The Delta State House of Assembly has debunked reports that the Isoko Nation was allocated a mere one percent of the 2018 budget of the state government, describing peddlers of the untruth as enemies of Isoko Nation.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon Tim Owhefere who is also as the Chairman, House Committee on Information, said in a statement that of the N161billion capital expenditure of the Delta State 2018 budget, the fiscal value of projects allocated to Isoko Nation runs into N4billion.
Owhefere, who represents Isoko North Constituency in the House of assembly, said the amount does not include other projects earmarked but captured by a single head code, stressing that the sponsors of the false report were merely bringing their political differences and failures to bear on their judgment of the good works being done by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration.
The lawmaker listed some of the projects and their value as captured by the 2018 budget in respect of Isoko nation to include, construction of Ozoro Modern Market, Three Hundred Million naira, construction of community road in Iyede, N180million, construction of Oteri-Iyede road, N80million naira, completion of Owhelogbo-Abbi road, N3000million, construction of Oleh-Emede road, N280million naira, construction of Umeh road, N300million and construction of Idheze bypass, fN400million.
Others include construction of Otor-Owhe internal road, N250million, interlocking of old Uzere road, Enuto community, Emede, N50million, Aradhe-Ellu road, N60million, Emede township road, N500million, construction of Ikpide-Irri internal roads, N350million, construction of Aviara Ring road, N150million, construction of Oleh township road, N50million, Faculty of Engineering building, Oleh Campus, N150million, construction of Auditorium at Ozoro Polytechnic N50million and construction of other selected roads in Isoko North, N400million.
Owhefere explained, saying: ” A budget is never a note of finality as budgeting by the executive arm of government and subsequent approvals by the State House of Assembly is a continuous process. A good and workable budget therefore is usually built on certain perspectives namely Economic needs, population, Urban and Rural consideration amongst others”.
He continued: “The year 2018 budget of Delta State Government as passed by the State House of Assembly and subsequently signed into law created a capital expenditure of one hundred and sixty one billion, six hundred and fourteen million, five hundred and sixty eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven naira. Where it is practicable, this amount shared among the existing 25 local government areas add up to about N6.4billion per local government.
“However, bearing in mind that there are certain projects considered in the general interest of all Deltans, the above arithmetic cannot hold water. Projects like the Airport in Asaba, road dualization running from Asaba through Kwale/Isoko to Ughelli, the Teaching Hospital in Oghara among others are key projects running into billions of naira.”
He said as the Majority Leader of the House, it falls within his office to peruse all government bills, including the state appropriation bill which is the budget before its passage, maintaining that it is in his position to advise those bandying the rumours to feel free to come to his office to verify their claims before going public with intent to mislead unsuspecting and innocent people of Isoko nation.
Owhefere stressed: “Isoko people have taken cognizance of the projects being executed in Isoko nation by the Okowa administration and will continue to support the government to succeed. Come 2019 we shall vote overwhelmingly for him again. A governor who came in and choose to upgrade Vocational Education in the State and rehabilitated three Technical Colleges almost forgotten ,including our own Ofagbe Technical College, deserves all measure of commendation.“
He said the Isoko people can see through the veil of blackmail being orchestrated by enemies of the Isoko nation, stressing that the Isokos are too educated to be fooled by the fake news.