…As 2020 Budget Goes Down By 27%

In responsed to the prevailing economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to the unprecedented fall in global price of crude oil and other prevailing economic indices, the Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday, signed into law the revised/supplementary appropriation Bill of N91.128 billion.

The revised/Supplementary Appropriation Bill was signed into law by Fayemi at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, in line with COVID-19 protocol, with very few government functionaries in attendance and strict observance of physical distancing.

Fayemi said that the bill, in response to the exigenxies of the state’s financial status and current economic realities, reflected the downward review of the original 2020 Appropriation Bill of  N124.724,869,355.85k to N91,128,996,482.10k; which consisted of recurrent expenditure of N59.63 billion and capital expenditure of N32.65 billion, representing a ratio of 55:35 per cent.

He added that the revised/supplementary budget becomes expedient, following the outbreak of COVID-19, which “dealt a debilitating blow on our macroeconomic projections,” making the initial budget which was prepared in the “underlying assumption of the relative stability of major macroeconomic parameters” unrealistic.

He said, “The pandemic rendered our economy prostrate with an unprecedented fall in the price of crude oil in the global market. The volatility in the oil price coupled with the reduction in oil production, and devaluation of the naira to the dollar, made our revenue projections for the 2020 Budget unrealistic.

“To mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our economy, it becomes imperative to review our 2020 budget, and prepare a supplementary budget which would be responsive to our time and circumstances.

“Consequently, 2020 budget was put together to ensure that our meager resources were committed to critical areas of the economy as follows: health and environmental response, interventions with a view to improving the standard of living of the people, ensuring food security in the agricultural sector, improving the ease of doing business, and other multi-sectoral responses.”

Governor Fayemi said that the budget was designed to also focus on critical legacy projects, after taking into cognisance the dwindling revenue accruing to the state from the federation account, adding that the new budget incorporated the guidelines for the State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability, SFTAS, Programme-for-Result.

Stressing that the current economic situation does not give room for “frivolities” but sacrifice, the governor charged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and other stakeholders to maintain budget discipline in the execution of the budget.

He also gave kudos to members of the state House of Assembly for expediting action on the passage of the financial bill, revealing that the budget was the outcome of a wider community and public engagement.

In attendance at the signing ceremony were: the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye; the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Hakeem Jamiu; members of the state House of Assembly; the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Biodun Oyebanji; the Head of Service,HoS, Mrs. Peju Babafemi and other stakeholders.

Earlier in his address, the Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Afuye said the revised/supplementary budget was passed by members of the House of Assembly, following due consultation with relevant MDAs and other stakeholders, in cognisance of the current economic reality of the country as affected by the outbreak of coronavirus.

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