By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa, Dec. 31, 2020 Tare Porri, Chairman, House Committee on Information, Bayelsa House of Assembly on Thursday said that lawmakers in the state would intensify their oversight of Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure a smooth implementation of the 2021 budget.
Naija247news reports that Gov. Douye Diri had on Wednesday gave his assent to the N329 bn 2021 Appropriation bill.
Porri, representing PDP Ekeremor 1 constituency, said the Assembly did a thorough job on the budget proposal before forwarding it to the governor for his assent..
He explained that the House Committee on Appropriation examined every detail leading to some amendments to provide additional funds for infrastructure.
He said that the 6th Bayelsa House of Assembly under the leadership of Hon. Abraham Ingobere will strengthen its monitoring of the funds appropriated to various MDAs, adding that the people of the state must get value for money.
“We got the draft bill on Nov. 26 and worked on it extensively, the original sum was N290 billion.
“We increased it to N329 billion to make more funds available to Ministries of Works and Agriculture to buttress our desire to have the people feel the impact of government.
“In 2021 our oversight role will be very active because we have noticed a lot of lapses in the way MDAs that generate revenue expend the funds without appropriation, and we have to signal them that it cannot be tolerated.
“We are hopeful that with the early passage and assent to the bill, there will be no delays as we get into the new year it will be a smooth journey towards meeting the pledges the government made to the people.
“We had amended the Board of Internal Revenue Act to meeting international standards that will capture every revenue, and bring every revenue to a single basket and this will also enable us access international grants and donor funds,” Porri said.
On the spate of borrowing, Porri said that reports that the state would borrow over N100 bn to finance the 2021 budget as erroneous and baseless, adding that the state would only need to borrow about N40 billion to fund capital projects.
He said that the dearth of development loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria had compelled the state to resort to commercial banks at prevailing interest rates adding that the state hopes to attract development grants following terms of the revenue system in Bayelsa