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Saturday, January 28, 2023

JUST IN: Wike introduces free school feeding programme as he presents N550bn 2023 budget to Rivers Assembly

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has presented a budget estimate of 550 billion naira for the 2023 fiscal year, the highest to be projected by his administration since assuming office in 2015.

 The governor who presented the appropriation bill to the state’s House of Assembly on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, also announced a free feeding programme for pupils in primary schools to increase enrolments.

Wike explained that his administration projected ₦351bn as Capital Expenditure for the 2023 fiscal year.

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The Governor explained that in 2023 the State will spend N73.5bn on salaries of ministries, departments and parastatals; N 7.8bb on new recruitment; N33.6 on monthly pensions as well as N12bn on gratuities and death benefits.

Wike said the fiscal year 2023 budget was targeted at delivering economic growth, additional infrastructure and prosperity for citizens.

He said that while no new projects might be awarded, the administration would galvanise efforts and resources to complete all ongoing projects so that the new government could start on a clean slate.

The Governor said in 2021 and 2022, the state government introduced many fiscal measures, including a moratorium on external borrowing to achieve economic growth, fiscal discipline and financial consolidation.

“These measure have significantly blocked revenue leakages, improved the atate capacity for internal revenue generation and prevented unsustainable deficit financing.

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“We have, therefore, resolved to continue with the existing fiscal measures for the year 2023. This means that there would be no increase in tax rates. No new taxes will also be introduced.

“However, we will continue to intensify our drive to significantly improve IGR by expanding opportunities for more investments, industrialization, and efficient tax collection,” the Governor said.

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