Okowa’s fear over Nigeria”s 2022 budget

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has expressed  fears over what he described as complexities inherent in Nigeria’s  2022 budget.

Okowa, who made the observation at a media briefing on Tuesday in Asaba, said that President, Mohammadu Buhari’s 2022 budget clearly showed that Nigeria may run into hard times.

He stated that his observation has become inevitable considering the N6 trillion earmarked  for both capital and  recurrent expenditures in the 2022 budget.

Okowa lamented that president Buhari’s N6 trillion budget for capital and recurrent expenditures, apparently would be served  with loans for capital projects.

According to him, “If N5 trillion would be removed for capital projects, the balance of N1 trillion would be insufficient for recurrent expenditures

“So, if you analyse it critically, you will see that with the current situation,  it portends a serious nightmare for Nigerians.

“There is a lot of complexity in the economy of this nation. The situation is not the best for Nigeria. Unfortunately, on many occasions we do not sit back to examine the Federal budget.

“If you examine the Federal budget and look into the issues of our borrowings at the moment as a Nation, every Nigerian would be very worried,” Okowa said.

According to him,  the federal government budget for 2022 is a little over N16 trillion and of the N16 trillion, N5 trillion is for capital expenditure while N6. 26 trillion of the budget is supposed to be borrowed.

Okowa said: “if the nation is spending N5 trillion on capital expenditure, the implications is that without borrowing, we cannot execute a singular capital project”

On the crisis in the NDDC,  the governor decried the delay by the federal government in constituting the board of the commission.

He said it was the prerogative right of the president to constitute the NDDC board, saying  that governors in the region would  continue to remind President Buhari of the need to constitute the board.

“The South-South Governors have made their position known recently and the federal government has continue to run the illegality.

“It is very unfortunate that the NDDC is being run in that manner; What we have at moment with regards to affairs at the NDDC is wrong.

“The budget of the NDDC is being run as it is not supposed to be and also, it is against the law that established the Board,” Okowa said.

Commenting on the three new universities in the state, he said that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has given approval for all the courses in university of Delta , Agbor and the Delta state university of Science and Technology, Ozoro.

The governor said that it is only the Osadebe  university, Asaba that is yet to get approval for its Arts faculty.

Okowa, also,used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians and particularly residents of Delta to continue to wear face masks with the advent of the COVID-19-Omicron variant.