DELTA State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, assented to the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill with an assurance that the state government would strive to recover from the economic challenges engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The budget figure, which was increased to N383 billion from N378.48 billion proposed by the governor, showed that recurrent expenditure is N173 billion and capital expenditure N210 billion.

Okowa, who signed the bill in Asaba, commended the House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the bill and noted that signing the budget with a month to the end of 2020 would avail the state government the opportunity to plan towards the implementation of the 2021 budget from January.

He thanked God for the warm working relationship between the executive and legislature in the state and said the government would remain focused on implementing the budget as passed for the benefit of all Deltans.

“You have just witnessed my signing into law the 2021 Appropriation Bill, and as I said on October 27, during the presentation of the bill, we are in very difficult times this year no doubt both in this country and globally.

“And, with the second wave of the pandemic, it will create a further challenge for the recovery of the economy of our nation.

“However, we are optimistic that in the 2021 fiscal year, things will gradually improve, and we will be able to get back to the level of infrastructural development and human capital development for our people.

“This is very necessary because there is a lot of pain; there is a lot of unemployment and our people are generally getting restive. I pray that God will help us and this nation to rediscover ourselves and to commit every work of our people, state, and nation for the common good of all our citizens.

“The budget is termed ‘budget of economic recovery’ because we are very much aware of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic both on our health systems and the economy which is still largely dependent on the oil economy,” he said.

He explained that a lot is being done to grow the agricultural sector nationwide, including Delta’s debt profile, but stated that the program would take time for it to begin to manifest meaningfully.