Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Fidelis Tilije, has disclosed that the state’s debt profile currently stands at N207b. Speaking at a media briefing on the 2021 Budget breakdown in Asaba, Tilije noted that the appropriation bill Governor Ifeanyi Okowa presented to the State House of Assembly was not shrouded in secrecy.
He said the state could not borrow above 40 per cent ratio of its debt profile, adding that its current indebtedness stood at N207b with a debt ratio of 8.03 per cent.
Also, Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Gbe while giving the breakdown, said that the increase of 2021 Budget by N5.5b, was necessitated by the needs to increase budgetary provisions for ongoing projects and other capital budget needs not adequately provided for as presented to the legislature.
Reviewing the 2020 Budget performance, Gbe said as part of measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the state government reversed the 2020 Budget to respond appropriately to impact of Coronavirus.
“Between January and September 2020, the state recorded a revenue of N190.3b out of proportionate revenue of N211.7b, which translates to 89.87 per cent.
“The fiscal assumptions underpinning the 2021 Budget included a benchmark oil price of $40 per barrel, daily oil production estimate of 1.86 barrel, exchange rate of N379 per dollar, GDP growth projection at 3.0 per cent and inflation closing at 11.95 per cent,” he stated.
He explained that the key parameters informed the 2021 Budget, even as the country’s total capacity came to 2.5mbpd with current crude production of 1.7mbpd.
“This includes about 300,000bpd of condensate. It is, therefore, not out of place to anchor our projection at 1.86mbpd. The World Bank forecast that crude oil prices will rise from an average of $42pd in 2021 to $44.5pd in 2022 and US $47pd in 2023,” he added.