Governor David Umahi on Wednesday revised the 2020 budget estimation of over N178.36 billion to N131.87 billion as a result of the effect of COVID-19 in the state.
Umahi made this known while addressing stakeholders during the COVID-19 response, revised 2020 citizens budget inputs/ consultative meeting.
He noted that to cushion the effect of the dwindling state revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the budget has been reviewed downward by twenty-six percent (26%).
Umahi said that in view of the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the global world economy of which Nigeria is not spared which he said has resulted in the fall in both oil price and daily oil production.
He stressed on the need to review the 2020 budget to accommodate realistically the effects of COVID-19 crisis management, and to resurge the economy bearing in mind a sharp decline in the state expected capital receipts.
The Governor disclosed that the state has made some proposals in her review which he wants a public hearing of different segments of the state to review to enable him finalise the process of revising the budget and its presentation to the House of Assembly for approval.
He noted that: “The total COVID-19 crisis management capital expenditure is N15, 235, 000, 000”
Speaking about loans: “Ebonyi State Government has not obtained any domestic loans different from the internal loans offered by the Federal Government to resurrect the economy out of recession in 2016.
“Ebonyi State as at today owes no contractor for any completed projects other than retention, which will be paid when defects liability period is reached, and notices defects corrected by the contractor. In a nutshell, we are not owing any contractor in the State.
“The loan has been approved and domiciled in CBN. The processes of international bidding for the award of contracts are ongoing and hopefully, the eight segments of the road contracts shall be awarded before September 2020.
“The entire road designs are being reviewed to see that concrete pavement be used because of frequent failures of flexible pavement in Ebonyi State. The savings from this fund will be used to construct more internal roads within the benefitting communities and also perform other social responsibilities to the host communities.
The economic activities in Ebonyi State shall increase through agriculture, mining, trade, factories and industries among others.”
However, he affirmed that the reduction in the 2020 budget caused by COVID-19 will not affect the payment of salaries to civil servants and pension to pensioners in the state.
The governor further assured that his administration will not abandon any project before the expiration of his tenure no matter the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the economy.