Asaba, the Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa this morning presented it’s 2020 Budget before the state house of Assembly.
The Governor said ” I thank the Honourable Speaker, and the Members of the House, for the candour and civility with which the House conducts its business”
He said “The budget that I laid before the House today has been presented with cautious optimism. This is because, the recent trends in the oil sector – the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, will have a great impact on governance at all levels”
Although the global price of oil remains relatively stable at about $57 per barrel, it is still low and under the federal budget benchmark of $60.
The Governor further said “Matched against the fluctuating oil production levels, which, in recent months, dropped to as low as 1.78mbpd as against the projected 2.18mbpd, moving forward, there is serious cause for concern”
Additionally, with the commencement of the ‘deduction at source’ of the Bail Out Funds to the States by the FG, we are faced with the prospects of continual fiscal adjustments that will be challenging.
Although all available indices project a positive national economic outlook in 2020, the cost of governance at all levels of government is at the same time expected to rise sharply with the implementation of the new minimum wage.
The reforms and fiscal plans of the last 4 years of this administration have placed our state on a secure growth trajectory. However, our GDP is still dominated by the oil and gas sector despite significant incremental outputs from the social services and agricultural sectors.
The pension liability of the State remains onerous and continues to exert a huge toll on our finances, while private investment is still hampered by several factors, notably high interest rates, macro-economic instability and security concerns.