Full text of Governor Okowa’s 2023 budget of seamless and stable transition

Full text of Governor Okowa’s 2023 budget of seamless and stable transition


Mr. Speaker,
Honourable Members
I present the 2023 Budget proposals to this honourable House in an atmosphere of hope and uncertainty.
2.As the last budget I will be laying before this honourable House, the 2023 Budget is logically geared towards consolidating and expanding on the achievements of the past seven and half years and realising our long-term growth potential. As I will shortly elaborate, Budget 2023 provides for sustained investment in new and ongoing projects, the creation of employment and business opportunities, the resourcing of our people with the relevant skills and technical know-how to take advantage of those opportunities, the creation of a vibrant social services sector, and a more peaceful and secure climate to enable an investor-friendly environment that makes Delta State the preferred destination for foreign and local investors.

3.However, we should not be under any illusions whatsoever that it is going to be smooth sailing. The national economic and fiscal outlook is anything but cheery. The economy faces headwinds from fiscal instability arising from huge debt overhang, runaway inflation, massive exchange rate depreciation, record-high subsidy costs, high interest rates, insecurity, and food crisis. In a sense, the bleak economic outlook gives me the deja vu feeling; it reminds me of the early days of this administration when the economy was reeling from the harsh effects of the global slump in the international oil market.

4.A cautious approach is, therefore, required to strike a balance between meeting the needs and expectations of our people and achieving fiscal consolidation. This is in line with the administration’s commitment to maintain fiscal prudence and discipline in order to ensure long term fiscal sustainability.

5.Before I delve into the proposals for the 2023 fiscal year, it is exigent that I present our scorecard in the last seven and half years. But first, let me appreciate this honourable House for your support and partnership since the inception of this administration. This house shares in the credit of the milestone achievements of this administration.The executive and legislative arms in a presidential system of government have critical roles to play in promoting good governance, achieving political stability, and ensuring sustainable economic growth. But to what degree this is attainable depends largely on the kind of relationship that exists between the two institutions.

6.The mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation that exist between this house and the executive have been very instrumental in enabling this administration to deliver on its policy mandates amid very challenging economic circumstances. Indeed, I consider myself blessed to have worked with a legislature that sees itself as a partner with the executive. It goes without saying that the excellent executive-legislature relationship is a model for other states to emulate.

7.I shall now proceed to highlight some of the key achievements of this administration so far.

Delta Soeaker and PDP 2023 Governorship candidate officiating at the budget presentation event during planary.

8.Shortly after this administration came into being on May 29, 2015, we formulated the Delta State Medium-Term Development Plan (2016-2019), as the overarching framework for development priorities and cardinal policies and programmes for economic, infrastructural, and human capital development. In the current tenure, the Delta State Medium Term Development Plan 2 (2020-2023) was launched. Both plans encapsulated the S.M.A.R.T, later Stronger Delta, agenda comprising job and wealth creation, peace building, agricultural reforms and industrialization, health and education reforms and urban renewal.

9.Consistent with the Medium-Term Plan, we formulated and implemented well-targeted policies and programmes aimed at quickly uplifting the social and economic wellbeing of our people.

10.The Medium-Term Plans focused on the following sectors/issues:
Fiscal stabilization – reforms in revenue and spending;
Job and wealth creation through skills training and entrepreneurship (particularly among youths to tackle youth unemployment);
Support to Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through microcredit and training;
Creation of conducive environment for public-private partnership investments;
Development of the agricultural value chain and agro-industries;
Reform of government-owned enterprises;
Road and transport infrastructure;
Contributory health insurance policy/programme;
Revamping of vocational and technical education;
Urban renewal through flood control infrastructure, roads, markets development, housing, and sanitation
Peace building, social and inter-communal harmony

11.In addition, we formulated key policy and institutional reforms to promote good governance. These include:
Enactment of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency Law to plan and manage physical development of the capital territory;
Enactment of the Technical and Vocational Education Board Law, which later metamorphosed into the Ministry of Technical Education;
The establishment of the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer, which was subsequently converted by law into the Delta State Job and Wealth creation Bureau to plan, design, implement and coordinate customized job creation programmes and initiatives to tackle youth unemployment;
Enactment of the Delta State Investment Development Agency Law to attract, midwife and foster public-private partnership (PPP) investments;
Enactment of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission Law to develop and manage the Universal Health Coverage;
Enactment of “Delta State Public and Private Properties Protection Law, 2018,” to enhance ease of doing business in the state. The law is expected to greatly improve access to land for business and private development, essential for attracting and retaining private investors.
Enactment of the Delta State House of Assembly Fund Management (Financial Autonomy)Law, 2019.
Fiscal policy, budget and public financial management reforms and rationalization of project management to streamline resource allocation and public spending, ensure efficient and timely project delivery and promote accountability.

12.It is a good example of good-practice scenario of planning and accountability where sound planning was adequately matched with faithful implementation of policies/programmes, and governance accountability was achieved in terms of tangible results and outcomes for the people.
Job and Wealth Creation

13.While it is a fact that youth unemployment is still a sore point in our state, there is credible evidence that we have made significant breakthroughs in tackling the problem through our multi-pronged entrepreneurship development programmes, namely;
– Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP);
– Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP);
– Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP);
– Rural Youth Skills Acquisition Programme (RYSA);
– Girls Entrepreneurship Skills Training (GEST); and
– Women Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition Programme (WESAP).
– ICT Youth Empowerment Programme

14.Distinct from one-off empowerment that was the vogue in the past, successful participants are taken through a rigorous three-phase training regimen that equips them with entrepreneurial skills. So far, we have produced 13,510 new youth entrepreneurs from previously unemployed or underemployed youths. After their training, they were resourced with the necessary tools and working capital to establish their own businesses, while the Directorate of Mentoring and Monitoring exists to offer them counsel and guidance as they navigate their way in the world of entrepreneurship.

15.An additional 223,905 direct jobs were created through multifaceted programmes and initiatives in skills development, skills upgrading, entrepreneurship training, enterprise microcredit, livelihood sustenance, business support grants, market linkage support and public service jobs placement. Furthermore, a total of 1,325,750 indirect jobs were also created from ancillary and multiplier effects of public infrastructure works, public private partnership (PPP) investments, sector-specific programmes, community-level and local government-level projects, and youth empowerment grants and related programmes.

16.Our model entrepreneurship development programmes have produced multiple benefits and impacts in tackling youth unemployment, preventing youth restiveness, stimulating the agricultural sector, supporting, and promoting micro and small enterprises. Even more significant is the inclusive nature of the programmes. All segments of Delta society – unemployed youths, workers, micro, small and medium enterprises, widows, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), students, farmers, and traders– were effectively covered engendering inclusivity and sustainable development.

17.Following the impacts of these interventions, Delta State was ranked the Best State in Human Capital Development in the 2017 States Peer Review by the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, while in 2020, it was adjudged to be the Second Least Poor State, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

18.Another benefit of our entrepreneurship development programmes is that it has impacted positively on the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) sector in the state. By providing services as training centres, facilitators, and mentors to the trainees under the job creation programmes, hundreds of small and medium enterprises have been stimulated and supported to upgrade their technical, entrepreneurial, and managerial capacities, increase visibility/patronage, and improve the quality of their services and achieve enterprise development.

19.We have made good our promise to shift the policy emphasis in the educational system from certificate acquisition to skills acquisition in order to give our children wealth creation and employability skills. As you are all aware, the existing six technical colleges when we came on board have been rehabilitated and are fully functional. Since their revival, students’ enrolment has increased by 22%, and the pass rate in technical subjects improved by 59%.Nine model technical colleges are currently at different stages of completion in Asaba, Effurun, Omadino,Obiaruku, Irri, Akugbene, Oghara, Kiagbodo, and Orerokpe. In addition, eight new vocational centres have been established across the state.

20.In the basic and secondary school sector, we have continued to upgrade the infrastructure, enhance the learning climate, and improve teacher professionalism. We established 62 new primary and secondary schools to broaden access to education as envisaged under the Universal Basic Education programme.

21.In the tertiary education sector, three existing institutions were upgraded to universities in 2021 to create more opportunities for our bright students, especially in the fields of medicine, engineering, law, ICT, and architecture. They are the University of Delta (former College of Education), Agbor, Delta State University of Science and Technology (former Delta State Polytechnic), Ozoro, and Dennis Osadebey University (former Anwai Campus of Delta State University), Anwai, Asaba.

22.As widely anticipated, almost 5,000 students were admitted into these universities for the 2021/2022 academic session, thereby reducing the deficit in the admission space. In order to meet the infrastructural need of the institutions, the government embarked on massive upgrade, completion and conversion of existing iinfrastructural facilities at the newly established universities, as well as the construction of new ones as it was critical to the resource verification visits from the National Universities Commission (NUC). Over 40 projects, either by way of contract and direct labour, are on-going. While some have been completed, others are at different stages of completion.

23.The National Universities Commission’s Resource Assessment Team visited the universities in the first week of November, 2021, and approved eight (8) faculties made up of seventy-four (74) programmes for the University of Delta, Agbor, six (6) faculties made up of forty-four (44) programmes for Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, and five (5) faculties consisting of thirty-five (35) programmes for Dennis Osadebay University, Asaba.

24.The next hurdle that must be crossed by this administration before its exit in May, 2023 is to ensure that these verified programmes into which students are being admitted are accredited by the NUC, while at the same time, make efforts to present unverified programmes to the NUC for clearance.

25.In the health sector, Delta was the first state in the country to commence Universal Health Coverage with the establishment of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission in February 2016. The Contributory Health Scheme currently has over 1.2 million enrollees, the highest in the country. There are also 511 accredited government and private healthcare facilities providing service under the scheme.

26.The recently enacted National Health Insurance (NHIA) Act 2022 has repealed the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act 2004 and made health insurance mandatory for all people resident in Nigeria. The alignment of the operations of the DSCHS with the provisions of the NHIA Act 2022 has commenced in Delta State. This will provide the opportunity to expand the enrollee population of the DSCHS because the new law mandates all residents in Nigeria to register with a state supported health insurance scheme before they can register for a Private Health Insurance Scheme. The NHIA Act also expands the funding portfolio for the vulnerable residents to ensure no one is left behind.

27.The Delta State Government will continue to expand the capacity and potentials of the DSCHS to maintain its leadership position in the country.

Roads and Bridges

28.Critical public infrastructures such asroads, bridges, and drainages continue to receive priority attention. Ongoing and completed projectsnumbering 883, cover a total length of 1, 932.14 kilometres of roads, while drainage channels have a cumulative length of 1,035.95 kilometres. This is no mean feat considering the array of competing needs in government and the fact that this administration has gone through two cycles of recession. Indeed, our massive investment in road and physical infrastructure has increased opportunities for growth and renewal, employment opportunities, as well as expansion of the retail/informal sector.

29.Fifteen bridges are currently under construction across the state. Among those already completed are the Ovwor/Effurun bridge, Oha/Orerokpe/Oviore bridge, Agbarho/Orherhe bridge, as well as bridges at rail crossing in Boji Boji Urban. Regrettably, we had to repudiate the multi-billion-naira contract for the construction of Ayakoromo bridge in Burutu Local Government Area of the state owing to non-performance by the contractor.

30.This administration is very proud of the network of roads it has constructed in the riverine communities. It is an attestation of our belief that every community deserves to share in the prosperity of our commonwealth. Notable
among these are the Burutu, Okerenkoko and Benekrukru internal roads, as well as the 20.29 kilometres Obotobo 1- Obotobo 11 – Sokebolou – Yokri Road in Burutu Local Government Area.

31.We have made substantial progress on the Ughelli-Asaba Expressway. Work should intensify on this strategic road as soon as the rains subside. This is one important project we are determined to complete before the end of this administration.

Urban Renewal
32.The Ogheye Floating Market in Warri North local government area is awaiting commissioning in December this year. Started by the previous administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, it was redesigned by this administration to be a market hub for the riverine communities. The market comprises a 6,000 deck with various facilities including a banking hall.

33.The Ogheye Floating Market joins the league of flagship projects, which include the Stephen Keshi Stadium, the sprawling, ultra-modern Prof. Chike Edozien Central Secretariat Complex built by this administration, and the Asaba Film Village and Leisure Park.
34.Building on the foundation laid by my predecessors, we have transformed Asaba, the capital city into one of the fastest growing cities in Nigeria. As a result of the Asaba Storm Water Drainage project, residents of Asaba and the capital territory are no longer apprehensive of the rains because the massive flooding that used to overwhelm the city has been substantially mitigated. The Warri, Uvwie and Environs Development Agency is posied to achieve a similar feat in its catchment area.

35.The concessioning of the Asaba airport has put the airport on a stronger footing and transformed it into one of the best airports in Nigeria. As at today, the Asaba Airport has moved up from 15th position to sixth in terms of passenger traffic, and recently won an award as one of the Best Regional Airports in Africa. At least 80% of the staff employed by the Concessionaire are Deltans, and as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility the company is providing street lights from Okpanam to Head Bridge.

36.The concessioning exercise was made possible because of the massive investment the government made to upgrade the facilities at the airport. This administration had to fully rehabilitate/reconstruct the runway, taxiway, and other ancillary works, completed the perimeter fence, and evacuated the hill beside the airport for the provision of obstacle free zone for the runway as demanded by the regulatory authority. Subsequently, the airport was upgraded to Category 6, which enables aircraft as large as the Boeing 737 to land. In addition, this administration completed the installation of the Instrument Landing System and the Airfield Ground Lighting System, to enable it handle night operations.

37.As stated earlier, one of the strategic thrusts of our medium-term development plan is the creation of an operating environment conducive for Public-Private Partnership investments. The Norsworthy Farms in Akwukwu-Igbo and the Aboh Ogwashi-Uku Agro Industrial Park are two of the projects that have come on stream.

38.Sitting on 1,203 hectares of land, Norsworthy Farm is a partnership between Agro-Allied Industries and the Delta State Government. The Farm has the potential of becoming one of the leading palm oil producers in Nigeria providing superior and high-quality palm produce. Aside from bridging the shortfall in oil palm supply in the country, it will foster development within the host communities, create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the people as it is already doing, and develop the oil palm value chain.

39.The Agro-Industrial Park, which construction has reached 65% completion, will be a game-changer and growth pole for the agricultural economy. The envisaged impacts include creating markets and wealth for smallholder farmers, industrializing agriculture, stimulating efficient farm technologies, and creating tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs along the agricultural value chain.Upon take-off, the park will eliminate the infrastructure and operational bottlenecks to agro-industries, bring down agro-industrial business costs, guarantee markets and incomes for our farmers and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs along the agricultural value chain.

40.The Kwale Industrial Park is on course. The government, in partnership with Eastern Metals Limited (EML), has concluded arrangements to establish a nail factory at the Park, with the government holding 10% equity in the business. EML, a successful company that is into metals, steel, and nail production, has invoices from reputable offshore companies for supply of nails from its offshore subsidiary. This partnership is a response to that growing demand. The 10% equity investment, which translates to $3.1m, is to facilitate and de-risk the investment.

41.As you may recall, a total sum of four hundred and seventy-eight billion, nine hundred and forty-one million, eight hundred and ten thousand, nine hundred and eleven naira only (N478,941,810,911) was approved for funding both capital and recurrent expenditures in the 2022 fiscal year.
42. For the first nine months of the year (January to September) 2022, the actual revenue receipts from the Federation Account Allocation, Internally Generated Revenue and other sources stood at Four Hundred and Seventy Billion, Three Hundred and Six Million, One Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty Four Naira (N470,306,153,944) only representing 131% of the proportionate budget of Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Billion, Two Hundred and Six Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty Three Naira (N359,206,358,183).
43.The breakdown is as follows:

Recurrent Expenditure:
44.For the recurrent expenditure, the sum of Two Hundred and Sixty-Four Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Two Million, Two Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Three Naira (N264,492,216,623) was expended out of the proportionate figure of One Hundred and Forty One Billion, One Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Seven Naira (N141,158,784,507) for the first eight months,representing 187% performance.
45.The breakdown is as follows:

Capital Expenditure:
46. The sum of Two Hundred and Ninety Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty Million, Ninety Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty Five Naira (N290,730,098,235) only was earmarked for capital expenditure for year 2022 and a proportionate nine months budget of Two Hundred and Eighteen Billion, Forty Seven Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Six Naira (N218,047,573,676) only out of which One Hundred and Eighty Nine Billion, Six Hundred and Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty Six Naira (N189,608,957,866) was spent amounting to87% performance. It is pertinent to note that despite the global economic meltdown, the overall performance of the 2022 budget (January to September, 2022) was positive. We had sufficient revenues beyond our projections that funded our recurrent and capital expenditures. The rate of performance is expected to remain on this trajectory for the rest of the fiscal year.
47.See capital Expenditure summary below:

The 2023 Budget Policy:
48. ​Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, the review of our performance in the outgoing fiscal year constitutes a good background for the presentation of what we have outlined to achieve in the incoming fiscal year. It is our expectation that all spending proposals for the 2023 budget must be guided by the principles of fiscal discipline, transparency, accountability, and prudent utilization of scarce resources.
49.It is important to emphasize that the 2023 budget is targeted at strengthening the achievements made by this administration since 2015.We intend to maintain our policy thrust of prudent management of resources, budget discipline, observance of due process, ensuring good value for money, completion of ongoing projects, provision of basic infrastructure, general increase in agricultural production, improving the livelihood of the those in the lower rung of the economic ladder and enhancement of Internally Generated Revenue. For these reasons, we have tagged the 2023 budget the BUDGET OF SEAMLESS AND STABLE TRANSITION.
50.In considering the macro-economic framework for the 2023 – 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) the State took into consideration the National Inflation (consumer prices), the real GDP growth, derived from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the Federal Government’s assumptions for the preparation of the 2023 Budget. Therefore, the framework as shown below guided our assumption in arriving at our estimates:
• Benchmark oil price of 70 US Dollars per barrel;
• Daily oil production benchmark of 1.69 million barrels
• Exchange rate of N435.57 per US Dollar; and
• GDP growth projected at 3.75 percent and inflation closing at 17.16 percent.
51. We have painstakingly prepared an equitable, realistic, and implementable budget estimates in the context of multi-year (2021-2023) Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that will be in line with the current economic realities.
52. Flowing from the above, I wish to announce that the projected Budget outlay for 2023 fiscal year is N561,820,596,524 (five hundred and sixty-one billion, five hundred and ninety-six thousand, five hundred and twenty-four naira) showing an increase of 17% from 2022 Budget.
53.The breakdown is as follows: –
(i) Recurrent Expenditure of N235,208,340,101, which represents 42% of the total expenditure and an increase of N46,996,627,425 or 25% from the 2022 Budget of N188,211,712,676.
Personnel Cost of N91,035,657,320 representing 39% of the recurrent budget,
Overhead Cost of N82,083,259,293representing about 35% of the total recurrent budget,
Social Contribution of N8,267,230,932representing 4% of the total recurrent budget,
Social Benefit of N5,008,000,000 representing 2% of the total recurrent budget,
Domestic Loan Repayment (Principal) of N33,813,382,250representing 14% of the total recurrent budget,
External Loan Repayment is N300,000,000 or 0.1% of the total recurrent budget,
Grants and Contribution of N14,700,810,306 representing 6% of the total recurrent budget.
54.The details are further shown on the table below:

(ii) Capital Expenditure of N326,612,256,423represents58% of the total Expenditure Budget and an increase of N82,878,785,613 or17% growth from the 2022 Budget.

Administrative Sectorof N13,343,415,392,representing 4% only of the total capital budget,
Economic Sector of N172,129,985,428,representing 53% only of the total capital budget,
Law and Justice Sector of N3,391,710,003,representing 1% only of the total capital budget,
Regional Sector of N64,225,000,000,representing 20% only of the total capital budget, and
Social Sector of N70,522,145,600,representing 22%only of the total capital budget,
Administrative Sector
55. The Administrative sector is very crucial in the implementation of policies and programmes of the government. In the 2023 budget, we will strengthen the existing administrative institutional framework, build capacity of public servants, ensure value for money, and improve the quality of public service delivery.
56. The intended boost on the effectiveness and efficiency of the state public service will be pursued in partnership with willing development partners and reform agents within and outside the state.
57.Government will also strengthen the relevant institutions of the state responsible for sustaining the reforms and gains of the Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme of the World Bank which has recorded tremendous improvements in our financial administrative processes.
Economic Sector
58. The economic sector warehouses the investments drivers of the budget. We shall continue to work on the natural endowments in the three senatorial zones to efficiently draw out resources that will boost the state economy. The state has some ongoing socioeconomic catalyst projects and programmes that must be delivered before the end of May, 2023. Again, we will strategize to harvest opportunities made available to the State through renewed partnership with Development Partners that have programmes and projects that can help Delta State attain its goals. I will talk more about our achievements in this sector as I move on.
Law and Justice
59. The judiciary midwives and gives redress to aggrieved citizens and residents in the State. The welfare of the judiciary staff is paramount if that responsibility is to be met. We are, therefore, determined to create a conducive atmosphere for the dispensation of justice in the State. The completion of the ultra-modern high court building willbe delivered within the life of this administration. Mechanisms are also being created and established in the state judiciary to strengthen her independence and allow for timely handling of matters and quick dispensation of justice to the public.

Social Sector
60. The social sector, which comprise education, health, youth and sports development, women affairs and gender issues and all programmes that emphasize social inclusion, shall be given priority attention in the 2023 fiscal year.
61. The main source of fund for the 2023 budget is as follows:
Internally Generated Revenue (IGR):
With the sustenance of all the measures put in place to overhaul the revenue infrastructure, the IGR for 2023 is expected to improve. The signs are obvious with a performance of 89% of the budget in the first nine months of the current year. We shall continue to sustain and improve on the measures taken thus far which culminated in the increased revenue profile. While new sources of revenue are being explored, we shall also intensify enforcement of appropriate tax legislation. It is, therefore, our projection to generate the sum of N95bn as Internally Generated Revenue
in 2023, representing 17% of the total projected revenues for the year. The IGR estimates for 2023 is higher than the 2022 approved estimates by N15bn, which is a proposed growth of 19% over the current year’s estimate.
(ii) Statutory Allocation:
62. Using the forecast derived from the State’s Fiscal Strategy Paper as a guide, the sum of N357,996,119,852 or 64% of projected total revenue for the 2023 fiscal year is expected to come from statutory allocation. This amount is more than the sum of N259,419,628,938 budgeted for the 2022 fiscal year by N98,576,490,914 or 38% growth. The increase is a function of the relative calm that has returned to the oil producing region and the improvement in the price of oil in the international market.
(iii) Other Capital Receipts:
63. The proposal for capital receipts for the 2023 Budget has decreased from the sum of N114,570,645,051 in the 2022 Budget to N80,332,124,492, showing a variation of N34,238,520,559. The reduction is informed by our overriding objective of a gradual reduction of the borrowing component of our relationship with multilateral intervention partners.
64. The details of revenue sources for funding the 2023 budget are summarized on the table below:

65. The 2023 budget will concentrate on pursuance of our goals for job and wealth creation for the entire citizenry, promotion of peace and secure environment and completion of projects started by this administration.
65.Our commitment to infrastructural development is unwavering. Critical projects such as the multi-billion naira Orere Bridge and Access Road in Ughelli South Local Government Area,Trans Warri – Ode Itsekiri Bridges and Access Road Phase 1, Kwale-Beneku Bridge, and Ayakoromor Bridge will continue to receive priority attention and shall be completed before the tenure of this administration expires in May 2023. The contract for the Ayankor0mor Bridge, which was recently repudiated by the government has been awarded to another contractor. The dualization of Ughelli-Asaba Road (Sectors A and C2) is also expected to be completed next year. Coming on stream in the 2023 fiscal year is Okpanam Bypass linking Okpanam to Benin-Asaba Expressway. The Koka Flyover and Interchange, another flagship project of this administration, will be ready for commissioning in January this year. Work on the project was temporarily stalled due to the recent flooding of the underpass.

66.A total sum of N111.4b has been earmarked for the Ministry of Works in the 2023 fiscal year.
67.Our ongoing efforts at urban renewal will be vigorously sustained in 2023. Consequently, we have earmarked N5.9b for the Ministry of Urban Renewal. The Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency and the Warri, Uvwie and Environs Development Agency are to receive N8.3b and N8b respectively.

68.Delta State is gearing up to host the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival in November this year. It is our earnest expectation that the state will retain its frontrunner status in national sports. Meanwhile, there is the need to upgrade some of the sports facilities in the state. Expected to receive urgent attention are the development of the Warri Stadium, rehabilitation, and provision of auxiliary facilities, and construction of multi-purpose Indoor Sports Hall, both at Stephen Keshi Stadium.
69.The sum of N8.4b has been allocated to sports in the 2023 fiscal year.
70.The sum of N8.6b is proposed for the Ministry of Trade and Investment. Out of this amount, N3b has been earmarked for the completion, take-off, and operation of the Agro-Industrial Park in Aboh-Ogwashi-Uku. Also receiving priority attention in this sector is the development of Asaba Industrial Estate, Ogheye Floating Market, and construction of Udu Harbour Market.
71.As stated earlier, the three new universities in the state have commenced academic sessions. Government is committed to upgrading the facilities in the universities and the provision of a conducive learning climate. Notably, the construction of the Medical Sciences Building at University of Delta, Agbor, and Administration Building at School of Marine Technology, Burutu, is expected to commence in the 2023 fiscal year.
72.The sum of 17.7b has been earmarked for the Ministry of Higher Education.
73.Primary Education is to receive N5.2b while a provision of N1.3b has been made for counterpart fund for SUBEB. The Ministries of Secondary and Technical Education are allocated the sums of N11.4b and 7b respectively.
74.The pilot scheme of the Social Housing Scheme by the government is in progress in Kwale, Ekpan, Ibusa, and Owa-Eke. Meanwhile, the construction of the new Conference Centre in Asaba shall be pursued with renewed vigour.
75.The sum of N10b has been earmarked for the Ministry of Housing in the proposed budget.
76.Delta continues to be a pacesetter in healthcare delivery with the Universal Health Coverage and free medical services for the pregnant mothers and children under the age of five. In 2023, we plan to upgrade four central hospitals at Warri, Ughelli, Agbor, and Sapele. The Maternal and Child Care Centres in Ekpan and Owa-Alero shall be completed before the expiration of our tenure. We have renovated the clinical building at the Delta State Teaching Hospital, Oghara, and equipped it with modern equipment. Our focus in the next fiscal year is to complete the ongoing construction of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences building, Clinical Sciences building, and a 500 – seater auditorium for the College of Medicine. We also expect the new Orthopaedic building to be completed in 2023.
77.The Ministry of Health is to get N12.4b in the proposed budget.
78.Asaba is poised to become Nigeria’s entertainment capital once the Film Village and Leisure Park takes off. The project is 90% completed.
79.The sum of N2.7b is allocated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
80.Our quest to diversify the economy and enhance the business competitiveness of the state will be sustained in the 2023 fiscal year.
81.The sum of N4.3b has been earmarked for our model entrepreneurship development programmes, notably STEP, YAGEP, RYSA, GEST, WESAP, and ICT Youth Empowerment Programme.
82.Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, as I conclude this Budget Address, it is only fitting that I commend the Commissioner of Economic Planning and his team for the excellent work they have done not only in preparing this budget but also in managing the expectations of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government. I thank him and all those who participated in the pre-budget consultations for their commitment to produce an implementable budget.

83.Essentially, the goal of the 2023 Budget is to ensure that the gains of this administration are consolidated and expanded. Ongoing projects must be completed while new ones must come on stream. Notwithstanding the persistently challenging external conditions, it is incumbent on the leadership to address the socio-economic needs of our people and ensure that their legitimate aspirations are realised. To successfully do that requires that we must be conscious of the decisions we make and guided by the obligation to carefully weigh every available option in the light of our fiscal realities vis-à-vis the demands of good governance.
84.It is our reasonable expectation that the 2023 Budget will significantly address current structural challenges of the economy, improve the business environment, accelerate economic development, engender inclusivity, promote social harmony, and ensure seamless transition to a new administration.

85.It is on this note, Mr Speaker, Honourable Members that I now proceed to lay the 2023 Budget proposals for your debate and approval.
86.Thank you all for your time and attention.
87.God bless Delta State.
88.God bless us all.

Office of the Governor
Government House,

October, 2022

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