Delta House of Assembly’s majority leader denies marginalisation of Isoko

Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori

The Majority Leader of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Tim Owhefere (Isoko North) has denied the recent allegation of the gross marginalization of the nationality by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the 2018 fiscal year.

A group, Isoko Brains Initiative, had alleged that out of a capital budget of N161,614,568,997 in the 2018 budget, what Isoko got as a whole was a meagre N4, 571, 000,000 which is below one per cent for fiscal 2018.

Owhefere who spoke in Asaba yesterday faulted the group, insisting that of the N160 billion capital expenditure of the budget, the fiscal value of projects allocated to nation runs into N4 billion.

He insisted that the amount does not include other projects earmarked but captured by a single head code, noting that the group was merely bringing its political differences and failures to bear on the judgement of the good works being done by Okowa.

The lawmaker listed some of the projects and their value as captured by the 2018 budget in respect of Isoko to include, construction of Ozoro Modern Market valued at N300 million; N180 million for community roads in Iyede; Oteri-Iyede road (N80 million); Owhelogbo-Abbi road (N300 million); Oleh-Emede road (N280 million); Umeh road (N300 million) and Idheze bypass (N400 million).

He listed other projects in Isokoland in the 2018 budget to include Otor-Owhe internal road (N250 million), interlocking of old Uzere road, Enuto community, Emede (N50) million, Aradhe-Ellu road (N60million), Emede township road (N500 million), Ikpide-Irri internal roads (N350 million), Aviara Ring road (N150 million), Oleh township road (N50 million), Faculty of Engineering building, Oleh Campus of Delta State University (N150 million), auditorium at Ozoro Polytechnic (N50 million) and other selected roads in Isoko North (N400 rmillion).

Owhefere added: “A budget is never a note of finality as budgeting by the executive arm of government and subsequent approvals by the House of Assembly is a continuous process. A good and workable budget therefore is usually built on certain perspectives namely economic needs, population, urban and rural consideration amongst others.

“The year 2018 budget of Delta State as passed by the House of Assembly and subsequently signed into law created a capital expenditure of one hundred and sixty one billion, six hundred and fourteen million, five hundred and sixty eight thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven naira.

Where it is practicable, this amount shared among the existing 25 local government areas add; up to about six point four billion per local government.”

He said that there are certain multi billion naira key projects like the Asaba Airport, the Asaba/ Ughelli road dualization which runs through Kwale/Isoko to Ughelli and the teaching hospital at Oghara among others.

Owhefere explained that these projects are given priority attention as they are considered to be more in the general interest of the people.

He said that as the majority leader of the House, it falls within his office to painstakingly go through all government bills, including the state appropriation bill, which is the budget before its passage.

He advised those bandying the rumours to come to his office to verify their claims before going public with intent to mislead unsuspecting and innocent Isoko people.

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