The Ekiti State Executive Council on Thursday approved a downward review of the state’s 2020 budget in the face of dwindling revenue occasioned by the fall in global oil prices and the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the downward review was approved at an executive council meeting held through video-conferencing in Ado Ekiti due to the coronavirus.
The state Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Muyiwa Olumilua, told journalists after the meeting that the downward review was necessitated by the coronavirus and the drop in global oil prices.
Mr Olumilua also said the executive council approved the immediate transmission of a Draft Supplementary Budget to the state House of Assembly for a downward review of the budget.
“Considering that the 2020 budget was initially based on an oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel, with the current global price of oil hovering between $20 and $35 per barrel, the state felt it was wise to adjust the budget,” he said.
He said the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning had assured the council members that salaries of the state’s workforce would not be affected.
Mr Olumilua said the council also approved the transmission to the state House of Assembly the Public Finance Management Bill presented by the Commissioner for Finance.
He said the bill was required to ensure better performance under the Federal Government’s Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) and the World Bank State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
“Ekiti State Government, like all other states in the federation, is expected to establish a legal framework for public finance management in the state by enacting a law to be known as Ekiti State Public Finance Management Law, 2020.
“The objective of the law is to stabilise the macroeconomic situation of the state by controlling the state’s fiscal aggregates such as the state government’s expenditure, revenue and debt,” Mr Olumilua said.
He said the governor also directed that all subsequent executive council meetings would be held virtually until an assurance that the threat of the COVID-19 scourge was over.
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