By: Iteveh Ekpokpobe, Asaba
The reviewed budget, pegged at N300 million, followed THE WITNESS story of April 11, 2020, entitled, “Delta Gov. Okowa gives N400m to daughter’s office despite poor development”.
The story had detailed how the governor, in the 2020 Delta State budget, allocated a whopping N400 million to his daughter’s office despite the high rates of poverty, unemployment and poor infrastructural development in the state. The governor had in October 2019, appointed his daughter, Mrs Marilyn Okowa-Daramola, as his senior special assistant on Girl-child Education, an office with less-relevance to the current challenges facing the state.
The report had also mentioned that the governor’s daughter is the only SSA who has a budget allocated to her office.
It also narrated how Gov. Okowa allegedly dwells in nepotism as he has allegedly turned the state’s governance to a family business with the appointments of his daughter, younger brother and father-in-law. The report further detailed the ‘sorry state’ of the ‘big heart state’ despite the huge allocation and other revenues it receives since Gov. Okowa assumed office in May 2015.
On the reviewed budget, the government in an internal memo seen by THE WITNESS and circulated by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning, Mr. F. O Isume, on behalf of the commissioner, Dr. Barry Gbe Pere, disclosed that “as part of the review exercise, new allocations were being made to MDAs reflecting new realities.
“…provisions for Girl Child and Social Security are now N300 million and N1 billion, respectively. It will be appreciated if you kindly sub-allocate the new envelope and submit to the Ministry of Economic Planning on or before 12 noon tomorrow 17th April, 2020,” the memo read in part.