Bayelsa budgets ₦480.994bn for 2024 fiscal year

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Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, on Wednesday, presented a total budget proposal of ₦480,994 billion for the 2024 financial year to the state House of Assembly for consideration.

The budget is against the revised provision of ₦439,272 billion for the 2023 fiscal year.

Presenting the appropriation bill christened “Budget of Sustainable and Shared Prosperity,” the governor recalled that in October 2023, the assembly approved the 2024–2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF and FSP) for the state.

He also explained that the budget proposal was predicated on the assumptions contained in the approval of the assembly.

His words, “Mr. Speaker, I wish to present the 2024 budget estimates to the House. We are guided by the desire to prepare a realistic, implementable, and prioritised budget, which is a reflection of the aspirations and wishes of critical stakeholders and the economic realities in the country.

“I hereby present to you the 2024 budget with a total size of ₦480,993,632,369.00.”

He said the 2024 estimates would be funded through statutory allocation, value-added tax, 13 per cent derivation, internally generated revenue, and other capital receipts.

On the proposed expenditure, the governor explained that total personnel costs would gulp N69.120 billion, representing 14.37 per cent, total overhead costs of N54.096 billion, representing 32.04 per cent, and total capital expenditures of N257.777 billion.

A breakdown of the sectoral allocation shows that the Works and Infrastructure Ministry got the highest share of N141.837 billion, followed by Education, which got N49.888 billion.

Also, the sum of N26.41 billion was earmarked for the Ministry of Health; Environment got N15.554 billion, while Agriculture and Natural Resources was allotted N14.886 billion.

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The Youths and Sports Ministry got N7.656 billion, Lands and Housing N6.876 billion, while the Ministry of Power was allotted N6.49 billion among other ministries.

Diri also reviewed the 2023 budget performance, which he said achieved considerable success and consistency in critical areas such as security, education, health, agriculture, human capacity building, and infrastructure development, among others.

“We built and upgraded health facilities across all LGAs and health-related tertiary institutions, including completion and furnishing of the first psychiatric hospital in Bayelsa State.

“Also, in partnership with Fly Zipline, we established a health chain distribution system to cater for drug distribution and emergency health matters using drones.

“Health Insurance Scheme enrolment is also growing by the day. As of 2020, our mobilisation was limited to the public service. We went further in 2023 to launch the “Diri Care” programme, which boosted the enrolment of the informal sector.

“The total enrolment as of November 2023 is 149,067, with civil servant enrollees totalling 118,030, vulnerable population at 27,803, and the informal sector at 3,134.

“We have in the past three years ensured that the Civil Service is given the necessary attention (including the prompt payment of salaries and regular promotions) for an effective workforce and to enhance the economic and social development of the state because ours is predominantly a civil service state.

“In addition, this administration consistently ensured that the entitlements of our senior citizens (by way of pensions and gratuities) were paid promptly. Over N3.3 billion was spent on gratuities and N10.8 billion on pensions in 2023.

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“Let me assure you that, even in the coming year, we will continue to meet our obligations to senior citizens within the limits of available resources,” he said.

The governor added, “We will endeavour to ensure strict discipline, transparency, and due process in the implementation of the 2024 budget. In this regard, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning is empowered to regularly analyse, monitor, and evaluate the budget performance against the various government policies, programmes and projects.”

In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, commended the Diri-led administration for its commitment to the development of the state as well as maintaining a harmonious relationship with the three arms of government.

Ingobere, who particularly lauded the governor for prudent management of the state’s resources in executing the project, also congratulated him on his recent victory and re-election in the November 11 governorship poll in the state.

He assured that the 7th Assembly, under his leadership, would ensure timely passage of the budget estimate within three weeks.

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