Lawmakers endorse Wike’s N530.8bn 2020 budget proposal

Members of Rivers House of Assembly passing the budget

… includes provision for payment of new minimum wage for workers
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Rivers  House of Assembly Assembly has passed the State’s 2020 Budget of  N530,813,357,619.00  presented by Governor Nyesom Wike on December 17 without any major changes in estimates.

The House of Assembly passed the 2020 Budget on Friday after members debated  on the highpoints of the Budget at their plenary.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Rt Hon Ikuinyi Ibani, posed the question for the passage of the Budget which was unanimously approved by members of the Assembly who were present.
He said the passage of the 2020 Budget will ensure the sustained development of the state from January to December,  2020.
“The House has approved the 2020 Budget of Rivers State. The clerk should liaise with the legal department to get a clean copy for presentation to the Rivers State Governor for his assent”, Ibani said.
He added that the Rivers State House of Assembly worked on the budget to create the platform for immediate implementation.
He said: “In undertaking this sacrifice,  we want to ensure that our people from first January have access to the dividends of democracy and the Government will hit the ground running .”
Deputy Speaker of the House,  Rt Hon Ehie Edison said the budget will enhance the transformation of Rivers State,  as key projects have been outlined for the development of the State.
He said that the 2020 captures all sectors of the state’s economy. He said that with the 2020 budget,  Rivers State will remain on the path of development.
Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Martins Amaehwule said that the highpoint of the 2020 budget is the inclusion of funds for the new minimum wage.
Deputy Majority Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Rt Hon Major Jack said that the 2020 Budget has been designed to ensure that all parts of Rivers State continue to benefit from the pro-people leadership of Governor Wike.  He said that the State Lawmakers will continue to support the Wike Administration.

The Rivers  State  2020 budget has a Total Recurrent expenditure of   N156,659,436569.00, while Capital expenditure is    N374,153,920,743.00.

The Budget has capital expenditure of about 70 percent to sustain the roll out of projects.

While presenting the budget, Governor Wike said:  “The capital expenditure for 2020 is estimated to be N374, 153,920,743.00, which constitutes nearly 70% ofthe total budget.The summary of sectoral allocations of the capital expenditure are as follows:

·        Administrative sector:               –       15, 061,008,000.00

·        Economic sector;                       –      136, 444,523,766.60

·        Law and Justice:                       –       2, 400,000,000.00

·        Social sector                             -138, 558,553,322.35

·        Special Head:                    –       57, 367,124,462.05

·        Loan repayments                       –       24,322,731,192.00

” The substantial increase in capital over recurrent expenditure, once again reflects and underscores our commitment to direct more resources to the growth and productive sectors of our economy.”

Governor Wike stated that the sum of N93,968,823,766.60 has been provided for the Ministry of Works to continue to fund the strategic road development programme for 2020. He said that several roads are under construction , but the State Government is committed  to delivering some key roads by the end of 2020.
The roads include:
·        Kira – Sakpenwa – Bori – Kono road linking Gokana Tai, and Khana Local Government Areas;
·        Andoni – Opobo Unity road linking Opobo/Nkoro and Andoni Local Government Areas
·        Abonnema Ring Road in Akuku Toru Local Government Area
·        Isiokpo internal roads in Ikwerre Local Government Area
·        Rumuekini – Aluu road linking Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Area
·        Rumuepirikom internal roads in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area
·        Rumuakunde and Isiodu roads in Emohua Local Government Area;
·        Akaer Base road, Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area
·        Expansion of Nzimiro, Herbert Macaulay, Amassoma and other sundry streets within Amadi Flats, old GRA, Port Harcourt
·        Eteo – Sime – Nonwa – Kira road linking Tai and Eleme Local; Government Areas;
·        Eleme – Afam road linikng Eleme and Oyigbo Local “Government Areas;
·        Rumuji – Ibaa – obele – isiokpo road;
·        Omoku – Egbema road dualization in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area;
·        Ula Ehuda – Odioku – Anwunugboko – Ubeta – Ihuechi – Odiereke road;
·        Omoku-Aligwu-Kreigani-Oduoboburu road;
·        Odieku community internal roads in Ahoada West Local Government Area;
·        Abuloma/Fimie/Ozuboko and AmadiAma Community road in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area;
·        Bolo community internal roads in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area;
·        Umuogba – Umuokpurukpu – Umueke – UmunjuUmuelechi – Eberi roundabout link road in Omuma Local Government Area;
·        Rebisi Flyover in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area;
·        Okoro-Nu-odu Flyover bridge at Obio/Akpor Local Government Area;
·        Rumubiakani Flyover at Obio/Akpor Local Government Area;
·        Expansion of Ikwerre road from Education Bus stop to Igwuruta sections spanning Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor and Ikwerrre Local Government Areas; and
·        Phase one of the Trans-Kalabari road network.

The Governor added that the State Government has allocated N26,087,783,322.35 for e Bureau for Special Projects to fund the completion of key ongoing projects .

He noted that the sum of N3,000,000,000.00 has been  allocated to the Ministry of Transport to complete the Bonny/Bile/Nembe jetty and embark on other key projects, including rehabilitating of bus stops to advance the transport sector in the State.

The Governor proposed  the sum of N49.471 billion to fund the education sector for 2020.

He said: ” This sum represents 20% of the total budget and is the highest ever budgetary allocation to education, reflecting the level of our commitment to investing in the future of our children.

“In 2020, we will continue to ensure the systematic rehabilitation, upgrade and transformation of our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and build new ones where the population demands to deliver a more conducive learning environment across schools in Rivers State. For basic education, we will promptly access the contributory grant from the Federal Government and deploy same to improve access, standards and quality. We will also continue to improve access to ICT infrastructure, employ more teachers to further reduce the teacher/learners’ ratio, especially in English Language, Mathematics, Science and technology and ensure the training and retraining of teachers to deliver measurable results and outstanding outcomes in our primary and secondary schools.”

The Governor said that the following schools would be upgraded in 2020:
°Enitonia High School, Port Harcourt in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area;
·        Government Secondary School, Ogu in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area;
·        Community Secondary School, Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area;
·        Community Secondary School, Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area;
·        Bonny National Grammar School, Bonny in Bonny Local Government Area,
·        Government Secondary School, Okarki in Ahoada West Local Government Area,
·        Western Ahoada Central High School, Ahoada in Ahoada East Local Government Area,
·        Government Secondary School, Abua in Abua/Odual Local Government Area,
·        Government Secondary Schoo, Okporowo -Ogbakiri, Emohua Local Government Area
·        Government Secondary School, Obuama in Degema Local Government Area;
·        Community Secondary School, Omuanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area;
·        Model Secondary School Bakana in Degema Local Government Area; and
·        Model Secondary School, Tombia in Degema Local Government Area .

The Highpoint of the recurrent expenditure is the allocation of funds for the new minimum wage and the recruitment of new employees.

“The sum of N70,227,748,472.32 is earmarked for salaries and wages; N8,000,000,000.00 for the new minimum wage, while N18,429,375,634.45 is for overheads.

On December 17, the Rivers’ State Governor, Nyesom Wike has presented a budget proposal of N530,813,357,619.00 for the 2020 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.
The 2020 Budget of Rivers State is christened: Budget of “Reassurance, profound impact for inclusive growth and shared prosperity”.
The Rivers State Government in 2019 budgeted N480 billion for recurrent and capital expenditure.
Presenting the 2020 Budget Proposal to the Rivers State House of Assembly on Tuesday, Wike said that the budget has total recurrent expenditure of N156,659,436569.00, while capital expenditure is N374,153,920,743.00.
Wike said: “The capital expenditure for 2020 is estimated to be N374, 153,920,743.00, which constitutes nearly 70% of the total budget.