Following allegations labeled by Chief Dr. Cairo Ojougboh against the Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa of running the budget not passed by the State House of Assembly, Mr. Charles Aniagwu has said that Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa will not be distracted by Dr. Ojougboh’s lies.
Speaking Mr. Aniagwu said they are very much aware that as the 2019 Polls draw near, the likes of Cairo Ojougboh who obviously are intimidated by the modest achievement of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa even in the midst of national recession would resort to outright blackmail.
In his words, “Governor Okowa has made it clear that he and his team shall remain focused and committed in the delivery of programmes of Government as spelt out in the SMART agenda.But for the records, let’s make it clear that the Delta State House of Assembly, in February 2017 passed the 2017 Appropriation bill of N294, 457, 40, 477 billion. The break down shows recurrent to be N158, 030,660,828 Billion while capital is N136, 443,379,649 billion. The passed budget showed an increase of over N23 billion from the initial amount of N270, 910,982,233 presented by the Governor to the assembly in November 2016”.
According to him, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Erhitiake Ibori, who presented the report of the budget before it was passed had this to say “the committee received and collated inputs, observations and recommendations from the various sub-committees and considered them one after the other, which were used in arriving at certain decisions as proposed estimates were reduced to certain areas to effect increase in other critical areas of specific needs”.
According to her, “the reasons for the increase in the budget size stems from envisaged increase in accruable income from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), owing to the global oil prices increase.
Hon. Erhitiake also attributed the increase to the Senate approval of USD 44.5 per barrel at N305 exchange rate which is at variance with the state USD 42.5 per barrel at N297 exchange rate in Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) document”.
The Governor signed the passed budget into law on Tuesday March 14, 2017 at a brief but impressive ceremony at the Exco chambers of the Government house, ASABA. Governor Okowa has strictly implemented the budget in accordance with the estimates earmarked by the lawmakers.