Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has said that the state would limit itself to availability of funds in preparing and implementation of the 2022 budget.
This is just as he restated his administration’s commitment to judicious utilisation of available resources for the development of the state.
Diri gave the assurance while speaking at a stakeholders public interactive session for the preparation of the 2022 annual budget in Yenagoa.
Represented by his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor noted that while budgetary allocations are only estimations of what government intends to do, ”their implementation would be determined by availability of funds”.
Diri said that the expectations of people would be met within the limits of available resources through effective implementation of programmes and projects.
The governor said that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the proposed achievements of government this year.
He called on the participants to make useful suggestions to enrich the budget preparation process, assuring that government would continue to invest in development-oriented projects and programmes.
“As a government, we are poised to ensure that every available resource is used for the most effective productive areas of Bayelsa.
“Budget is an estimation, the implementation is the reality. As we prepare the budget, we should not think that everything will be implemented hook, line and sinker, because resources are not always available.
“Non-availability of resources would make it difficult for us. As Bayelsans, let us desire the available and not aim at what is unavailable,” he said.
Highlighting the performance of the 2020 budget, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Maxwell Ebibai, said the state received N136 billion from statutory allocations, 13 per cent derivation fund, value added tax (VAT) and other receipts.
Ebibai also announced the receipt of N27.5 billion from the Federal Government as reimbursement for capital projects after a 7.5 per cent discount on the N38.4 billion total value of promissory note that had a tenure of four years.
On expenditure, he noted that N10.1billion was expended on consolidated revenue fund charges (pension and gratuities only), N49billion on personnel cost, N38billion for capital projects among other expenses.
Ebibai stressed the administration’s commitment to reforms, aimed at promoting good governance.
He advised the people to approach relevant agencies for clarifications on government’s financial records, rather than demarketing the state through misinformation.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Akpoebidei Alamieyeseigha, explained that the programme was organized to encourage citizens’ participation in line with the present administration’s “bottom-top approach” in budget preparation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the interactive programme was attended by financial experts, traditional rulers, traders, physically challenged persons and representatives of civil society organizations.