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Gov. Wike presents N480bn budget for 2019

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Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has presented an Appropriation Bill of N480 billion to the House of Assembly for 2019.

Wike said the strategic thrust of the budget was the promotion of growth, diversification and job creation to improve lives.

The “Budget of Sustainable Growth and Development” proposes to spend N323, 288,970,085.00 on capital and N157,122,354,564.15 on recurrent expenditure.

Wike said: “The capital allocation of N323,288,970,085.00 for 2019 represents 65 per cent of the total budget. This sum is, however, less than that of 2018 due to the reduction in the total size of the 2019 budget as against that of 2018.”

The governor added that the bill had set priorities for human capital development and infrastructural provision as a substantial part of it was allocated to ministries of Agriculture, Education, Employment Generation and Empowerment, Health, Sports Development, Women Affairs, Works, and Youth Development.

But the lawmaker representing Ahoada East I, Martin Mannah, has berated Wike for the “poor implementation of 2018 budget”.

According to Mannah, the money appropriated for infrastructural development in the 2018 budget did not translate to what was on ground. He described it as a “scam”.

Mannah, who spoke yesterday after Wike presented the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the Assembly, said the governor only implemented the 2018 budget on paper as most of the roads budgeted for were abandoned.

He said: “The 2018 budget was a scam, the governor hid the budget to himself, lawmakers were not given their constituency project, especially those of the APC; pensioners have not been paid since 2015 till date, most of those things he claimed to have done are not found anywhere. County High School, Ahoada, has been flagged off for renovation since 2016, but nothing has been done. Billions are earmarked for these projects yet nothing happens afterwards.”

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