1st February, 2018
Delta government on Thursday said it realised N51.89 billion as internal generated revenue (IGR) in 2017, representing 18 per cent increase over the amount recorded in 2016.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Chief David Edevbie, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba.
Edevbie said under the present circumstance, “this is extremely commendable”.
He said the challenge of insecurity experienced in 2017 resulted in mass relocation of companies from the state and adversely affected the IGR collections.
Edevbie disclosed that borrowings by the state last year amounted to N98.48 billion while debt servicing was N27.84 billion.
According to him, the state’s debt stock of N94.69 billion comprised restructured loans and the remainder of the State Revenue Bond obtained by the previous administration.
“This issue is not as simple as it looks. For example, for several months in 2017, public servants’ salaries alone consumed practically all the revenues of the state.
“In effect, less than one per cent of the population was consuming 100 per cent of the state’s income, leaving nothing for the remaining 99 per cent of Deltans.
“Suffice to say, it was not and is still not easy managing these competing but diametrically opposed needs.
“ But somehow, the state government managed to pay salaries throughout the trying period,” he said.
Edevbie said that the major challenge of the state in 2017 was striking a balance between recurrent and capital expenditure every month, given the paucity of funds, especially the intense pressure from the public at the time to pay workers’ salaries.
He lamented that lack of funds severely affected the quantity and timely execution of capital projects that were embarked upon for the benefit of all Deltans in 2017.
Speaking on the Nigerian economy, the commissioner noted that the economy was still experiencing double-digit inflation rates, alarmingly high unemployment rates, extremely-high cost of borrowings and confusing multiple exchange rates.