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Dickson signs N243.2b appropriation bill into law

By Maxwell Adeleye  

The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has signed the 2017 appropriation bill of N243.2b and the Educational Development Trust Fund Amendment bill into law. 

A Government House statement, yesterday, said Dickson while assenting to the bills noted that the budget tagged,”budget of repositioning for consolidation” was designed to complete various on-going projects in the state.  

Dickson said the government appropriated N111b for capital projects and called on ministries, departments and agencies to ensure strict implementation of the budget. 
He asked the ministries to fast-track the processes of awarding contracts adding that his administration was committed to completing most of the projects and programmes this year. 
Dickson, however, said that reccurrent expenditures such as salaries, pensions, gratuities and overhead would gulp the remaining balance of the budget. 
He commended workers in the state for their understanding and patience, saying the government was working out modalities on the payment of the backlog of salary arrears owed workers. 
On the Educational Development Trust Fund (EDTF), Dickson explained that the law was amended to include elevation of the qualification of the secretary of the board to the level of a director in the public service among others. 
Presenting the bills, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Benson Konbowei, said out of the N243.2b, total personnel expenditure, including gratuities and pensions was N52.5b. 
He also noted that, consolidated revenue funds stood at N14million, bringing the total to N66.7bn 
Konbowei said N40.8b was the overhead cost, while N24bm would be spent as Cash on Transfer (COT), Value Added Tax (VAT) deductions and other financial consultancy services. 
He said N88. 1b would be expended for capital expenditure while other aspects of capital project funds is N23b, bringing the total to over  N111b.
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