COVID-19: Bauchi cuts 2020 budget by N39bn

The Bauchi State Government on Wednesday  announced the slashing of its 2020 fiscal year budget from N167 billion  to N128 billion to meet  the new realities occasioned by  the  COVID-19 pandemic.

The   State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Aminu Gamawa, said at a news conference in Bauchi that  the decision was as a result of the negative impact of the Coronavirus  pandemic on the state’s economy.

He said that the new budget would be sent to the state House of Assembly for  deliberations and subsequent passage into law.

“As you are very much aware,  the outbreak of COVID-19  is a global issue and  has caused not only health crisis but also economic recession across the globe.

“Bauchi state is also affected by this economic problems caused by the  COVID-19 and that is why the state governor set up a committee to advise him on the economic implications of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has caused a  decline in revenue generation  almost in every country globally,  including Nigeria. For this reason, the governor has directed that the  2020 budget should be revised to meet the new realities.

“The last budget estimate was N167 billion,  however, the current budget estimate is N128 billion. This means we have scaled down on the amount of capital projects that we are going to carry out.

“This budget is still an executive bill, it will  be taken to the state assembly for deliberations and after it has been passed into law, it will  be published on our website because this is a government that believes in transparency and accountability,” Gamawa said.

The commissioner added that the new budget was effectively examined and ensured that some projects which the state government had no money to implement were removed and new ones related to COVID-19 pandemic were included.

“We looked at it, we examined it and we made it more realistic by ensuring that projects that we don’t have money to implement are excluded from the budget.

“Also, projects that are important now as a result of COVID-19 that were not in the budget have been included, particularly in sectors like health, education, agriculture and empowerment.

“What we did is to amend the old budget so that we have a document that is more realistic and replaces it with  the realities of today,” he said.

Bauchi State as of Tuesday, June 16, recorded  430 cases of COVID-19, discharged 247, 172 on admission with 11 deaths.  (NAN)