Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday in Asaba assented to the state’s 2022 budget of N479 billion.
The governor also signed five other bills, including the Delta State House of Assembly Service Establishment Bill 2021 and the Delta State Registration of Community Development Associations Bill 2021.
Others are Delta State Debt Management Bill 2021, Delta State Erosion and Watershed Management Bill 2021 and Asaba Specialist Hospital Bill, 2021.
While assenting to the bills, Okowa assured that the state would strive to implement capital projects embedded in the 2022 budget as well as complete all ongoing projects before the end of his tenure.
He commended the House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the appropriation bill and said that his assenting to it before the end of December would avail the state government the opportunity to further plan towards its implementation in January 2022.
“You just witnessed the signing into law of six bills that were passed by the House of Assembly this last quarter of the year, 2021.
“We thank God for the good work the House has done; the very important one is the Delta State Appropriation Bill 2022, now signed into law.
“I must thank the House for giving speedy attention to the bill because with the signing into law today, it will help us to plan and to start early in 2022.
“I do know that it went through the full legislative process and I must thank the House for the great job that it did which enabled us to pass the bill on the 30th of November.
“I want to reassure the people that we will continue to do our best. We are very much aware that there are financial challenges in the country today, but we will continue to do our best within the limits of the resources available.
“We are very much hopeful that there will be a turnaround in 2022, and I hope that we will be able to execute the capital projects that are contained in our budget, both the new ones and the ongoing before the end of our tenure,” he said.
On the Delta State Erosion and Watershed Management Agency Bill, Okowa said that the law would enable the government to tackle erosion and flooding issues in the state head-on.
“I want to also appreciate you for the passage of the Delta State Erosion and Watershed Management Agency Bill, signed into law today.
“We are very much aware that there is a lot of devastation in the ecosystem in some parts of our state. This is following through the advice that was given to us by the World Bank.
“We can now actually focus more in dealing with flood and erosion challenges across the state,’’ he said.
According to him, the Delta State House of Assembly Service Commission Amendment Bill is very important for the smooth running of the service of the House of Assembly.
On the Asaba Specialist Hospital Bill, the governor said that the law was very key to the effective management of the hospital to enhance universal health coverage in the state.
He said Delta State Debt Management Law sought to regulate and manage the state’s borrowing and debt portfolio in line with international best practices, explaining that “It seeks to establish the Debt Management Department in the Ministry of Finance.
Presenting the bills, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Sherrif Oborevwori, said that they went through all legislative processes before being passed.
He said that with the timely presentation of the Appropriation Bill 2022 and its subsequent passage by the House, the state was on a good start for year 2022.
“I am confident that the budgetary provisions for 2022 will meet the yearnings of our people and the developmental needs of the state because it is indeed a realistic budget,” he said.
On the passage of Debt Management Bill, the speaker said the state had complied with the requirements of the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme and the World Bank Disbursement guidelines.