Asaba — Delta State Government has proposed a total budget estimate of N389 billion for the 2020 fiscal year.
The proposed figure is made up of N217 billion capital expenditure and N171 billion for recurrent expenditure, indicating that the state government would spend more on capital projects than recurrent for the financial year.
The approved estimates are expected to be presented to the state House of Assembly by the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, as the state 2020 Appropriation Bill soon.
The figure, which was announced to journalists after the State Executive Council meeting yesterday in Asaba, by the state Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr. Barry Gbe, is N1 billion shy of the current 2019 budget of N390 billon.
Flanked by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, and the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, the economic planning commissioner said the 2020 budget proposal was based on his ministry's rigorously fashioned Fiscal Strategy Paper, which he said was influenced by the macro-economic indices dictated at the federal level.
The federal government has set a standard for next year's financial projections with an oil benchmark of $57 per barrel and a N305 to a dollar exchange rate benchmark, and the federating states are expected to follow suit, he explained.
The Information Commissioner, Aniagwu, also disclosed that the state exco approved Ifechukwude Okonjo, third son of the late Prof Chukuka Benjamin Okonjo, as the authentic new monarch (Obi) of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom.
Asked if the state government was aware that another prince, Nathan Okonjo, is also laying claim to the Ogwashi-Uku stool, he said the state executive council gave the approval based on "the fact that the body of traditional rulers in Aniocha South and the chairman of the local government area have thrown their weight behind the installation on September 13, 2019, by the Ogwashi-Uku kingmakers.
"There is no court action or injunction that we know of challenging the installation of Prince Ifechukwude Okonjo as the Ogwashi-Uku monarch."
Prince Nathan Okonjo, who has also been recently installed as Obi of Ogwashi-Uku in another ceremony, had last month applied to the Delta State Government for due recognition and presentation of a staff of office as the new monarch of the kingdom.
Similarly, the state exco has approved Kolokowei Ngolo I as Pere of Ogbolubiri-Mein Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of the state.
Meanwhile, the state exco has approved the construction of the 2.2 kilometre Owa Alero-Owanta-Alisime Road in Ika North-East LGA at a cost of N600.49 million while the concentric roads off Queen Street in Agbor totaling about N3.5 kilometre would be constructed at the cost of N1.3 billion.