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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Bayelsa governor proposes N480.99 billion “Budget of Sustainable and Shared Prosperity”

Senator Douye Diri Unveils Comprehensive Budget Aligned with Stakeholders' Aspirations

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In a significant legislative move, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, presented the 2024 budget amounting to N480.99 billion to the State House of Assembly on Wednesday. Titled “Budget of Sustainable and Shared Prosperity,” the appropriation bill reflects a comprehensive approach, aligning with the aspirations of critical stakeholders and the economic realities within the country.

Governor Diri, during the presentation, underscored the desire to formulate a realistic, implementable, and prioritized budget. He noted that the proposal drew from the assumptions contained in the assembly’s earlier approval of the 2024–2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF and FSP) for the state.

The proposed budget, totaling N480,993,632,369.00, is expected to be funded through various sources, including statutory allocation, value-added tax (VAT), 13% derivation, internally generated revenue, and other capital receipts. Governor Diri detailed the allocation, revealing that personnel costs would account for N69.120 billion (14.37%), overhead costs for N54.096 billion (32.04%), and capital expenditures for N257.777 billion.

Breaking down the sectoral allocation, the Works and Infrastructure Ministry received the largest share at N141.837 billion, followed by Education with N49.888 billion. Other sectors, including health, environment, agriculture, natural resources, youth and sports, land and housing, and power, were also allocated significant funds.

Governor Diri also took the opportunity to review the 2023 budget performance, highlighting achievements in crucial areas such as security, education, health, agriculture, human capacity building, and infrastructure development. The administration’s efforts in health, particularly the establishment of a health chain distribution system using drones, were emphasized. Additionally, the governor commended the success of the Health Insurance Scheme, with an enrollment of 149,067 individuals.

The governor assured the Civil Service of continued attention, including the prompt payment of salaries and regular promotions. He affirmed the administration’s commitment to meeting obligations to senior citizens, with over N3.3 billion spent on gratuities and N10.8 billion for pensions in 2023.

In response, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, commended the Prosperity Administration for its commitment to development and harmonious relations with the three arms of government. Ingobere expressed confidence that the 7th Assembly, under his leadership, would ensure the timely passage of the budget estimate within three weeks.

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