Governor Rotimi Amaechi
By Ernest Chinwo
The state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Gogo Levi Charles, said in Port Harcourt Thursday, while giving the 2012 budget breakdown of the state, that the administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi was poised to sustain the plan to decongest the city and spread development to adjoining local government areas.
“We continued to sustain the dream of building a New Greater Port Harcourt City on which the sum of N4.00billion was spent. It is a long term project and we did not relent on our efforts. We made Port Harcourt City clean and green. Actual expenditure on this sector amounted to N13.142 billion excluding expenditure on Greater PH City,” he said.
He disclosed that the state’s 2011 budget was N415.1 billion, while the 2012 budget, as passed by the state House of Assembly, was N438 billion, N11 billion higher than the proposal sent by the governor to the Assembly.
He said the difference was as a result of the partial removal of petroleum subsidy which was not anticipated when the governor presented the budget proposal to the legislature in December last year.
On how the state intended to finance the budget, Charles said: “We expect to finance this N438 billion budget through Federation Account receipts of N261 billion; Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N63 billion; Social Levy Receipts of N2 billion, year 2011 closing balance of N12 billion and proposed bond/loan of N100 billion.”
He also said the N438 billion aggregate expenditure proposed for 2012 fiscal year was made up of recurrent expenditure of N114.339 billion and capital expenditure of N323.661 billion.
According to him: “We are spending N94.337 billion on salaries/overheads and N20.01 billion as consolidated recurrent expenditure. This is N32 billion less than the 2011 recurrent expenditure appropriation of N146.34 billion and represents 26.1 per cent of this years’ total expenditure. Government has proactively cut down on its administrative costs and is determined to put under prudent check the overall cost of bureaucracy in order to make more funds available for capital expenditure that would transform our state to the betterment of the citizenry.”
He however noted that Amaechi had said: “This does not in any way undermine our positive welfare disposition to our work force, as we believe that a well-motivated work force will deliver value for money.”
He said Rivers State remained one state in the Federation that was implementing the new minimum wage with a premium of N900, that is, N18,900 as against the Federal Government approved N18,000.
He said the state was committed to the completion of all on-going projects and to reposition its economy to be agro-based.
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