd and Hi-Tech Nig. Ltd to remobilise to Trans-Warri Road, Ughelli-Asaba Road (Sector A) and Lagos-Asaba Road respectively.
- The sum of over six hundred million naira (N600million) has been paid to the contractor handling the Sapele Township Market.
- Work has also commenced fully at the Law and Engineering Faculty Complexes at the Oleh Campus of Delta State University.
Consolidating Peace, Promoting Investment
The imperative of peace for economic growth and sustainable development cannot be over emphasised. Whilst commending the previous administrations for their efforts in this regard, this administration is committed to creating an investor- friendly climate.
Towards this end, we inaugurated a 42-man Peace Building and Advisory Council charged with the mandate to advise Government on proactive measures to curb the problems of youth restiveness, kidnapping, crude oil theft, inter/intra communal land disputes, as well as clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers. Comprising men and women of proven character and integrity in all walks of life, the Council also offers advice to Government on a wide range of governance/development issues.
I am happy to report that the Council swung into action as soon as it was inaugurated and its impact is already being felt in the governance of the State. In addition to providing infrastructure, and improving the ease of doing business in the State, this administration considers the work of the Council critical to maintaining peace and security, germane to an investor-friendly climate in the State.
Economic Performance of the 2015 Budget
Mr. Speaker, you will recall that the size of the 2015 approved budget was reconstructed from four hundred and eight billion, eight hundred and sixty four million naira (N408.864bn) to two hundred and fifty two billion, two hundred and ninety six million naira (N252.296bn), a decrease of one hundred and fifty six billion, five hundred and sixty eight million naira (N156.568bn) or 38.29%. The amount is made up of a recurrent expenditure budget of one hundred and sixty two billion, seven hundred and forty four million naira (N162.744bn) and a capital budget of ninety billion, one hundred and ninety eight million naira (N90.198bn).
The profile of the 2015 budget as amended is as follows:
REVENUE BUDGET PERFORMANCE (JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER, 2015)
The State Government, during the nine months of January to September, 2015, recorded a total revenue performance of one hundred and fifty two billion, one hundred and five million naira (N152.105bn), representing an overall performance of 80.18% over expected proportionate revised revenue receipts of one hundred and eighty nine billion, seven hundred and seven million naira (N189.707bn). Out of this amount, the sum of ninety one billion, five hundred and twenty nine million naira (N91.529bn) was received as Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account. The amount represents 89.05% performance of the proportionate estimate of one hundred and two billion, seven hundred and eighty nine million naira (N102.789bn).
On the other hand, the sum of seven billion, one hundred and seventy-seven million naira (N7.177bn) was recorded as receipts from Value Added Tax (VAT) out of the proportionate projected revised estimates of eight billion, nine hundred and seventy six million naira (N8.976bn) representing a budget performance of 79.96%.
The sum of thirty one billion, four hundred and sixty million naira (N31.460bn) was recorded as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) out of the projected revised revenue of thirty three billion, five hundred and sixty eight million naira(N33.568bn), representing a budget performance of 93.72%. The sum of twenty-one Billion, nine hundred and thirty six million naira (N21.936bn) or 49.44% was received from other capital receipts against the revised proportionate budget of forty four billion, three hundred and seventy three million naira (N44.373bn) during the period under review.
The breakdown of the revenue receipts from individual revenue sources is provided hereunder:
The above revenue receipts represent an aggregate decrease of sixty one billion, three hundred and ninety five million naira (N61.395bn) or 28.76% over two hundred and thirteen billion, five hundred million naira (N213.500bn) recorded for the corresponding period of January to September,2014. Statutory Allocation was mainly affected with a significant decrease of fifty three billion, one hundred and forty seven million naira (N53.147bn) or 36.74% over one hundred and forty four billion six hundred and seventy seven million naira (N144.677bn) recorded for the same period in 2014. Internally Generated Revenue recorded a marginal decrease of 3.84%. Thirty two billion, four hundred and sixty million naira (N31.460bn), was received this year as against thirty two billion, seven hundred and fifteen million naira (N32.715bn) received for the same period in 2014.
EXPENDITURE BUDGET PERFORMANCE (JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER, 2015)
As for expenditure, a total sum of one hundred and forty one billion, seven hundred and thirty six million naira(N141.736bn) was spent during the period January – September, 2015. Out of this amount, the sum of one hundred and seventeen billion, eight hundred and fifty six million naira (N117.856bn) was spent on recurrent items as against a proportionate approved budget of one hundred and twenty two billion, fifty eight million naira (N122.058bn) representing a budget performance of 96.56%. The breakdown is summarized below:
The sum of ninety billion, one hundred and ninety eight million naira (N90.198bn) was budgeted for Capital Expenditure. During the year, actual expenditure for the period, January-September, 2015 was twenty three billion, eight hundred and eighty-three million naira (N23.883bn) as against the proportionate budget figure of sixty seven billion, one hundred and sixty three million naira (N67.163bn), representing a budget performance of 35.30%.
A breakdown of the Sectoral performance for the period is as follows:
2016 BUDGET ESTIMATES
I now turn to the Budget Estimates for Year 2016.
I wish to announce a budget proposal of two hundred and sixty five billion, six hundred and sixty eight million, one hundred and fifty six thousand, one hundred and seventy four naira (N265,668,156,174) for the services of Delta State in the 2016 fiscal year. This amount comprises one hundred and fifty three billion, one hundred and fifty six million, eight hundred and fifty two thousand, nine hundred and fifty six naira (N153.156,852,956) or 57.65% for Recurrent Expenditure, and one hundred twelve billion, five hundred and eleven million, three hundred and three thousand, two hundred and eighteen naira (N112,511,303,218) or 42.35% for capital expenditure.
The year 2016 budget proposal shows a marginal increase of twelve billion, seven hundred and twenty four million naira (N12.724bn) or 5.03% when compared to the year 2015 approved amended budget of two hundred and fifty two billion, nine hundred and forty three million naira (N252.943).
SOURCES OF FUND
The main sources of funds for the 2016 budget are as follows:
INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE
The biggest news in the global economy in the last one year has been the further sharp drop in the price of oil. The fluctuating fortunes of the international market price of oil means we must rise up to the challenge of a narrow tax base and unstable revenue in the face of a growing population. This administration is determined to stabilise its revenue by broadening the tax base for the purpose of ensuring the health of our public finances and maintaining our competitiveness. We will do this without necessarily hurting the poor and disadvantaged. We are optimistic of a significantly higher Internally Generated Revenue as the Board of Internal Revenue and other revenue generating MDAs take drastic steps to block leakages, deepen existing revenue lines and explore new ones.
As a result, we have proposed to earn the sum of seventy five billion, three hundred and seventy eight million naira (N75.378bn) or 28.37% as revenue receipts from Internally Generated Revenue in 2016 out of total projected revenue, as against the sum of forty four billion, seven hundred and fifty eight million (N44.758bn) for the 2015 revised budget. The IGR estimates for 2016 is higher than the 2015 approved revised estimates by thirty billion, six hundred and twenty million naira (N30.620bn) or 68.41%.
The sum of one hundred and thirty seven billion, nine hundred and forty eight million naira (N137.948bn) or 51.93% of projected total revenue is expected from Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account in the 2016 fiscal year. This amount is marginally more than the sum of one hundred and thirty seven billion, and fifty two million naira (N137.052bn) in the revised 2015 budget by eight hundred and ninety five million naira (N895m) or 0.65%. This positive forecast for 2016 is based on the assumptions in the improved fiscal and financial discipline in the operating environment. This will ensure that almost every fund due to the Federation Account is captured for the benefit of the federating units. Crucially, it is assumed that the on-going reforms by Federal Government, including the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and full disclosure of all revenues in line with IPSAS, will facilitate the process.
OTHER CAPITAL RECEIPTS/MISCELLANEOUS
The proposal for Capital Receipts for 2016 budget has been scaled down from fifty nine billion, one hundred and sixty four million naira (N59.164bn) in the 2015 revised budget to forty two billion, one hundred and twenty two million naira (N42.122bn) in 2016, a reduction by seventeen billion, forty one million naira (N17.041bn) or 28.80%. This position underscores the need for caution and desire to instil greater fiscal discipline in the system. We hope to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), which will also in turn increase our revenue base. We are also counting on improved revenue receipts from our internally generated revenue sources.
The recurrent expenditure estimates for 2016 of one hundred and fifty three billion, one hundred and fifty six million naira (N153.156bn) is made up of personnel costs of sixty eight billion, four hundred and fifty three million naira (N68.453bn) or 44.70% and overhead costs of thirty billion, one hundred and sixty six million naira (N30.166bn) or 19.70%. The Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges has a proposed sum of fifty four billion, five hundred and thirty six million naira (N54.536bn) or 35.61%. On the whole, the recurrent proposal for 2015 is lower by nine billion, five hundred and eighty seven million naira (N9.587bn) or 5.89% when compared with the sum of one hundred and sixty two billion, seven hundred and forty four million naira (N162.744bn) approved amended budget for 2015.
The recurrent expenditure estimates are summarized hereunder:
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES
The proposed capital expenditure estimates for 2016 is one hundred and twelve billion, five hundred and eleven million naira (N112, 511bn). The proposal is twenty two billion, three hundred and twelve million naira (N22.312bn) or 24.74% higher than the 2015 capital budget of ninety billion, one hundred and ninety eight million naira (N90.198bn).
The Sectoral breakdown of the capital expenditure estimates is as stated hereunder:
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, may I at this juncture highlight some salient areas of the capital proposals as contained in the 2016 budget estimates.
Job and Wealth Creation Scheme
As the flagship programme under the S.M.A.R.T agenda, the Job and Wealth Creation Scheme will continue to receive priority attention. We have recorded remarkable success in implementing the various entrepreneurship/vocational skills training programmes under the scheme. As a result, there is now increasing demand for our job creation programmes and agricultural support packages. We have achieved these initial successes through rightful selection and targeting, transparent administration of support packages and close monitoring and control. We have, therefore, earmarked the sum of two billion, two hundred and ninety six million, two hundred and fourteen thousand, four hundred naira only (N2,296,214,400.00) for the implementation of the scheme in the 2016 fiscal year.
This State is blessed with huge potentials and capacity in the production of rubber, oil palm, rice, yam, cassava, maize, potato, plantain, tomato, and fish. As a Government, we have resolved to emphasise three key areas for value chain development, namely oil palm, cassava and aqua-culture, while also encouraging cultivation of other crops such as tomato and rice. Indeed, it may interest this honourable House to know that fish farming has become a major source of employment for our people. We shall continue to promote the growth and development of fisheries activities through fisheries surveillance and direct assistance to fish farmers. Today, we have over 4,780 fish farmers in the State, and we are currently putting measures in place to effectively regulate its practice. The sum of N326million is provided in the budget proposals to enhance the production of cassava, rice and oil palm in the 2016 fiscal year.
We shall sustain the drive to provide safe, adequate, efficient, reliable and fully integrated transport system that best meets the needs of our people. Government will continue to build a strong economic base for the creation, maintenance and upgrading of transport infrastructure. We are committed to the rehabilitation of existing deplorable roads and the construction of new ones as may be necessary. This will improve our transport sector and, in so doing, boost the economy of the state.
Mr. Speaker, we cannot have a stable food and agricultural industry without an efficient transport system in the State. For this reason, one of our strategies for road infrastructure is to construct road networks linking the rural areas with the urban areas, especially places with huge capacity for agricultural production. We are also making efforts to improve the movement of goods and persons in the various riverine communities in the state. A total sum of fifteen billion, four hundred and twenty one million naira (N15.421billion) is allocated to the transport sub-sector for the 2016 fiscal year.
Finance and Investment
Our vision in taking Delta to greater heights is about creating opportunities for private enterprises to flourish. We shall encourage foreign direct investments into the State by providing not only the needed infrastructure, but a peaceful and secure environment.
We shall keep up the drive towards harnessing our people’s entrepreneurship skills through our micro-credit and MSME schemes. As you aware, Mr. Speaker, Delta State has been adjudged the best in this initiative and now a model for other States to emulate. We are restructuring the scheme to make it more efficient and all-inclusive.
Our primary focus is on skill acquisition, support to farmers, micro-enterprise and development of commerce and empowerment. These, we believe, will put the citizenry on the path of economic recovery and prosperity. The sum of N500 million is allocated to the micro-credit Scheme in the 2016 budget proposal.
We are proposing to establish five industries to promote Medium and Small-scale Enterprises in the State under a PPP arrangement. They are designed to tackle growing unemployment, shortage of industries, and rural - urban drift. The industries, which include four fish feed mills in Ubeji/Egbokodo, Asaba, Ekpan and Owanta-Alisimie and one cassava processing plant at Uzere, will be managed in partnership with private investors to make them viable and ensure sustainability. In addition, we are in the process of setting up agro-industrial parks for multi-purpose enterprise - for cassava and aquaculture. The feasibility study is on-going across the three senatorial districts of the State. The sum of five hundred million naira (N500million) is set aside for the Agro-industrial Park in the 2016 fiscal year.
The State has proposed a bill for the creation of the Delta Investment Development Agency (DIDA) in order to boost private sector investment in the State, especially through Public/Private Partnership (PPP). The bill is before this honourable House. We shall also develop clear investment objectives for money and capital market investments.
This administration has made the attainment of Universal Health Coverage and provision of quality and accessible healthcare service in Delta State, a foremost cardinal programme through a bill in this honourable House to establish the Delta State Contributory Health Commission. The concept of Universal Health Coverage has been receiving global attention since 2005 when the 58th World Health Assembly called on national governments to “develop their health systems, so that all people have access to services and do not suffer financial hardship paying for them.” The 2012 United Nations General Assembly went further by encouraging member nations to fast-track actions towards Universal Health Coverage.
The Delta State Contributory Health Commission is expected to increase health insurance coverage in Delta and thereby significantly increase the demand for health services, which will in turn require expansion of service delivery facilities, personnel, and increase the need for standardization and enforcement of quality. To this end, the sum of N1 billion is proposed to enable the Commission take off effectively, while providing for counterpart fund obligations as necessitated by the National Health Act.
The Teaching Hospital at Oghara shall be consolidated as a Centre of Excellence, while other hospitals across the State shall be appropriately developed, equipped, and staffed to sustain general and specialist services in various fields of medicine. It is worthy of mention, Mr. Speaker, that the construction and remodelling of the Asaba Central Hospital, is near completion and, hopefully, will become functional next year. In the 2016 fiscal year, the sum of N468 million is budgeted for Oghara Teaching Hospital and N400 million for the completion of Asaba Central Hospital.
We have also provided the sum of N500 million for primary healthcare Services/Development, as there can be no meaningful healthcare service when the foundation is faulty, inaccessible and unwelcoming. The sum of N5.9 billion is allocated to the health sector as capital expenditure for the 2016 budget year.
Quality human capital is the most important element in building a knowledge-based economy. The focus of our administration is to invest in vocational and technical education, which empowers students with employability skills and equips them with the know-how and mind-set for business, trade, and commerce. The sum of N639 million is earmarked to support Vocational and Technical Education in the State.
We will ensure even provision and distribution of education infrastructure, especially in the rural and riverine areas, while establishing a Teachers’ Professional Development Centre for regular in-service training. We are sensitive to the fact that the strength of our educational system depends not only on infrastructure, but also on developing the character of our children. In this connection, our educational institutions should be closely monitored and supervised for efficient service delivery. Adequate steps, therefore, will be taken towards attaining an acceptable standard of education in the State.
A total sum of N10.1billion is allocated to the education sector for capital development in the 2016 fiscal year.
Sports, Youth and Social Development
We know the danger of having unemployed and restless youths. This administration is promoting initiatives and programmes aimed at improving the welfare of the youth. We shall ensure that the youth, who are sometimes deprived, marginalized or neglected in the scheme of things, are given a sense of belonging in the implementation of our programmes. We are moving away from mere empowerment to designing programmes for the proper engagement of our youths that will engender full employment and entrepreneurship.
Delta State has an illustrious history in the sporting arena and we intend to keep it that way. The sums of N327 million, N197 million and N213 million are allocated to sports development, women affairs and youth development respectively.
Environment and Urban Renewal
Infrastructural development fosters economic development, creates more job opportunities and improves our living environment. We are, therefore, committed to upgrading our infrastructure, which currently do not match our growth aspirations. It is obvious that lack of maintenance of existing drains and creeks is the major cause of flooding in our towns and cities across the State. This administration will address the numerous environmental problems to make our environment safe, clean and healthy for people to work and live in.
Asaba, our capital city, like other cities in the State has been plagued by perennial flooding. In the coming year, we intend to address this problem with the construction of Storm Drainage in Asaba for which N1.25 billion is set aside in the 2016 proposed budget estimates.
We have kick-started our Urban Renewal programme, which will attract investments, boost tourism and stimulate economic growth. A first step towards this is the establishment of the Ministry of Urban Renewal with a mandate to develop select urban centres. The programme involves construction/ maintenance of roads and drains, beautification, and provision of electricity. It will enhance business and commerce, facilitate transportation of goods and services from our cities, towns and villages. The sum of N1.5 billion is provided for the new Ministry of Urban Renewal, while the sum of N14.81 billion is provided for Urban and Regional Planning, spanning several towns. Indeed, our Year 2016 Budget is christened “Budget of Renewed Hope and Inclusive Development.”
We shall partner with the private sector to bridge the housing gaps in our cities and put processes in place to address the housing needs of our people. This we will do by providing affordable, decent and liveable houses for the people of the State through the construction of housing estates in the three Senatorial Districts through Public/Private Partnership (PPP).
Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission
In line with the funding prescription of the law setting up the Commission, the sum of twenty eight billion naira (N28bn), representing 50% of projected derivation revenue receipts from oil accruable to Delta State, is set aside for the development of oil producing communities in the 2016 fiscal year.
This administration believes in the rule of law, which will guide us in delivering democracy dividends to the people of the State. We shall continue with the construction, rehabilitation, furnishing and equipping of High Courts, Magistrate Courts and Judges’ Quarters’ throughout the State. This will aid the effective administration of justice in the State. The State’s Justice System is growing positively, particularly in the areas of advocacy, promotion of criminal justice and conflict resolution through mediation to ensure that the programmes of Government are realised. A total sum of N400 million and N250 million has been allocated for the construction of the High Court Complexes in Warri and Asaba.
We have concluded plans to commence the construction of a massive State Secretariat Complex for which N1.5 billion is proposed in the 2016 fiscal year. This will help to significantly reduce government presence in rented privately-owned buildings. Hopefully, the completion of the Office of the Head of Service Complex at Asaba will further improve the office accommodation situation in the State.
Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency
The Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, Mr. Speaker, was set up to fast-track infrastructural development in the State Capital. It is the intention of this administration to use the Agency to develop and transform the State Capital into a modern city that is environmentally-friendly and with world class physical infrastructure. It shall also provide efficient utilities including potable water supply, adequate electricity supply and appropriate waste disposal facilities and management. This, we hope, will make the State Capital a destination for investors, businesses and tourists.
For the coming year, the Agency will focus on developing Master Plans for roads, drainage, central water supply, housing, and waste management. The sum of N3.5 blllion is set aside for the development of the State Capital in the 2016 fiscal year.
Considering the need to develop Warri, being an economic hub, we have also provided the sum of N2 billion for roads development in Warri, in addition to specific provisions for on-going projects.
Mr Speaker, this is the first budget that is conceived and put together by this administration. In preparing this budget, we took into consideration the State’s Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU), the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and Budget Policy Statement (BPS). This is the outcome of the Public Financial Management Reforms being embarked upon by the State. The grim forecasts from these documents place a moral burden on this administration to adopt a pragmatic approach in the 2016 budget estimates, based on prudent management of public finances and our conviction not to raise false hopes or play to the gallery. Hence, you will observe that the proposed budget size is marginally higher than the approved amended budget for 2015.
The budget is admittedly tight but it is consistent with our vision for maintaining strict fiscal discipline. The health of our public finances is crucial to good governance, inspiring hope and confidence, attracting investors and ensuring the sustainable development of our economy as a whole. Therefore, we will continue to observe the basic principles of prudent management of public finances, strict adherence to due process and keep expenditure within revenue limits, because every expenditure will be paid for.
As part of our resolve to avoid the mistakes of the past and ensure that we get full value for every kobo spent, the project monitoring and supervision function is being handled by a Directorate under the leadership of the Senior Policy Adviser. The process of certification of jobs done has been made more demanding, thorough and painstaking, and no contractor will, henceforth, be allowed to get away with shoddy or uncompleted job.
In addition, the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Economic Planning is to be strengthened to enable it discharge its responsibility as the due diligence outfit for Government. It has also been decided by the State Executive Council that from now on any Government official who, either by omission or commission, allows the State to be short-changed in its investment projects will be appropriately - and severely
Finally, let me reiterate that our goal remains for Delta State to become the most prosperous State in the country, with that prosperity widely shared. I believe that the steady progress we have made in the last six months confirms that the vision is attainable. Our most precious asset is our people. Both in and outside of government, Delta is blessed with resourceful persons with the never-say-die spirit. With our trademark ingenuity and doggedness, our people can rise to any challenge. Therefore, no matter what the economic indicators are saying, I have full confidence that together we will build the Delta State of our dreams.
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, I now present to you the 2016 Budget Proposals as read.
- Budget Speech to the Delta State House of Assembly, Asaba.