Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, on Tuesday presented a budget estimate of N148.6 billion to the state House of Assembly for the 2008 fiscal year.
The amount, comprising N70.78 billion recurrent and N77.855 capital estimates, is N41.32 billion or 21 per cent lower than the N189.959 budget for the 2007 fiscal year.
Uduaghan explained that the decrease in the estimates christened “Budget of Consolidation and Hope” is “as a result of the cautionary approach to statutory revenue expectations and the need to cut down on the level of budget deficit”.
According to the source of funds as given by the governor, statutory allocation would account for N107.99 billion, representing 72.66 per cent, this is followed by internally generated revenue (IGR) estimates of N18.89 billion while other capital receipts and Value Added Tax (VAT) are to generate N17.488 billion and N4.255 billion.
A N30 billion allocation to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) leads the sectoral highlights, followed by the economic sector with an allocation of N15.66 billion, environment N13.192 billion with administration and contingency having the least allocation of N7.61 billion and N2 billion.
Commissioner for Economic Planning, Bernard Okumagba, told journalists shortly after the budget presentation that the government was cutting down on its overhead cost by N9 billion from the N30 billion in 2007 to N21 billion in 2008.
“It is a deliberate policy of government to ensure that we reduce the cost of governance. To ensure that we are disciplined in ensuring that amounts we put in place for administering governance is reduced. It is a sacrifice that we have to make to free up more money for capital expenditure.
“We are looking at a balanced budget, we are avoiding deficient financing. Our approach to governance is discipline. We would not want to envisage borrowing in the course of the year. The N148 billion has fully accounted for the sources where we would get money to fund developmental projects in the coming year,” he said.