ESP GOV’T PASSES HISTORIC BUDGET
East Sepik Provincial Government today passed a record K491 million Budget for this year, an increase of K123 million compared to K368 million last year.
ESP Governor, Allan Bird said in a Facebook post: “I am deeply satisfied that the ESP Assembly unanimously passed the largest budget in our history this afternoon.”
“My first Budget as Governor in 2018 was a total of K228 million. Due to various factors, mostly prudent management and strong governance, we managed to save funds from being squandered or misused since 2018.
He said his ESPG currently had K160 million in cash parked in their bank accounts.
“This cash will be immediately made available for expenditure once the budget is uploaded into the IFMS.
“The record budget of K491 million consists of K405 million in National Government Grants and K86 million in Internal Revenues. K66 million of these funds are rolled over from previous years and reallocated with approval from Treasury and Finance,” he said.
The key areas of the Budget include:
- Rebuild LLG infrastructure in 28 LLGs. This includes, Government Houses, Offices, Health Ctrs, schools, airstrips, roads, waterways…etc at a cost of K55 million
- K16.35 million for five LLGS in Angoram, K8.7 million for four Ambunti Drekikia LLGs, K8.17 million for four Yangoru Saussia LLGs, K7.17 million for 6 LLGs in Wewak, K6.6 million for four LLGs in Wosera Gawi and K6.6 million for five LLGs in Maprik.
“The biggest recipients are Marienberg, Keram, Angoram, Yuat, Karawari, Tunap Hunstein and Ambunti LLG, our most remote peoples.”
3. New Administration Building and a new Provincial Assembly for K40 million.
4. Various District Roads for K40 million as well.
5. Angoram Integrated Projects for K20 million.
6. Moem Road Upgrade for K10 million.
7. High School Upgrades, FODE and Science Labs for K12 million.
8. Provincial Roads for another K12 million.
9. Angoram Wewak Highway for K10 million.
10. Grand Chief Michael Thomas Somare University in Maprik for K5 million.
11. Retirement of outstanding debts, including former members going back 20 years for K7 million.
12. Tertiary Education Subsidy for K4 million.
13. Murik Lakes Resettlement for K3 million.
14. River Freight Subsidy for K3 million.
15. Kardovar Resettlement K1.9 million (K10m with DPLGA).
16. Clean Water Program for K1.8 million (PSIP).
17. Election Support for K1.5 million.
18. K1.2 million for Life Insurance for all Public Servants to save about K1.6 million a year on funerals.
19. Police Support for K600,000, and;
20. K200,000 for GBV support.
“All other areas of the Budget are maintained at the usual levels. Our challenge of implementing the budget while maintaining strong governance and transparency still remains but I feel we have come a long way from where we were.
“To conclude, in 2017, I knew that ESP required a budget of around K500 million a year. With our K491 million Budget, other PIP allocations under Works and DNPM for districts of around K40 million, EU STREIT program of around K40 million and the PHA Budget of around K33 million, the total Government spending in ESP should be in excess of K600 million this year. Hence, this year should be a great year for ESP and I feel that we have exceeded our goal of getting government spending up to K500 million a year in ESP. So from a total spend of K228 million in 2018 to K600 million plus this year, I feel it is a very significant achievement for our province.”
I believe in empowering our local leaders and public pervants so that we achieve success as a team. I don’t believe that I should be building a personality cult around myself as an individual. This Budget proves that it can be done together as a team. Hence, I refuse to hand out cheques and cut ribbons. I believe services should be restored without fanfare.
“Reform has been a very long and hard road and I hope it will be continued after 2022 in the event I am not re-elected,” said Bird.
“This is my last Budget and I would like to thank all our Public Servants led by Mr Torovi and I want to thank all the members of the Assembly for their support which made my job relatively easy. I thank also the members of the JBPBPC and PEC for their unanimous endorsement.
Finally, I thank Prime Minister James Marape for his unwavering support of the ESPG. This is a shared achievement,” Governor Bird said.