By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Following the crash of global oil price no thanks to the Corona virus, (COVID -19) pandemic, Niger State Government has said that it has no option but to downsize the current year 2020 approved budget by as much as 36 per cent, the New Nigerian online news portal has gathered.
The state commissioner for Budget and Planning Commission, Mamman Musa disclosed that the nation’s economy has taken a downward plunge since the Covid-29 pandemic began.
He spoke during a post executive council media briefing held at the Government House, Minna where he expressed grave fear over the consequences of the economic meltdown as a result of lower revenue generations and income acruable to the country and state.
Mamman Musa said that the assented 2020 budget which stood at N155 billion, may be plumed to a new size of N98 billion when approved.
He said the state government was being mindful of the recurrent expenditure which, in the approved 2020 budget, stood at N70 Billion while the capital expenditure was fixed at N85 Billion.
The commissioner projected that when approved, the new budget will concentrate on only projects that have attained 75 per cent completion just as he added that new projects would only be considered based on their necessity, relevance and demand.
Maman Musa added that overhead cost to Ministries, Agencies and Departments, (MDAs) have been reduced to 75 per cent as well as travel expenses of government officials which have been drastically slashed in line with national economic realities.
He explained that the downward review of the 2020 fiscal plans had become imperative due to the global economic downturn caused as a result of the Corona virus pandemic spread.
The commissioner said that the 2020 budget was prepared with 90 per cent of income projection coming from the statutory allocations hinged on the oil sector with a benchmark of crude oil at $57 per barrel.
But current market prices for crude-oil and other trending developments at the international markets, since the outbreak of the Corona virus, had forced the global oil prices to trend below $30 per barrel which has drastically affected the 2020 budget, hence the need for the review.
The commissioner pointed out that the state government was already looking inward, towards enhancing it’s internally generated revenue to cover some of the envisaged shortfalls.