….. Pledges completion of road and flyover projects and focus on Agriculture
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Friday presented a budget estimate of ₦483 billion for the 2022 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
The budget, which was christened, Budget of Consolidation, according to the governor, will focus on the State’s quest for greater economic growth and fiscal consolidation, enhance job and wealth creation, build economic infrastructure, and achieve equity and social protection through poverty reduction and economic inclusiveness.
Wike said his administration succeeded significantly in managing the resources of the state by building a strong economy.
“Within Nigeria, our economy is not only stronger than 90 percent of the other States; it has continued to perform better than most others in terms of real economic growth, fiscal consolidation, debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio and Internal Revenue Generation.
“The 2022 budget is crafted within the framework of the State’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the State’s Economic Strategy Paper, the national economic outlook and the State’s economic growth projections coupled with the various development instruments and programmes.”
The governor said the projected recurrent expenditure is ₦144, 764,818,977, which represents about 30 per cent of the total budget size for 2022 fiscal year, while the projected estimates for capital expenditure is ₦314, 903,108,116, which represents about 65 per cent of the total budget size.
The governor stated that the 2022 budget is pegged on the crude oil benchmark of $50 per barrel and a national crude oil production estimates of 1.7 million barrel per day; Currency exchange rate of ₦410 to the Dollar; Gross Domestic Product growth rate of between 3 per cent for the medium term; and Inflation rate of 13.5 per cent.
He said, “Although this is yet another ambitious projection given the challenges of the national economy, we believe we would be able to successfully implement the capital because it is backed by a concrete plan of action and within achievable limits.”
Wike explained that over half of the capital budget estimate is targeted at the economic and social sectors.
He listed the main items of the scheduled capital spending in the 2022 budget to include Agriculture, Roads, Bridges, Healthcare, Education, Social Welfare, Justice Delivery, Sports, Youth and Women Empowerment and Human Security.
Admitting that his administration inherited some agricultural assets, including hundreds of hectares of uncultivated lands, abandoned livestock infrastructure, fish farms, banana plantations and the Shonghai initiative, Wike said, “But none was backed by reasonable policy, investment and sustainability frameworks.”
“We have therefore decided to make agriculture part of our engines for sustainable economic growth and development by support our people to move beyond subsistent levels of production.
“Our approach is to de-emphasize the direct participation of the State Government in agriculture and encourage the private to take the lead.
“We have provided the sum of ₦16, 937,632,000.00 in the 2022 capital budget to revitalize, stimulate and grow the agricultural sector in the State,” he said.
In the justice sector, Governor Wike said the sum of ₦2,256,928,022.80 has been earmarked as additional resources to improve efficiency of the sector.
The sum, he maintained, will fund the State Judiciary’s action plan for 2022 that include the construction of the new Magistrate Court’s Complex in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Judicial Institute and the South-South Zonal Headquarters of the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
He said the 2022 budget is also expected to further strengthen the health sector such that citizens are healthy with immediate access to affordable quality primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services and support.
Wike said the 2021 budget of ₦448.6B received over 80 percent implementation. “As at end of October 2021, total net revenue receipts was ₦391,325,270,206, which represents over 87 percent overall performance on the revenue side.
He urged the Supreme Court to expedite the trial of the Value Added Tax suit between the Rivers State government and the Federal Government.
“In anticipation of our victory we are continuing with our plan to integrate the VAT into our mainstream tax operations and strengthen the capacity of the RSIRS to effectively administer this head of tax when the responsibility comes.”
He said the administration shall complete the following roads, flyovers and other projects in the 2022 fiscal year.
“The Abali flyover, Rumukalagbor flyover, Nkpolu flyover, Rumuepirikom flyover and Elimgbu-Rumuokrushe flyover; the dualization of Ogbunuabali road, the dualization of Eastern bypass road; the dualization of Egbema – Omoku road; Trans-Kalabari road (phase one), the dualization of Ahoada – Omoku road (phase one); the dualization of Bori-Kono road and the dualization of Chokocho – Okehi – Igbodo road.
“Ogu – Ekporo –Kpogor-Wakama link road; Akpabu – Omudioga – Egbeda road; Rumuodogo 1 & 2 roads; Omoku-Aligwu-Kreigani-Oduoboburu road; Mgbuosimini – Nkpor – Mgbuodohia roads; Okochiri internal roads, phase 2; Omerulu community internal roads; Nchia internal roads; Igwuruta community internal roads; Abonnema/Obonnoma Sandfilling and reclamation; Bakana sandfilling and reclamation; Okrika sandfilling and reclamation; the new Government jetty at Marine base, Port Harcourt; Chokocho Igbodo road; Oyigbo – Okoloma road; Rumuesara – Eneka road; and Ogu/Bolo sandfilling.”
Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani said members of Rivers State House of Assembly have been impressed by the performance of the governor.
“No one is in doubt that what you have presented before the Rivers State House of Assembly is not realisable. It is a realistic and realisable budget and this has been your established pattern for the six years going seven years that you have mounted the leadership stage in the state,” he said.
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