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Wike presents N448bn 2021 appropriation bill to Rivers assembly

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By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt

The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Woke, has presented a budget of four hundred and forty-eight billion, six hundred and sixty million, seven hundred and seventy-three thousand, four hundred seventy-six Naira (N448,660,773.000) for 2021 fiscal year to the state house of assembly.

The River state executive council had, on Monday, given approval to the state government to make the budget presentation.

Part of the highlights of the budget is the approval by the Exco that over N2 billion be spent on the conduct of elections in the 23 local government areas of the state.

The pattern of announcing the approval of the state annual budget by the Exco is novel as the trend has always been for the budget to be announced on the day of presentation to the state house of assembly.

It is not however, clear whether this new style will now overtake the annual ritual of public presentation of the state’s annual budget to the assembly.

Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Isaac Kamalu, speaking on the budget, said the proposed fiscal estimate would help government to accomplish all ongoing projects in the state and to make life better for the people.

Mr Kamalu, who is also supervising the affairs of the state ministry of budget and economic planning, said the council also approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for the State for 2021-2023.

Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the council further approved a budget for use by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC). The budget will enable the state electoral umpire to conduct the 2021 local government election in the State.

According to him, a total sum of two billion, seven hundred and forty-seven million, three hundred and fifty-one thousand, four and five Naira, thirteen kobos (N2,747,351,405.13) was approved for RSIEC, which is expected to conduct the local government election in line with 1999 constitution.

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