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Opposition Parties, Others Lambast Delta Governor, Okowa Over N71Billion Supplementary Budget Few Days Before Leaving Office

May 17, 2023

Less than two weeks to the end of his second term in office, Okowa, on Tuesday, presented the supplementary budget to the state lawmakers for approval.

Mixed reactions have continued to trail Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s presentation of the N71 billion 2023 supplementary budget to the state House of Assembly a few days before the end of his tenure.

Less than two weeks to the end of his second term in office, Okowa, on Tuesday, presented the supplementary budget to the state lawmakers for approval.

The outgoing governor on October 27, 2022, presented an Appropriation Bill of N561.8 billion tagged “Budget of Seamless and Stable Transition” for the 2023 fiscal year to the state lawmakers.

The budget estimated N235.2 billion for recurrent expenditure and N326.6 billion for capital expenditure.

While presenting the budget, Okowa said it would be funded through federal allocation, internally generated revenue and receipts from other sources.

A letter written by Governor Okowa and addressed to the Speaker of the House on Tuesday, which was read during plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Christopher Ochor, the governor said the supplementary budget was made up of N5.6 billion recurrent expenditure and N65.5 billion capital expenditure.

“May I wish to note that there has been actual and projected increase in some fiscal receipts. Consequently, the supplementary budget has become necessary for appropriation to pay for some critical projects and activities of government as well as fund ongoing projects across the state in year 2023,” Okowa appealed to the lawmakers.

The governor's N71 supplementary budget was passed into law Wednesday after its first and second readings.

Reacting to the governor's N71 billion supplementary budget on Wednesday shortly after its passage by the lawmakers, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Omeni Sobotie and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Anthony Ezeagwu, described the action of the governor as 'synonymous' with corruption.

Sobotie described Okowa's action as "madness and corruption" of the highest order.

He said, "He carried this madness too far. You can see that it's just stealing. However, we shall study the letter and give a comprehensive response."

On his part, Ezeagwu said it's unfortunate that such a thing could be happening to Deltans.

"It quite unfortunate the situation we found ourselves. It has become a market arena; it's no longer governance. It’s a market arena where you go into the market, whatever you want you take so long you have the money. It's a take-home pay, this is pure corruption."

Also reacting, a former principal officer of the state House of Assembly who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed displeasure with the governor's supplementary budget, saying it has a corrupt tendency.

"This is corruption. Just a few days to leave office! What was it that Okowa didn't caption in his 2023 budget of over N500 billion that he has decided to capture in his supplementary budget? This corruption is taken too far. Just watch, you will see by July, the incoming administration will present another supplementary budget to the House because he must have something to work with as a new government. Our state is bleeding now as I talk to you. Okowa's administration is the worst thing that has ever happened to us as a state.

"Okay, just a few days to leave, I am also hearing he has concluded plans to make one of his daughters a Permanent Secretary in the state before he leaves after succeeding to make one a House of Assembly member whom he's also fighting for to be a principal officer.

“Okowa is already strangulating the incoming administration, just imagine, a few days to when his administration will end, he wants to inaugurate a new board of DESOPADEC. Before this week or next week runs out, he will be sending the names of the new board members to the House of Assembly for screening and subsequent inauguration.

“We thank God he did not win his vice presidential election and as a result he is going to turn the government into conduit pipe he will be draining for his selfish interest."



Wilson Omene, former council chairman of Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state, said, “In fact, when I heard about it, I was miffed. How did we get to this? How on earth will this kind of thing be seen happening? It's very appalling and disgraceful.

“It smells nothing else but corruption at his height. It's corruption at its peak. For somebody to be talking about N71 billion in less than two weeks to leave office, why doesn't he leave it to the next incoming governor? This is what we have been saying that the Okowa government is a corrupt government and we have been vindicated. Deltans should come out and embark on massive protest."