Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has presented the 2023 Appropriation Bill to the State House of Assembly for consideration.
The governor christened the 2023 appropriation bill, ‘Budget of Consolidation and Continuity. He said it comprises capital and recurrent expenditure of N550, 666,987,238.00 for the fiscal year 2023.
Presenting the budget before State lawmakers on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Wike explained that his administration has projected the sum of ₦350,977,495,537.00 as Capital Expenditure for the fiscal year 2023.
“This amount represents about 63.2% of the total budget and conforms to our practice of prioritising capital expenditures over recurrent.”
Under the capital expenditure, Governor Wike said the State will spend N114,264,480,208 on infrastructure, N36,999,486,717 specifically on education and N31,500,002,023 on health.
“Accordingly, the sum of N114,264,480,208 is provided in the 2023 capital budget estimate to fund the completion of all ongoing roads and other physical infrastructural projects awarded by our administration.”
In the 2023 budget proposal, Governor Wike said his administration has also proposed a Recurrent Expenditure of N175,249,692,497à, representing about 31% of the total budget for the 2023 fiscal year.
The governor explained that in 2023 the State will expend N73,460,278,307 on salaries (Ministries/Departments/Parastatals), N7,758,772,851 on new recruitment, N33,600,000,000 on monthly pensions as well as N12,000,000,000 on gratuities/death benefits.
Governor Wike said the fiscal year 2023 budget is targeted at delivering economic growth, additional infrastructure and prosperity for citizens.
He stated that while no new projects may be awarded, except where such is considered very significant, the administration shall galvanise efforts and resources to complete all ongoing projects so that the new government can start on a clean slate, unencumbered.
The governor said in 2021 and 2022, the State government introduced several fiscal measures, including a moratorium on external borrowing to achieve economic growth, fiscal discipline and financial consolidation.
These measures, according to him, have significantly blocked revenue leakages, improved the State’s capacity for internal revenue generation and prevented unsustainable deficit financing.
“We have, therefore, resolved to continue with the existing fiscal measures for the year 2023. This means that there would be no increase in tax rates. No new taxes will also be introduced.
“However, we will continue to intensify our drive to significantly improve IGR by expanding opportunities for more investments, industrialisation and efficient tax collection.”