Diri presents N310.7bn 2022 budget to Bayelsa Assembly

 Gov. Douye Diri presented a N310.7 billion budget estimate for 2022 to Bayelsa House of Assembly in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

The 2022 appropriation bill christened “Budget of Sustainable Growth’’ is to be funded partly from borrowing and grants from development partners, according to the governor.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the presentation, Gov. Diri said the administration was formulating a 30-year development plan for the state.

He said when the budget becomes law, government would build critical infrastructures, sustain urban renewal and development, create wealth and job opportunities, built human capital and strengthen agriculture.

“We intend to explore other sources of funding apart from our projected revenue and expected federal allocation.

“We intend also to borrow N45.8 billion to fund 13 per cent of the total budget estimate.

“The expected aide and grants from our development partners is estimated at N24.7 billion, which is approximately 8 per cent of the total budget estimate.

“The 2021 “Budget of Growth’’ was based on a benchmark oil price of 38 dollars per barrel of oil and production capacity of 1.8 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of 379 Naira to the dollar.

“Notwithstanding shortfall in our expected revenue inflow and the rise in our internal expenditures, we gave approval to augment payment of new minimum wage to local government workers, primary school teachers and cleared minimum wage arrears.

“The 2021 Budget was framed to give the state a positive outlook and drive it to a genuine path of prosperity after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than 60 per cent of the capital expenditure was allocated to sectors that drive investments, economic growth, improved infrastructure, youth and women empowerment.

“This was achieved through support to trade, entrepreneurial and agricultural activities and sustainable policy formulation and implementation of ICT.

“The education sector is enjoying robust funding, infrastructure upgrade and improved policy implementation.

“We have put machinery in place to establish vocational schools and technical skills training centres to aid the training of our youths and women in skillsets that are of high demand to make them employable,’’ he said.

According to the governor, the 2022 budget breakdown shows capital expenditure of N110.980 billion, Education – N4 billion, Agriculture – N12 billion and Works – N51 billion, among others. (NAN)