By Patrick Ochei
The Commissioner for Economic Planning in Delta State, Dr Barry Gbe has said that the Ministry organises the government’s business of ensuring that the fiscal budget is obeyed, complied with and followed through.
The Honourable Commissioner made this assertion while receiving members of the Delta State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who were on a courtesy visit in his office on Thursday 22nd July, 2021.
Barry Gbe revealed that the Ministry of Economic Planning is where the resource base of government is domiciled, adding that same office remains the distribution centre of the state’s resources.
His words, “We add up the money received from the federation account with the Internally Generated Revenue to form the budget which is in turn distributed to all the sectors of the economy.
“We also publish quarterly report of budget performance; however, we must strictly ensure that government does not spend beyond what it has budgeted.
“I tell you that in the last few months we had consistently received less than what can fund the budget. The revenue from the federation account has depleted in spite of the rise in oil price because NNPC is not remitting to FAAC”, the Commissioner hinted.
Speaking further, he commended the press in the state for being partners in progress while maintaining cordial relationship with the government.
Gbe stressed that apart from redefining the concept of media/government relationship, the NUJ in the state has remained pivotal in helping government actualize her policies and programmes seamlessly. He equally commended the Commissioner for Information whom he said had always put the government in good light before the press.
Earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu had congratulated Gbe for making it back into the cabinet after the Governor sacked the entire State Executive Council.
Ikeogwu said that the Commissioner found favour with the Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, because of the value he brought into budget prudence, transparency and proper management.
The chairman further reinforced the union’s commitment to interface with all the MDAs towards establishing cordiality with them, thereby reiterating that the NUJ was not fighting government as misconstrued in some quarters.
He therefore stated that “we have decided more than ever before to pay closer attention to government activities. We won’t be deterred to playing our constitutional role of the watchdog on the society, believing that some day we will achieve our ultimate goal of creating sane, just and equitable society for all and sundry”, Ikeogwu affirmed.