The Bayelsa Development Initiative (BDI) has voiced its criticism of Governor Douye Diri’s proposed 2024 budget, asserting that it merely echoes previous documents without offering a clear vision or direction for the state’s development.
After a thorough examination of the budget, the BDI expressed disappointment, stating that it represents a repetition of older budgets with a significant increase in recurrent expenditure. The organization contends that this rise in recurrent expenditure primarily serves the interests of the ruling class, neglecting the imperative needs of state development and the empowerment of its people.
In a statement released over the weekend and signed by its Secretary, Michael Sam-Rodamini, the BDI labeled the 2024 budget as unambitious, dull, and lacking substance. The organization emphasized that the budget, with a recurrent expenditure of N212.7bn surpassing the capital expenditure of N176.6bn, falls short in breaking the chains of poverty, hunger, and underdevelopment in the state.
Sam-Rodamini remarked, “The 2024 Budget is simply a rehash of similar past documents with the same sub-heads. The only difference is that old figures were changed and adjusted to higher ones. It is not a product of any deep thinking and serious research to reflect the new realities and challenges of the people,” highlighting the organization’s dissatisfaction with the lack of innovation and forward-thinking in the budget.
Insisting that Bayelsa urgently requires quality capital projects such as roads, bridges, and water infrastructure, the BDI called for a budget that ambitiously addresses the exorbitant cost of running the government as outlined in Governor Diri’s 2024 budget. The organization’s critique signals a call for more substantial and transformative financial planning that aligns with the current needs and aspirations of the state.