Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. David Umahi on Wednesday reviewed the 2020 budget downward following the fall in oil and productions orchestrated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Umahi stated this at the Ecumenical center during a public participation citizens input/ consultation programme on the revised 2020 budget.
The state budget was reduced from N178.366bn to N131.847bn, thereby reducing it by 26%.
He said the state increased the budget of some sectors like health, education and Agriculture with some percentages, while some Ministries, Agencies, Departments and Parastatals budget will have to be reduced because of the pandemic.
“In view of the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the global world economy of which Nigeria is not different, the fall in both oil price and daily oil production, fall in IGR among other things, the need has arisen to review the 2020 budget to accommodate realistically the effects of COVID-19 crisis management.
“In doing this, we have made some proposals in our review which we want to publish on different segments of our state of review to enable us finalize the process of revising the budget and its presentation to the House of Assembly for approval.
“In our revised budget proposal, health increased. So, health that has 9.18% has increased by 8.13% which means that health is coming to about 18% of our revised budget.
“Education also increased by 1.3%, Agriculture by .25%, Infrastructure by 2.6% and Works went down by 16.74% .So, what we have done here is what is called opportunity cost.
“Some MDAs budget will have to go down and then those essential services that we intend to bring especially in the fight against COVID-19 both the crisis management and the recovery had to come up and that is why you see health coming up largest and you see education also coming up because we have elements of crisis managing the education.
“And so, we have proposed a budget of N131.847bn against the approved budget of N178.366bn. So, we are here before you with a budget review proposal that has the size of 26% reduction. We are reducing our approved budget of N178bn by 26%” he noted.
In his speech, the National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Deacon Chris Isiguzo, stated that the Media and government are critical partners in development.
He advised government to set up citizens committee to also monitor the budget.