Delta state 2019 budget: A call for probity
PEOPLE’S TRUST, Delta State
The People’s Trust (PT) in Delta state commend Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his tireless effort to move Delta state to the next level of economic flamboyance especially with his recent presentation of budget for the 2019 fiscal year to the state house of assembly.
The budget christened: “Budget of Sustainable Growth” no doubt, promises bright fortunes for the economic buoyancy of the state particularly in the areas of infrastructure development in road and education sectors which top the priority list of the Okowa administration for the 2019 fiscal year.
As expected from any responsible government, the allocation of over 57 per cent of the budget to capital expenditure is encouraging for the provision of social infrastructure facilities to the citizenry and thankfully too, the allocation of over 79 billion naira for road infrastructure in the budget.
We also commend the allocation of over 18 billion naira for other priority areas like job creation, agriculture, sports development, water resources and health.
We note that over 73 billion naira, that is, 20 per cent of the budget will be sourced from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), an improvement on the previous year’s budget sourcing from IGR which stood at 71 billion naira.
We are enthused by the 2018 budget performance report which witnessed a significant improvement in the state revenue receipts and going by the philosophy of the PT, support the poise of government to consolidate the successes and achievements recorded and the resolve to institutionalize policies and practices that made the quoted successes and achievements possible.
But we draw the government attention to the negative impact that some of the government policies’ outcomes have on the welfare of the average Deltan, especially in the areas of roads, water and health.
This administration has been applauded for numerous roads construction and rehabilitation across the state, a gesture that has earned the state governor the accolade of the Road Master. But we must say that some of the roads are observed to be sub-standard and have failed to pass the test of time. We request that government should ensure that her contractors stop delivering shoddy jobs to Deltans forthwith if this administration must continue to earn the trust of the people.
There are critical economic areas in the state that demand government urgent attention like the Enerhen Junction in Warri, which anesthetics ambience created by the previous administration provided a pride of place to commuters and residents of that area, but today, is a shadow of itself. We urge that as soon as the Delta State House of Assembly approves the 2019 budget for implementation, that problem should receive immediate attention just as efforts are in place to contain the flood menace in the state capital, Asaba.
It is in public knowledge that this administration like previous ones, have failed to provide public water utilities for Deltans and while the citizens endeavour to make private arrangement for potable water, this administration imposes levies on private borehole owners to the tune of one thousand naira and above. We see this policy as obnoxious, wicked and anti-people and dissociate ourselves from the government’s poise to consolidate and increase its revenue receipts through IGR if the plot is to pile up burdens of financial weights and extortion of the citizens of the state. We urge that the sum of 1.6 billion earmarked for water resources be judiciously utilsed and the levies stopped.
We also use this opportunity to call on government to halt various levies, collections and charges imposed on patients for collection of reference cards, passport photographs etc in public hospitals across the state in the name of revenue generation. We had earlier appreciated the allocation of 8.6 billion naira for the health sector by the governor in the 2019 budget and therefore, it is hoped that the inconveniences and undue financial embarrassment public hospital personnel throw at the common Deltan who seeks medical attention from public health institutions across the state should stop forthwith.
As a political party and symbol of the trust of the people in the state, we will continue to engage government on the need to earn the people’s trust and support, or mobilize them for withdrawal of the same where their confidence in the government’s capability to meet their demands for good living is not guaranteed.
We believe that the governor’s desire to position Delta state as a dynamic economy for the future should be supported but the people must trust government to be accountable to every kobo reflected in the N367, 095, 083,451 (Three hundred and sixty-seven billion, ninety-five million, eighty-three thousand and four hundred and fifty-one naira) budget for 2019 to be used judiciously and equitably to the benefit of the citizens of the state.
Fred Erukanure (Chairman) John Egie (Publicity Secretary)