The Delta State Government has expressed optimism that in the days ahead, it will commence payments of its financial obligations to pensioners in the state as well as workers’ cooperatives so as to meet the needs of their members.
A statement signed by the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, in Asaba recently, agreed that the state owes its pensioners but does not owe workers’ wages except on check-off deductions for cooperatives and unions, and it is not as alarming as portrayed by a recent publication.
The statement was in reaction to a list of indebted states that was released by BudgIT, a civil organization that monitors budget implementation statistics in Nigeria, and was widely published across Nigeria by media outlets.
Mr. Ukah revealed that the state is expecting a refund from the Federal Government and when the refund is received, it will be used to address financial obligations to pensioners and workers’ check-off deductions.
According to the Commissioner for Information, the state’s inability to meet all its financial obligations is attributed to inherited debts that are religiously been serviced from the state’s receipts, drastic drop in federal allocation to the state, and the Niger Delta crisis that has negatively affected the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
On the 2016 budget performance, Mr Ukah disclosed that the overall picture reflects a 98 percent budget performance.
However, if the proportional period of January to September is considered, the budget performance in respect to personnel cost is 100 percent, performance of overhead cost is 74 percent, while consolidated revenue sharing is 100 percent.
On capital expenditure performance, the overall budget performance (i.e. the total provision of capital vis-à-vis what has been expended to date) is 16 percent. Once again, if the proportional period of January to September is considered, the budget performance is 24 percent.
The Commissioner for Information said that it is also worthy to note that payments are still being made and by the year end, the total budget performance would have appreciated beyond the 24 percent.
He stated that presently, the overall performance of the budget is 44 percent but the proportional period of January to September total budget performance is 66 percent.
We are optimistic that by the end of the year the overall budget performance would have considerably appreciated.
Mr.Ukah urged the citizenry to be patient as the prudent management of the state’s economy by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa would lead to prosperity of all Deltans as promised.