GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State yesterday presented budget estimates totalling N270.9 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, with a plea to all government functionaries to make fiscal discipline their watchword in the administration’s strive to minimise the effects of the current economic recession on its development blueprint. The amount is made up of a recurrent expenditure budget of one hundred and fifty-three billion, two hundred and ninety-two million naira (N153.292billion) and a capital budget of one hundred and fourteen billion, eight hundred and eighty-nine million naira (N114.889 billion). Presenting the budget proposal christened ‘Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Steady Progress’ at the plenary session of the state House of Assembly, Governor Okowa noted that the 2017 budget estimates were prepared with unalloyed impetus in spite of the present economic downturn in the country. The governor said that he was making the presentation of the proposal, which is slightly above the January-September 2016 budget “with unwavering confidence in our ability to navigate our way out of the current economic challenges and move the economy of the state towards growth, inclusion, social cohesion and prosperity for all.” Okowa lamented the fact that Delta State has been worst hit by the resurgence of militant activities in the Niger-Delta, saying the resultant dip in the state’s oil production quota had forced the state down to fourth place among the oil producing states, from the second place it hitherto occupied.

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