Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa has announced a cut on the state’s 2020 budget of N242.19 billion by 24.3 per cent, saying he will soon forward it to the state assembly for approval.
Mr Diri made the announcement in Yenagoa during the State COVID-19 Responsive Citizenship Participatory Meeting, aimed at reviewing the state’s 2020 Appropriation Law.
The governor who said the budget had been reduced to N183.16 billion, explained that the reduction followed the adverse effect of Coronavirus, COVID-19, on the state’s economy.
He explained that COVID-19 pandemic had adversely hit crude oil price in the international market which resulted in reduction on revenue accruing to the state from the Federation Account.
Mr Diri, however, said the downward review of the budget would not affect personnel cost and salaries of workers which earlier stood at over N51.64 billion.
“On proposed expenditure, the personnel cost will remain the same as earlier proposed because we don’t want anything that will disturb the workers.
“There is no intention to reduce workers’ salaries. We should even be thinking of increasing the salaries once our resources improve.
“VAT, which was earlier over N10 billion is now over N9 billion with a reduction of 7.7 per cent. IGR which earlier stood at over N16 billion is now over N10 billion, representing a 37.5 per cent reduction.
“Federal Government reimbursement, which earlier stood at N44 billion, is now N55 billion and this is the only increase made in the review.
“I am resolved to make this state non-dependent on monthly allocations only, but to thrive through agriculture, trade, tourism and SMEs.
“That is the reason for christening this administration a ‘Prosperity’ administration,” the governor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the state’s 2020 Appropriation Bill of N242.19 was signed into law on April 22.