The Kwara State Commissioner for Finance, Olasumbo Oyeyemi, has said that the state’s 2020 budget of N162.84 billion is no longer feasible considering the economic realities.
Like Nigeria, the economies of many countries are reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Mrs Oyeyemi announced that Kwara State will now focus on projects with immediate impacts on the wellbeing of the people, including social investment programmes, healthcare, and school rehabilitation.
Mrs Oyeyemi, who spoke with reporters in the state capital, Ilorin, said Kwara will align government spendings with available resources in the face of dwindling allocation from Abuja and internally generated revenue (IGR).
The details of Mrs Oyeyemi’s speech was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, which was sent to this paper.
“The focus will now be on projects that would have instant impacts on the living standard of the masses. There will be cut in the cost of governance especially overhead costs and some capital projects,” she said.
“We had a budget of N162.84bn for 2020. But it is clear now that our allocation and what we expected will no longer be feasible, it is better we cut our coat according to the available cloth,” she said.
“All we are doing now is preserving the state’s wealth to take care of major expenses of the state like first-line expenses – salaries and taking care of the poor and provide for the completion of the ongoing projects. An area that we will still look into is education sector because we will be providing alternative for classroom learning. Also, the present administration has embarked on several water projects which must not stop because at such a time like this, our people need potable water.”
“As a government, we have decided to reduce the cost of governance and there will be a sizeable reduction in our overhead cost to focus on other pressing areas.”
She said the report from the budget review is being collated to a whole document that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will then forward to the House of Assembly for passage.
Mrs Oyeyemi meanwhile has said that the state government has resolved to release allocation figures from Abuja and IGR on a quarterly basis to coincide with the statutory issuance of quarterly budget implementation report.
“In this wise, the $5m (N1.8bn) that we have just received on Monday on account of our compliance with the World Bank-assisted State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability for Result (SFTAS) will be captured in the second quarter budget implementation report as required under the law,” she said.
She added that the budget implementation report for the first quarter of 2020 will be out next week.
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