A bill to amend the 2021 Delta State Appropriation Law has passed first reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
The development was sequel to a letter to the House from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, conveying the proposed amendments and read by the Speaker, Right Honourable Sheriff Oborevwori, at resumed plenary of the House on Tuesday.
According to Governor Okowa in his letter to the House, details of the expenditure lines and vote-of-charge set out for realignment were collated from returns submitted by some Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
He said the collation amounted to the sum of fifteen point seven billion naira for recurrent expenditure and fifty point seven billion naira for capital expenditure, bringing the total amount to sixty-six billion naira.
Dr Okowa explained that the adjustments being made will not in any way increase the size of the 2021 state budget as earlier approved by the House.
The Governor stated that the amendments was a proactive step towards reordering and reprioritizing the 2021 budget, in order to redirect unspent funds in some budget heads to very strategic, critical and urgent plans, projects and programs of the State Government.
Meantime, the State House of Assembly has commenced debate on the merits and demerits of the Delta State Public Finance Management Bill 2021.
Lead sponsor of the Bill and member representing Ika North East Constituency in the House, Honourable Anthony Elekeokwuri, said the proposed law is a compendium of all existing finance related laws in the state. Honourable Elekeokwuri explained that the nine parts and thirty-seven clauses Bill would ensure that responsibilities are shared to those managing the finances of the state, in line with the International Policy on Accounting Standards, IPAS.
The Lawmaker expressed happiness that all about the policy had since been adopted in Delta State, emphasizing that the proposed law would further consolidate government drive for transparency, accountability, due process and procedures, as well as commitment on anti-corruption.
He stated that the proposed law was a recommendation of the World Bank, saying all the accounting and financial policies of the state were being regulated for more efficiency in the finance management of the state.
The Speaker later adjourned further debates on the merits and demerits to the next plenary for more inputs by members. NN/IEI/EBIC