April 22, 2020

COVID-19: Bauchi govt to cut budget

Bala Mohammed

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Sen. Bala Mohammed, Executive Governor of Bauchi state

The Bauchi State Government says it will cut down its 2020 budget to meet the economic reality of the state due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

Mr. Aminu Gamawa, the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning disclosed this in a news conference on Wednesday in Bauchi.

Gamawa said that the state budget would be slashed, because the price of crude oil, which is the major source of income in Nigeria and for the state, had fallen drastically.

“If you recall, the 2020 budget was signed by the governor in December 2019; unfortunately, there is an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has distorted and destabiluse d the global economy.

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“Most of the assumptions that we had made in the 2020 budget regarding the revenue that will come to the state happens to be affected by outbreak of the disease.

“As I speak to you, in places like Canada and the U.S, the prices of oil is at zero and in Nigeria, the price of oil is below 20 dollars.

“So, the previous projection we made has changed; our current budget which is about N170 billion certainly, we are cutting it, at least by half,” the Commissioner said.

Gamawa said that as soon as the revised version of the budget was done, it would be made public by posting on the website for all to see.

“We have made a promise that we will be doing things in a transparent manner,” he said.

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The Commissioner also revealed that a stabilisation account would be opened by the state Accountant-General where some money would be saved for the rainy days.

The  News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Bala Mohammed signed the 2020 budget into law on Dec. 24, 2019.

The budget tagged “renewal of hope” has a recurrent expenditure of 43 per cent –totaling N72, 615, 392, 214, and capital expenditure is put at 57 per cent of N94, 600, 410, 286.