(2018 BUDGET ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR, DR IFEANYI OKOWA, GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE, TO THE DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017).
2. I am pleased to present before this honourable House the proposed 2018 Budget. I do so in an atmosphere of renewed hope and optimism. The positive economic indices emerging from the National Bureau of Statistics for the second quarter of this year may have signalled an end to perhaps what has been the longest running recession in the country.
3. In addition, peace has returned to the Niger Delta and oil export from Forcados trunk has commenced. We are hopeful that the Federal Government will put measures in place to enforce its directive to oil companies to locate their head offices in their areas of operation. If implemented, this will not only enhance our internal revenue generating capacity, it will also create employment opportunities, engender trade and commerce and give the needed fillip to the State’s economy.
4. Overall, the fiscal outlook is promising and Nigeria may well be on the path of economic recovery and growth, with all the favourable implications that this has for us to fully realise our vision as encapsulated in the S.M.A.R.T agenda. As you are well aware, the vision and values of the S.M.A.R.T agenda form the building blocks of the Delta State Medium Term Development Plan (2016-2019) with the following policy priority areas:
– Combat the perennial problem of youth restiveness by adopting cross-sectoral, multi-pronged approach to job and wealth creation with strong emphasis on raising entrepreneurial leaders to drive the economic diversification of the State;
– Promote civic engagement in our communities and create the peaceful atmosphere necessary for development to take place;
– Make agriculture regain its pride of place in the economy through specific policies and programmes geared at making farming more attractive to the youth, stimulate and boost farm yields, and develop the agricultural value chain;
– Lead in the provision of universal healthcare coverage and cutting edge technology for broad-based and excellent service delivery essential for a healthy and productive populace;
– Build an educational system that will raise products whose educational advantage will help them to become thinkers, innovators, leaders, and managers that will excel globally;
– Partner with relevant stakeholders/investors to attract infrastructural funding to build liveable cities and towns for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations;
– Develop leadership skills across all strata of the civil service establishment and among the political class; and
– Build organisational capacity through good governance structures in the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government for efficient, effective and timely service delivery.
5. In this context, it is important that I begin my presentation of the proposed 2018 Budget by briefly recounting the progress we have made halfway through our current tenure.
6. Rising above Recession: One of the major achievements of our administration is stabilising the ship of state in the wake of the recession that swept through the country. Confronted with dwindling receipts from the Federation Account and Internally Generated Revenue vis-à-vis inherited contractual obligations, the first challenge we faced was the payment of salaries to the huge workforce.
7. To put it in context, the total staff strength of the Federal Civil Service is about 89,000. As at the time we assumed office on May 29, 2015, Delta State had over 60,000 workers on its payroll. However, we were able to meet our obligations to the workers through debt payment re-scheduling, cutting waste, contracts reviews, and prudent management. As part of the on-going biometric exercise to weed out ghost workers, the State has been able to prune the size of the workforce to 55,000, which is still very high compared to that of peer States.
8. Considering the recessionary shocks that reverberated through the economy, it is no mean feat that we have not defaulted in paying our staff since the inception of this administration. We have paid all salaries to date and supported Local Government Councils in their constitutional responsibility of the payment of salaries in excess of N5b. We have also consistently made monthly provision towards the payment of the State’s obligation to the Contributory Pension Scheme and, indeed, paid out a lump sum of N2.5b in two tranches to cushion arrears. All other outstanding liabilities are being given priority attention even as we proactively engage with organised labour to reconcile whatever discrepancies may exist in terms of actual outstanding liabilities.
9. Wealth Creation: Job and wealth creation is the centrepiece of the S.M.A.R.T agenda, and the critical point of reference on which this administration will be assessed now and in the future. As a Special Purpose Vehicle, the Job Creation Office was created to design programmes to equip unemployed youths (graduates and school leavers) with the vocational skills, mind-set and resources to become self-employed and employers of labour. The design and implementation of the Job Creation Scheme is trainee-centred, service-oriented and results-based. The Scheme is being implemented along four paths namely:
– Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP)
– Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP)
– Special Programme for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)
– Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP)
10. So far, a total of two thousand three hundred and twenty four (2,324) unemployed youths including fifty one (51) Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) have been trained and established in enterprises of their choice. Another 4,000 youths were trained in vocational centres across the State. Under the State Employment and Expenditure For Results (SEEFOR) project to which the State has contributed N600m as counterpart fund, 5,312 youths were employed and trained on building their self-esteem, savings culture and entrepreneurship to sustain their livelihood. When we add these figures to the over 42,000 private sector jobs that were created by programmes and projects of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, we can clearly see that a new era beckons in Delta State.
11. These job creation programmes are transforming the lives of previously unemployed youths. Across the State, there are testimonies of successful start-ups and viable small businesses by those who were trained and established under the programmes. Some have grown to become employers of labour and are training other youths to become self-employed. Others have innovatively diversified into other businesses and trades to enhance their incomes and survival.
12. In addition, through GEEP, the State Government has created the first-ever electronic database of unemployed youths in Delta State. This database is now accessed by private sector organizations and employers of labour on an on-going basis. All of these developments have immense potentials for improved living standards for a substantial number of Deltans. As further testimony of the success of the Job Creation Scheme, it has been validated for partnership with the World Bank European Union funded SEEFOR project.
13. Under the Delta State Micro-credit Scheme, eight hundred and thirty-five million, seven hundred thousand naira(N835,700,000) has been disbursed to five hundred and ninety-three (593) cooperative societies, comprising six thousand two hundred and fifty-two (6,252) beneficiaries in the twenty-five (25) Local Government Areas. The enterprises cover trading, agri-business, manufacturing with active participants such as market women, artisans, and small farm holders.
14. Education: Upon assumption of office, we formulated a technical and vocational oriented education policy with the objectives of boosting literacy, expanding quality education and developing skilled human resources. Arising from the intervention in the Technical and Vocational Education and Agricultural Training (TVEAT) institutions, student
enrolment has increased by 22% while pass rate in Technical Subjects has improved by 59%. In addition, the six technical colleges in the State have been repositioned to deliver teaching and learning innovation to prepare the products for leadership and business success.
15. This administration has also embarked on massive infrastructural upgrade of facilities across selected public primary and post-primary schools in the State. So far, we have constructed a total of 560 classrooms and renovated another 599. Within the same period, a total of 59,267 classroom furniture and 7,884 teachers’ furniture were provided by this administration. In addition, we have completed the infrastructural upgrades in four model secondary schools namely;
– Ogbemudein College, Agbor;
– Owa Model College, Boji Boji Owa;
– Alema College, Abigborodo, Warri; and
– Burutu College, Burutu.
Work is currently in progress in the following model schools:
i) Government Secondary School, Ughelli (Former St. Theresa)
ii) Emore College, Oleh
iii) Ashaka Mixed Secondary School, Ashaka
iv) Ogini Grammar School, Ogharefe
16. To increase access to quality and functional basic and secondary education, we have considered and approved the establishment of twenty five (25) new schools comprising eight primary and seventeen post primary schools. For quality assurance, we have also undertaken a complete review of books for the secondary school system for improved curriculum delivery. Following the outcomes of the Education Summit in 2016, a Teachers Professional Development Centre is to be established in the State to facilitate manpower development in tandem with our policy on human capital development and professionalisation.
17. Infrastructure and Rural Development: We are working hard at urban renewal while striving to open up the rural areas to be part of the global economy. A total of 697.36 km roads and 208km of drains have been embarked upon by this administration. Of this figure, 276.63 km roads are in the rural areas.
18. Under SEEFOR’s Community Driven Development (CDD) social sub-component, over 300,000 Deltans in 42 communities now have access to socio-economic services such as electricity extension, water, skill acquisition centres, and multipurpose town halls. On the CDD Economic stream being implemented by Fadama III, over 199 subprojects have been completed in 20 communities and 15 rural infrastructure sub-projects (block of market stalls, boats, boreholes etc). To date, about 26,000 persons have access to socio-economic services in these rural communities.
19. Environment and Urban Renewal: Environmental transformation through urban renewal is one of the pillars of our S.M.A.R.T agenda. Three major factors have impacted seriously on our environment. The first is our fast growing population, the second is our status as an oil producer, and the third is our peculiar location as a coastal State.
20. Consequently, we are confronted with environmental hazards associated with oil and gas exploration, solid waste disposal/management, erosion and flood control, land degradation, deforestation and the increasing risks from climate change.
21. This administration has taken action to end the perennial flooding of the state capital and other key towns and cities across the State. While work is on-going to ensure storm water control in Asaba, a comprehensive drainage Master Plan for the territory is nearing completion. In the meantime, we have entered into partnership with the World Bank-assisted Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project NEWMAP).
22. We have already paid the sum of 500 million naira being our counterpart fund for the NEWMAP project, and an additional 30 million naira as start-up fund.
23. Health: In fulfilment of our pledge to deliver accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare, the Delta State Contributory Health Commission was established in 2016. With just N7, 000 as premium, the health insurance scheme is already providing pre-paid health services to 112,169 registered enrolees. The scheme is currently functional in 63 secondary healthcare centres, while 97 primary healthcare facilities in the State have been designated to commence provision of services under the scheme.
24. The Free Maternal and the Free Under-Five Healthcare programmes that were initiated by the previous administration in 2007 and 2010 respectively, are still being implemented. In January 2017, the financing of these programmes was taken over by the Delta State Contributory Health Commission. As at July 2017, total enrolment of these categories of people in the scheme stood at 71,350 (under 5 – 44,445; maternal – 26,905). Registration of civil servants under the scheme has commenced and is currently in progress. Sustaining the Free Maternal and the Free Under-Five Healthcare programmes has been critical in ensuring that the maternal mortality ratio and under-five mortality in the State remain the lowest in the country.
25. We have infused vigour and vitality into the teaching hospital at Oghara with critical personnel changes and the overhauling of the MRI and CT scan facilities that are now functional. In addition, we have instituted Public-Private Partnership for some diagnostic services to ensure sustainability, and a grant of N142m was released to the institution to meet pressing needs. Infrastructural work at the Asaba Central Hospital has continued to receive priority attention from this administration and is now almost 70% completed.
26. The health sector has received significant penetration of information technology with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Instrat Global Health Solutions. This is a pilot project in partnership with Instrat Global Health Solutions to digitize data management processes in our primary and secondary health facilities and eliminate the challenges associated with manual collation and assessment of data.
27. With a unique software, ‘CliniPAK,’ some of our healthcare centres are now able to streamline electronic medical records, data capture and a reporting system that would cover patient registration and demographics, vital statistics, diagnosis, treatment, case review and administrative task support, lab order management, pharmacy distribution and inventory control, as well as patient flow management. The software also offers both workflow and forms-based data capture at the point of care and real time access to patient records and reporting tools. This digitisation process is a big boost to the State’s implementation of the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results.
28. Agriculture and Food Security: Our commitment to agriculture runs deep. Our fundamental objective is to make agriculture a major growth driver in the State because of its capacity to generate employment and sustain life.
29. The co-location of YAGEP beneficiaries in various clusters is transforming the agricultural landscape of the State. The cluster model of establishing the YAGEP trainees has energized the development of previously idle agricultural resources and promoted common application of modern high-productivity agricultural systems and techniques among youths.
30. Over 4,000 participants are currently enlisted in the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme. They are benefiting in the production of commodities where we have comparative advantage, namely rice, aquaculture and cassava. In line with the sustainability plan for YAGEPreneurs, the State Government has admitted them for participation in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. We have also gone far in our agro-industrial park programme in partnership with foreign and local investors, and have continued to support the private sector to invest massively in the agricultural sector.
31. Finance and Investment: In our continuing efforts to make Delta the preferred destination for investors, the Delta State Investment Development Agency Bill was signed into law on Tuesday, 25th July, 2017. DIDA will remove the opaqueness usually associated with government business. The agency will proactively engage with the private sector to actualise their investment and business plans in the State by laying out transparent guidelines required to invest in the State.
32. Our partnership with the private sector is of utmost priority to us and we are pursuing it with relentless vigour. The State’s PPP Model is already yielding results with agreements already signed for the Delta Commercial City Project, Delta Rest Park, Asaba Integrated Power Project, Warri-Effurun Water Scheme, Agro-Industrial Parks and housing projects in the State.
33. Public Administration and Good Governance: The civil service establishment is being reenergised to make it more proactive and people-centric. We are continuing our efforts to enforce compliance with extant laws and the various existing circulars to ensure efficiency, speed, transparency and accountability. The current biometric exercise has helped to clean up the payroll and instilled discipline in the rank and file through regular and timely resumption of work.
34. We have commissioned the construction of an ultramodern Central Secretariat complex. When completed, the new secretariat will not only ensure better coordination and synergy among the various MDAs, it will also save the Government huge sums of money in rents.
35. The Philosophy and Thrust of 2018 Budget:
Mr Speaker, the proposed 2018 Budget is formulated within the context of the successes – and challenges – of the past two years. It seeks to essentially consolidate the gains of the past as we strive to build an economy that works for everyone. As I did say in my inaugural address, people have very high expectations from this government. That has sometimes exerted serious pressure on political office holders and other top government functionaries.
36. We are determined to make good our commitments to the people of Delta State. That should never be in doubt. However, we can only do that within the limits of available resources. Therefore, not being swayed by sentiments or emotion, the proposed 2018 Budget is derived from the Fiscal Strategy Paper projections for years 2018 to 2020 and in compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). It is a Budget of Hope and Consolidation. I am confident that in the unlikely event of any internal or external shocks, we will be fine as long as we continue in our tradition of fiscal discipline, prudence and accountability.
37. Before unveiling the details of the 2018 budget proposal, please permit me, Mr Speaker, to do a brief review of the 2017 approved budget.
REVIEW OF THE PREFORMANCE OF 2017 BUDGET (January – September)
38. Mr Speaker, a review of the 2017 approved budget shows that the budget size was based on revenue projections from the State’s Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), which is a key element in the Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF) and annual budget process that determines the aggregate resources available to fund the Government’s projects and programmes from a fiscally sustainable perspective. The profile of the 2017 budget is as follows:
S/N Sources Approved 2017 Budget % Appropriation
I Internally Generated Revenue 70,165,959,503 23.83
Ii Statutory Allocation Including Mineral Revenue Derivation 148,939,012,121 50.58
Iii Value Added Tax 10,515,786,230 3.57
Iv Other Capital Receipts 64,836,282,623 22.02
Total 294,457,040,472 100.00
S/N Details Approved 2017 Budget % Appropriation
I Recurrent Expenditure 158,013,660,828 57.16
Ii Capital Expenditure 136,443,379,649. 42.84
Total 294,457,040,472 100.00
S/N Sources Approved 2017 Budget % Appropriation
I Internally Generated Revenue 70,165,959,503 23.83
Ii Statutory Allocation Including Mineral Revenue Derivation 148,939,012,121 50.58
Iii Value Added Tax 10,515,786,230 3.57
Iv Other Capital Receipts 64,836,282,623 22.02
Total 294,457,040,477 100.00
S/N Details Approved 2016 Budget % Appropriation
I Recurrent Expenditure 158,013,660,828 53.66
Ii Capital Expenditure 136,443,379,649 46.34
Total 294,457,040,477 100.00
BUDGET PERFORMANCE (JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER, 2017): REVENUES
39. The State Government, during the period under review generated N127.1b, representing a performance of 57.5% over the expected proportionate revenue receipts of N220.8b. Out of this amount, the sum of N83.6b was received as Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account. The amount represents 74.9% performance over the proportionate estimate of N111.7b.
40. On the other hand, the sum of N8.3b was recorded as receipts from Value Added Tax (VAT) out of the proportionate projected estimates of N7.8b, representing a budget performance of 106.21% for the period under review.
41. The sum of N35.0b was recorded as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) out of the proportionate projected revenue ofN52.6bn, representing a budget performance of 66.67%.
42. The breakdown of the revenue receipts for the period January – September, 2017 from individual revenue sources is summarized hereunder:
BUDGET PERFORMANCE (JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER, 2017): EXPENDITURES.
43. Our expenditure profile for January to September, 2017 shows that the total sum of N127.0b was spent. Out of this amount, the sum of N104.2b was incurred on recurrent items, as against a proportionate approved budget of N118.5bn, representing a budget performance of 87.97%. The breakdown of the recurrent expenditure is summarized below:
44. The sum of N136.4b was budgeted for Capital Expenditure. During the period under review (January – September, 2017), the sum of N22.7b was spent against the proportionate budget figure of N68.2b, which represents a performance of 33.41%.This is, however, not a true reflection of the level of jobs accomplished/completed within the comparable period, which stands at about 47.05%. We were constrained by our cash flow and weather conditions. We, however, look forth to a better 4thQuarter with improved funding.
45. A breakdown of the sectoral performance for the period is as follows:
2018 BUDGET ESTIMATES
46. Mr. Speaker, distinguished Members of this honourable House, I now present to you the Budget Estimates for the 2018 fiscal year.
47. I wish to announce a budget proposal of N298.078bn for the services of Delta State Government in 2018. This amount comprises the sum of N147.5bn or 49.48% for recurrent expenditure, and N150.5 or 50.52% for capital expenditure. The summary is as follows:
SN Expenditure item Amount % percentage
1 Recurrent 147,487,809,897 49.48
2 Capital 150,590,669,000 50.52
Total 298,078,478,899 100.00
48. The 2018 budget proposal shows an increase of N3.62bn or 1.21%, compared to the 2017 approved budget of N294.4b.
SOURCES OF FUND
49. The main sources of funds for the 2018 budget as proposed are as follows:
S/N Sources Approved 2017 Budget Proposed 2018 Budget % Proportionate
I Internally Generated Revenue 70,165,959,503 71,360,419,715 23.94
Ii Statutory Allocation Including Mineral Revenue Derivation 148,939,012,121 178,056,627,329 59.73
Iii Value Added Tax 10,515,786,230 10,767,532,297 3.61
Iv Other Capital Receipts 64,836,282,623 37,893,899,556 12.72
Total 294,457,040,477 298,078,478,899 100.0
INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE
50. The reforms we are undertaking in revenue collection, the plugging of leakages in all revenue sources, as well as the anticipated return of oil producing companies to Delta State is expected to impact positively on our IGR in the forthcoming year. It is, therefore, our projection to generate the sum of N71.3bn as internally generated revenue in 2018, representing23.94% of the total projected revenues. The IGR estimates for 2018 is higher than the 2017 approved estimates byN1.1b or 1.67%.
51. Using the forecast derived from the State’s Fiscal Strategy Paper as a guide, the sum of N178.1bn or 59.73% of projected total revenue for the 2018 fiscal year is expected to come from Statutory Allocation. This amount is more than the sum ofN148.9bn projected for the 2017 fiscal year by N29.1bn or 16.35%.
52. The increase is based on the optimism that the current peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta region will be sustained and that, with the relative peace being experienced, some of the oil companies who vacated the region will return to the State. It is also our realistic expectation that the gradual improvements the Federal Government has recorded in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors will continue to
impact positively on the overall expected returns in the 2018 fiscal year.
OTHER CAPITAL RECEIPTS/MISCELLANEOUS
53. The proposal for Capital Receipts for the 2018 budget has been scaled down from the sum of N64.8bn in the 2017 budget to N37.9bn or 71.09% in 2018. The reduction is hinged on the overriding objective to reduce the loan burden on the State.
54. The proposed recurrent expenditure estimates for 2018 of N147.5bn is made up of personnel costs ofN64.3bn or 43.36%, and overhead costs of N46.8bn or 31.56%. The Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges has a proposed sum of N37.23bn or 25.09%.
55. The recurrent expenditure estimates are summarized below:
S/N Items Approved 2017 Budget Proposed 2018 Budget % Proportionate
I Personnel Costs 68,345,546,506 64,352,187,136 43.36
Ii Overhead Costs 39,211,379,552 46,837,529,552 31.56
Iii Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges 50,456,734,771 37,231,584,771 25.08
Total 158,013,660,829 147,487,809,897 100
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES
56. The proposed capital expenditure estimates for 2018 is N150.6bn. The proposal is N14.1bn or 9.39% higher than the 2017 capital budget of N136.4bn.
57. The sectoral breakdown of the capital expenditure estimates is as stated hereunder:
S/N Capital Approved 2017 Budget proposed 2018 budget Proportionate %
i Economic 32,079,335,000 37,952,119,208 25.20
ii Social 24,280,719,713 28,694,720,207 19.05
iii Environmental 34,437,314,220 35,251,858,990 23.41
iv General Administration 16,146,010,716 17,691,970,595 11.75
v DESOPADEC 28,000,000,000 28,000,000,000 18.59
vi Contingency Fund 1,500,000,000 3,000,000,000 2.00
Total 136,443,379,649 150,590,669,000 100
58. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, I will now briefly touch on some sectoral highlights of the proposals for capital projects as contained in the 2018 budget estimates.
Job Creation Scheme
59. In the 2018 fiscal year, we shall consolidate on the successes of the job creation programmes. A significant percentage of our funding, going forward, will come from SEEFOR. While the programme implementation will be intensified and strengthened, attention will be given to the monitoring and mentorship of already established businesses to ensure their lasting success.
The sum of N1.2bn is provided to sustain the Scheme in the 2018 fiscal year.
60. In line with our growth aspirations, the sum of N49.3b is earmarked in the proposed 2018 budget to sustain the current momentum in road infrastructure (including drains).
61. My statement on the day of my inauguration as Governor remains relevant today as we pursue economic diversification of our economy. On that day I said: “The need to diversify our economy and reduce undue dependence on the proceeds from oil has become quite urgent, and this is one agenda that this administration shall give great attention to… We are committed to the building and consolidation of a state in which there shall be more employment opportunities, a flourishing agriculture and agribusiness sector.”
62. Approximately N1.66bn is provided in the budget in the 2018 fiscal year for the Ministry of Agriculture.
63. Delta State has 1,021 primary and 469 secondary schools with 443,813 pupils and 332,760 students respectively.
As indicated earlier, several of these schools have been renovated, furnished and new ones built. Between SUBEB and Ministry of Basic Education, Government has so far spent in excess of N16bn in this respect.
64. In the 2018 fiscal year, the sum N18.7bn is allocated to the education sub-sector for capital projects.
65. Our guiding philosophy for this sector is the establishment of a qualitative, affordable and accessible health care delivery system in the State. Hence we are focussing on infrastructural development of our hospitals and primary health care centres, as well as the procurement of drugs and cutting edge medical equipment in major health care facilities across the three Senatorial Districts.
66. The sum of N6.6bn has been earmarked for the health sub-sector.
Contributory Health Scheme
67. The Delta State Health Insurance Scheme has kicked off and its cardinal objective is to give Deltans access to quality and affordable healthcare no matter their socio-economic status.
68. The sum of N1.2bn is provided for the Commission’s activities during the 2018 fiscal year.
Environment and Urban Renewal
69. Environmental sustainability is important to our State as it is to the national and global communities. In managing the environment better we must recognise and respond adequately to the varying challenges in different parts of the State.
70. This administration has embarked on urban renewal in key towns and cities across the state. The programme involves rehabilitation, reconstruction, and construction of new roads, clearing of drains, environmental sanitation, public water supply, and beautification in the form of leisure parks and gardens.
71. Accordingly, the sum of N2.2billion is proposed for the Ministries of Environment and Urban Renewal in the proposed 2018 capital budget.
Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency
72. We are committed to the rapid development of the Delta State Capital Territory in line with the Master Plan of the State Capital territory. We have observed that some parts of the state capital territory currently stand the risk of degenerating into urban slumps because of the uncoordinated approach to housing development.
73. The population explosion being witnessed in Asaba is occasioned by influx of people from neighbouring states. With better town planning and visionary leadership, this growth in population can be turned into financial prosperity that benefits all.
74. The sum of N3b has been proposed for the activities of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency in the 2018 fiscal year.
75. We have commissioned the construction of a new ultramodern Central Secretariat complex in Asaba. The new Secretariat is located between the two state existing secretariats along Marian Babangida Way.
76. Government also intends to complete the on-going construction of the Office of the Head of Service.
77. The sum of N1.5bn has been earmarked for the Secretariat Annexe Complex, while N150m is provided for the Office of the Head of Service in the proposed capital budget of the 2018 fiscal year.
Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC)
78. In line with the funding prescription of the law setting up the Commission, the sum of N28billion is set aside for DESOPADEC in the 2018 fiscal year.
79. In concluding, Mr Speaker, I wish to reiterate that we are determined to build a State anchored on inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. This administration has not wavered from its promises to the people of Delta State. In line with those promises, many programmes/projects have been executed; several are on-going while few need urgent attention and follow up.
80. As we celebrate the notable achievements in the last two-and-half years, we are also mindful of the fact that there is still plenty of work to be done. Many families are still reeling from the harsh effects of the recession. Many of our youths are leaving school without the skills they need for the 21st century marketplace. Many small scale businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Therefore, we must give serious attention to putting our people to work and providing the enabling environment for small enterprises to thrive. This administration is determined to build a more prosperous, inclusive and secure Delta State.
81. Mr Speaker, I thank this honourable House for their cooperation, understanding and maturity. I dare say that the relationship between this house and the executive is a model for other States to follow. I have no doubt in my mind that this partnership will become even stronger as we enter the penultimate year of the Delta State Medium Term Development Plan.
82. It is on this note, Mr Speaker, that I now request your kind permission to place before this honourable House the proposed 2018 Budget.
83. Thank you for your time and attention.
84. God bless us all.
Office of the Governor