Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Wednesday, presented the 2024 budget of N480.99 billion to the state House of Assembly for approval.
Presenting the budget christened: “Budget of Sustainable and Shared Prosperity,” Diri said that the figure was made up of N69.120billion recurrent expenditure, representing 14.37 per cent, N54.096billion overhead expenditure, representing 32.04 per cent and N257.777 billion capital expenditure.
“Mr Speaker, I wish to present the 2024 budget estimates to the House. We are guided by the desire to prepare a realistic, implementable and prioritised budget, which is a reflection of the aspirations and wishes of critical stakeholders, and the economic realities in the country.
“I hereby present to you the 2024 budget with a total size of ₦480,993,632,369.00,” he said.
He said the budget would be funded through statutory allocation, Value Added Tax, 13 per cent derivation, internally generated revenue and other capital receipts.
Giving a breakdown of the sectoral allocation, Diri stated that the Works and Infrastructure Ministry got the lion’s share of N141.837 billion followed by that of Education, which got N49.888 billion.
Also, the sum of N26.41 billion was earmarked for the Ministry of Health, Environment got N15.554 billion while Agriculture and Natural Resources was allotted N14.886 billion.
Youths and Sports Ministry got N7.656 billion, Lands and Housing N6.876 billion while the Ministry of Power was allotted N6.49 billion among other ministries.
Diri also reviewed the 2023 budget performance, which he said achieved considerable success and consistency in critical areas such as, security, education, health, agriculture, human capacity building, infrastructure development among others.
“We built and upgraded health facilities across all LGAs and health-related tertiary institutions, including completion and furnishing of the first psychiatric hospital in Bayelsa.
“Also, in partnership with Fly Zipline, we established a health chain distribution system to cater for drug distribution and emergency health matters using drones.
“The Health Insurance Scheme enrolment is also growing by the day. As at 2020, our mobilisation was limited to the public service. We went further in 2023 to launch the Diri Care programme, which boosted the enrolment of the informal sector.
“The total enrolment as at November 2023 is 149,067 with civil servant enrollees totaling 118,030, vulnerable population 27,803, and the informal sector 3,134,” he said.
Diri added: “We have in the past three years ensured that the Civil Service is given the necessary attention (including the prompt payment of salaries and regular promotions) for an effective work force, and to enhance the economic and social development of the state because ours is predominantly a civil service state.
“In addition, this administration consistently ensured that the entitlement of our senior citizens (by way of pensions and gratuities) are paid promptly. Over N3.3billion was spent on gratuities and N10.8billion for pensions in 2023.
“Let me assure you that, even in the coming year, we will continue to meet our obligations to the senior citizens within the limits of available resources.”
In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere commended the administration for its commitment to development of the state as well as maintaining a harmonious relationship with the three arms of government.
Ingobere applauded the governor for prudent management of the state’s resources in executing projects.