Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has signed into law the revised 2020 Appropriation Bill.
This followed the presentation of the budget by the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The 2020 fiscal year signed by Wike is put at N300, 370, 071,183.33 billion.
This represents 48 percent reduction from the N530; 813,357,619.00 billion originally budgeted for spending, in the beginning of the fiscal year (2020).
Governor Wike said the unfortunate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Nigeria, necessitated the review.
He noted that the development has led to the reduction of budgetary allocations including capital and recurrent expenditures.
But however assured that it will not affect the delivery of quality developmental projects and services to the people of the state.
“It is most unfortunate that everybody is living a different life now because of the pandemic, which calls for us to face the economic reality.
“The COVID-19 has affected economic activities and revenues of government, and so it became necessary to review our budget.
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“By the revised budget, it means that so many things have to change. We have cut down the capital and recurrent expenditure to face the reality.
“We are the only State that has not cut down the salaries of political appointees and elected officers. Virtually all the States have cut down 20 to 30 percent of salaries of political appointees. Having cut down the recurrent expenditures, the overhead will no longer be the same,” he said.
The Governor also stated that his administration is determined to ensure that the proposed reconstruction of the Assembly quarters stands the test of time
“One thing I can assure you is that we are working with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC to reconstruct the Assembly Quarters. We want something that will stand the test of time.
“A good living environment and quality houses will enhance your input and services to our State,” he stated.
The Governor promised to release the balance of funds for the 2018 constituency projects of the legislators.
Also speaking, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Martin Amaewhule said the state revised Appropriation Law No. 7 of 2020 is intended to make provision of services to fall into current reality.