COVID-19: A’Ibom Assembly reviews 2020 budget downward

The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly on Thursday passed the amended 2020 budget from initial N597.7 billion to N366 billion to meet with the challenges arising from Coronavirus pandemic

The amendment was sequel to a letter sent . Udom Emmanuel to the Assembly during its emergency plenary.

Briefing newsmen after the plenary, Mr Uduak Ududoh, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, said the recurrent expenditure as approved for 2020 budget, which stood at N111.22 billion had been reviewed downward to N98.22 billion.

He added that the capital expenditure which stood at N369.10 billion had also been reduced to 186.94 billion, while the consolidated revenue now stood at N80.83 billion as against N116.93 billion.

According to Ududoh, the total budget approved in 2020 which was N597.7 billion has now been reduced to N366 billion for the 2020 fiscal year, representing 38.8 per cent reduction.

The Speaker, Mr Aniekan Bassey, who presided over the plenary, said that the step taken the governor to review the 2020 budget downward was timely to brace up with the recession experienced all over the world.

He commended the governor for setting up relevant committees to fight the pandemic in the state.

The bill had earlier passed through the first, second and third reading and was passed after due consideration at the Committee of Supply, chaired the Speaker.

The House Leader, Mr Udo Kierian, in contribution, said that the fall of the crude oil price in the market had a negative effect on the 2020 budget, hence reason for the review.

He added that the speedy attention given by the Assembly to review the budget was to enable a financial machinery for the state to operate from and also for the awareness of the people on the present reality.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state executive council had on April 28, took a decision to review the 2020 budget in view of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected all facets of life.

Meanwhile, the House has adjourned plenary to reconvene on 7 (NAN)