RIVERS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PASSES THE 2020 BUDGET

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The 128th legislative day of the 9th Assembly, the Rivers State House of Assembly on Friday passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill (Budget Estimates) to law. This followed a presentation of the Appropriation Committee report by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Hon. Enemi Alabo George to the Committee on Supplies (Committee of the Whole).

The 2020 Budget Estimates was presented to the Rivers State House of Assembly on the 17h day of December, 2019 by His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS.

In his report, the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee said “The Appropriation Bill for the Services of the Rivers State Government was for the year beginning from 1st January, 2020 and ending on the 31st December, 2020 was committed to the House Committee on Appropriation in line with order 50 (3), the committee was charged with the responsibility of liaising with other standing committees which are sub-committees of the Appropriation Committee for the purpose of providing details of the committee’s actions on the bill after interactions with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).”

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The Chairman further said “The committees of the House were painstaking in their evaluation of the 2019 Budget performance and review of the 2020 estimates as presented by the Chief Executive of the Rivers State Government, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS…

Distinguished colleagues let me inform the House that the 2020 Budget estimates were prepared within the principles of the revised Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2020-2022 and the state’s Fiscal Strategy Paper which entrenches strong fiscal discipline and responsible revenue management. This crystalizes transparency and accountability in public financial management. As contained in the revised MTEF, the Appropriation Bill is premised on statutory allocations using exchange rate of N305 to $1, oil production benchmark of 2 Million barrels per day (2mbpd) and oil price benchmark of $55 per barrel.

The State expects economic growth of about 3.5% to 3.7% with significant improvements in foreign and domestic investment inflows to the different sectors of the economy, with associated effects on job creation and other economic opportunities for the citizens in 2020, this is above the World Bank and other forecast of economic outlook of about 2.2%.

The total estimates proposals (Recurrent and Capital Expenditure) is the sum of N530,813,357,619 as against N480,411,324,684.00 approved in the in the 2019 fiscal year.

Very critical to mention is the fact that the 2020 Appropriation Bill is in line with Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms. The budget has a proposal of over 70% appropriated for Capital Expenditure and with less than 30% for the Recurrent Expenditure. This means that the state is set for more transformation that are sustainable and enduring…”

The Chairman said the committee rejected requests from standing committees for upward review of the proposed estimates for some of the MDAs under their supervision due to “prevailing economic circumstances and current realities”. The chairman also said some amounts proposed for certain heads which may not be too relevant in this current fiscal year have been joggled in order to meet more relevant and realistic and urgent needs of the MDAs.

After a robust debate and considerations, the Budget was passed.

In his remarks the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani commended members of the Rivers State House of Assembly for their commitment and sacrifice during this yuletide and saluted their painstaking efforts to ensure the Budget was passed in good time to enable Rivers people to begin to reap the benefits.

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