Rivers State Breaks Silence: Budget Unveiled After 8 Years!

Rivers State Breaks Silence: Budget Unveiled After 8 Years!

After eight years, Rivers State has taken a significant step towards transparency by making its budget public.

This move has garnered positive reactions from residents, signaling Governor Fubara’s commitment to openness and accountability in governance.

Attached is the long-awaited budget document for your review and reference.

RIVERS STATE 2024 BUDGET STATEMENT:
PRESENTED TO THE RIVERS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

BY HIS EXCELLENCY SIR SIMINALAYI FUBARA GSSRS,GOVERNOR, RIVERS STATE,
(13TH DECEMBER 2024).

Governor Siminalayi Fubara GSSRS

Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen.

2.​It is my pleasure to be before this hallowed chamber today to present our state’s budget estimates of Revenues and Expenditures for the fiscal year 2024.

3.​Before I proceed with my presentation, I wish to, again, thank God for the special opportunity to serve our people as their elected Governor.

4.​We thank our dear President, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for his special interest in the peace and progress of Rivers State and the bold steps he has taken to revamp the nation’s economy and sustainable development across the country.

5.​We are also grateful to the good people of Rivers State and the progressive members of the State House of Assembly for your continuing support and prayer for the success of our administration.

6.​We assure you that we will never take your trust and confidence for granted. We will remain faithful to our oath of office and do the best we can to advance the aspirations of our people for good governance, peace, security, and inclusive development.

7.​Our spirit is high; our determination is forever strong as we remain focused on delivering on our mandate in an honest, accountable, just, and fair manner to all parts of the State and all segments of society.

8.​Under our watch, no part of the State will be neglected in our development agenda; no one will be left behind in the distribution of resources and opportunities.

9.​We reaffirm our commitment to working closely with the State House of Assembly to fulfil all our promises and take Rivers State to greater heights of peace, progress, and prosperity.

10.​ Mr Speaker, recall that we launched the construction of the Port Harcourt Dual Carriage Ring Road as a flagship project to accelerate the socio-economic development of our State. Julius Berger has since mobilized to the site and work on this multi-billion-naira project has begun.

11.​ In line with our consolidation mantra, we have in the last six months, completed many of the uncompleted projects we inherited from the immediate past administration, including roads, hospitals, and schools, while those not yet completed, have reached advanced stages of completion.

12.​ Some of the completed roads include Oyigbo – Okoloma Road, Alode – Onne Road, Botem-Gbene-Ue-Hiro Road, Mgbodahia internal roads, Ogbo-Uhugbogo-Udiemude Road, Omoku-Aligwu-Krigene road, Eneka internal roads, Ogbakiri internal roads, and Omagwa internal roads.

13.​ Other roads, which construction is proceeding very well include Ahoada-Omoku dualization, Emohua-Tema junction dualization, Umuakali – Eberi road, Alode-Ebubu-Eteo junction road, Egbu-Ehuda internal roads, Elelenwo internal roads, Rumuepirikom internal roads, phase 2, Bori city internal roads, the Ngo section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo unity road, and the Opobo ring road and electrification projects.

14.​ On education, we have delivered Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borokiri, Government Secondary School, Eneka, Government Secondary School, Emohua, Government Secondary School, Okehi, Comprehensive Secondary School, Alesa – Eleme, Government Secondary School, Ataba, and the 10,000 capacity University of Port Harcourt Auditorium. The hostel and auditorium projects at the Yenagoa campus of the Nigerian Law School are also almost completed.

15.​ Our commitment to healthcare delivery remains strong. Already, we have delivered the Professor Kelson Harrison Hospital, the Dental, Maxillofacial, Ear Nose Throat and Ophthalmology Hospital, and several primary healthcare centres across the state.

16.​ To accelerate the delivery of affordable housing, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TAF Global Africa and turned the sod for the phased development of 20,000 units of houses in the State.

17.​This is another signature project of our administration, which is targeted at creating new model cities within Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Areas of the State with enormous socio-economic benefits to the State and our people.

18.​ On sports development, we have opened the Real Madrid Football Academy for full academic and football training activities with the admission of the first batch of students. We have also rehabilitated the indoor basket hall and pitch at Niger Street, Port Harcourt.

19.​We are poised to stimulate industrialization by creating an enabling business environment to attract investors to invest in the different sectors of the State’s economy.

20.​To this end, plans are underway to organize the first Rivers State Investment Summit in decades to work out an investment and industrialization road map for the State.

21.​We have also approved three bills: the Rivers State Investment Promotion Agency Bill, the Rivers State Youth Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund Bill, the Rivers State Electricity Bill, and the Rivers State New Towns Development Bill, which are critical to accelerating investments, job creation, energy security, economic empowerment, and the socio-economic advancement of the State when passed into law.

22.​Furthermore, we have concluded arrangements to launch the N4,000,000,000.00 seed fund in partnership with the Bank of Industry to support small and medium-scale enterprises across the State at a single-digit interest rate.

23.​We have also entered into a memorandum of understanding with an investor to build a modern spare parts market in the State.

24.​We appreciate the relevance and importance of the civil service to the development of the State through effective implementation of government policies and programmes.

25.​Consequently, our commitment is to strengthen and motivate the civil service for optimal and responsible performance through regular promotions, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, and the provision of a good working environment.

26.​Accordingly, we are happy to report that we are up to date in the payment of salaries and pensions to our civil servants and concluded the promotion exercise for our mainstream civil servants and other staff, except those without functional governing boards, such as the secondary school teachers and health to legally conduct the exercise, will be done as soon as we constitute the governing boards.

27.​We have restored water and installed new lifts at the State’s Secretariat complex to improve sanitation and ease access to the higher floors of the complex.

28.​Since we came on board, we have spent over 6 billion naira to pay the gratuities backlog to retired civil servants. Again, our commitment is to ensure that we clear all areas of gratuities owed to civils by previous administrations.

29.​Also, the recruitment exercise of 10,000 workers into the State’s civil service is almost completed and successful candidates will receive their engagement letters as soon as the report from the State’s Civil Service Commission is ratified by the State Executive Council.

30.​Finally, we have worked with security agencies, local governments, and community leaders to keep our State peaceful, safe, and secure. This is an achievement we will continue to further improve and sustain throughout the yuletide and beyond.

31.​Mr Speaker, I have highlighted some of our achievements in policies and projects as a relatively young administration implementing a budget and programmes we inherited from the immediate past administration.

32.​As we government, we are satisfied with the modest mileage we have gained in implementing our blueprint despite the prevailing economic hardship and the political challenges and distractions we faced since the inception of our government.

Governor Fubara on arrival to the Rivers State House Of Assembly to present the 2024 appropriation bill.

33.​Nevertheless, we can assure our people that the tempo of governance and delivery of services in our priority areas of investments and economic growth, infrastructure delivery and job creation, education, healthcare and human capital development, agriculture, and food security will gain traction and accelerate with speed and vigour in the new year.

2023 BUDGET PERFORMANCE REVIEW

34.​Mr Speaker, a total revenue of 755,666,987.238 was projected for the 2023 fiscal year. This sum included a supplementary estimate of 200,000,000,000.00, which we accessed for the exclusive purpose of funding the construction of the Port Harcourt Ring Road project.

35.​The breakdown of the 2023 budget was as follows:

(i) Recurrent Expenditure:​​​N175,249,692,201.00
(ii) Capital Expenditure:​​​​N380,417,395,037.00
(iii) Supplementary capital estimates:​N200,000,000,000.00
Total:​​​​​​N755,666,987.238.00

36.​As of October 2023, the total actual receipts from all sources, was approximately 66% performance on the revenue side.

37.​There were encouraging improvements in internally generated revenue receipts as against the projections for the year, while the performance of recurrent expenditure was 100%.

THE 2024 BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS

38.​Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, the 2024 budget, christened Budget of Promise is based on the following assumptions:

(i) oil price benchmark of $70 per barrel;

(ii) oil production rate of 1.5 million barrels per day; and

(iii) exchange rate of #750/US as projected by the Federal Government.

THE 2024 BUDGET SIZE
39.​The total projected revenue for Rivers State for the 2024 Fiscal Year is N800, 392,485,433.01 billion. This is constituted as follows:

(i) Recurrent Expenditure:​=​361,598,242,570.85​
(ii) Capital Expenditure​​=​410,266,485,090.64
(iii) Total:​​​​=​800,392,485,433.01

FINANCING THE 2024 BUDGET
40.​ The financial sources of the 2024 budget are as follows:

  1. Internally Generated Revenue​​ – 231,057,836,945.00
  2. Statutory Allocation – 68, 458,610.00
  3. Mineral funds – 145, 526,581,463.00
  4. Value Added Tax – 55, 650,000,000.00
  5. Refunds Escrow, Paris/ECA – 1, 200,000,000.00
  6. Refunds from bank charges – 1, 500,000,000.00
  7. Excess Crude Account – 1, 700,000,000.00
  8. Exchange rate gain – 1, 200,000,000.00
  9. Forex equalization – 3, 000,000,000.00
  10. Other FAAC – 5, 000,000,000.00
  11. Asset sales – 20, 000,000,000.00
  12. Capital receipts – 9, 879,557,210.00
  13. Proposed internal/external grants – 24, 570,000,000.00
  14. International Credits – 2, 000,000,000.00
  15. Bonds – 237, 000,000,000.00
  16. Internal loans – 235, 000,000,000.00
  17. Prior year Balance – 6, 934,784,872.01

TOTAL = 800, 392,485,433.01

RECURRENT EXPENDITURE

41.​The Recurrent Expenditure is projected to be spent as follows:

  1. Personnel Emolument – 99, 588,939,939.39
  2. New Recruitments – 28, 924,562,980.61
  3. Overhead costs – 18, 871,623,339.00
  4. Grants,contributions & subsidies – 7,908,000,000.00
  5. Counterpart pension scheme – 15,000,000,000.00
  6. Gratuities/Death Benefits – 77,850,000,000.00
  7. Monthly pensions – 30,240,000,000.00
  8. Domestic loans interest – 32,420,734,367.60
  9. Foreign loan interest – 536,709,798.04
  10. Domestic loan, principal repayment- 26,018,966,086.70
  11. Foreign loan, principal repayment – 5,081,731,374.51
  12. FAAC Deductions- 12,865,723,913.00
  13. COT/Charges/General Admin – 5,000,000,000.00

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE

42.​The capital allocation of 410,266,485,090.64 represents about 51 per cent of the total budget projections for the fiscal year 2024.

SECTORAL ALLOCATION OF THE CAPITAL BUDGET

43.​The sectoral allocation of the capital budget is as follows:

  1. Governance – 161,742,835,256.27
  2. Information & Communication – 2,234,273,168.00

3.Public Administration – 13,852,493,641.59

4.Finance and Planning – 7,779,818,293.13

  1. Agriculture – 20,311,574,254.53
  2. Infrastructure – 128,003,540,952.66
  3. Commerce and Investment – 1,787,418,534,40
  4. Culture and Tourism – 1,381,187..049.31
  5. Education – 40,426,441,994.74
  6. Health – 30,555.506,748.20
  7. Social Development – 10,155,787,127.27
  8. Environment & Sustainable Development – 8,449,614,889.89

13.Judiciary – N 5,646,617,642.76

The 2024 Budget Policy and Objectives

44.​Hon. Speaker, the overall policy objectives of the 2024 budget are to promote economic development in the State through inclusive growth, the provision of critical infrastructure to support economic, business, and social activities, and the creation of an enabling environment for private sector-led industrialization, job creation and poverty reduction.

45.​We will strive to address the challenges of socio-economic inequalities by ensuring improved access to quality and affordable education, healthcare, water, electricity, housing, social investments, gender empowerment and social inclusion.

46.​This accounts for the reasonably high allocations in the 2024 capital budget to infrastructure, education, healthcare, social development, environment, sustainable development and agriculture.

47.​With these funds, we will build more road networks to interconnect the State, rehabilitate, equip, train and staff all dilapidated primary and secondary schools, build technical and vocational education centres, and allocate more funds to our tertiary schools to improve the quality of teaching, learning and research.

48.​We will also rehabilitate, equip and staff dilapidated primary healthcare facilities, restore, equip, and staff all our general hospitals, complete, equip and staff all five zonal hospitals, implement socially beneficial healthcare schemes, and introduce social investment schemes to fight poverty, social exclusion, and gender discrimination.

49.​Given the importance of the judiciary in the advancement of the rule of law, economic growth, and social accountability, we have also improved the allocation for the funding of the judiciary, law, and justice sectors in this budget to achieve effective and speedy dispensation of justice in the State.

50.​We will ensure that accessed local and international credits are used only for capital projects that would benefit economic growth, give attention to the completion of ongoing projects before embarking on new ones, and grow the economy through targeted investments in areas of comparative economic advantage, including commercial agriculture, electricity generation, renewable energy, oil and gas, housing, and sports development.

51.​We will also provide our young people with the skills and tools they need to succeed in the 21st-century economy and to ensure that education and healthcare are accessible to all regardless of background and means.

Conclusion
52.​Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, thank you again for your patriotism and dedication to the service and advancement of the State.

53.​The budget we have put forward reflects our commitment to responsible financial management and our dedication to the progress of our State and the well-being of our people.

54.​Our priorities are clear: to secure our State, foster sustainable economic growth, create opportunities for all, invest in the future, and ensure our collective prosperity.

55.​As we all know, the security and well-being of the people are the reason we are in government. The budgeting process is fundamental to the realization of this fundamental objective of state policy.

56.​We recognize the challenges we face as a State and the pointless efforts to frustrate and sabotage our government even before we get started. As you know desperate situations call for desperate measures. I assure you of our determination to weather the raging storm strategically and responsibly.

57.​Mr Speaker, I, therefore, commend this budget to the House of Assembly for your consideration and speedy passage.

58.​Thank you for your kind attention. God bless you all; God bless Rivers State.

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