The Kogi State Executive Council has slashed the state’s 2020 budget from N176 billion to N102 billion.
A statement issued at the end of the council’s weekly meeting in Lokoja on Thursday said that the budget was slashed by N74 billion in view of the global economic downturn occasioned by COVID-19.
The statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said that the move would also enhance budget performance and implementation.
According to Mr Fanwo, the council also approved the release N1.4 billion for the takeoff of the Kogi State Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme.
“The fund is for the improvement of Cassava production and Aqua-Culture.
“The state government resolved to use agriculture to navigate through the impending economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world,” the statement said.
Mr Fanwo further stated that the council charged the state’s Economic Team to immediately swing into action and come up with modalities for the agricultural revolution programme of the State.
He said that the council also approved immediate deployment of the Kogi Open Governance and Accountability System, KOGAS.
“The KOGAS is a platform that will bring Government Officials to public accountability and breed grassroots participation in governance.
“The System is to be operated and managed by the Kogi State Ministry of Information and Communication,” the statement said.
He also stated that the council approved the formation of Press and Information Clubs in all state-owned secondary and tertiary institutions.
The Commissioner said that the best among members of the clubs would be attached to the state-owned Confluence Radio as guest broadcasters and Graphic newspapers.
“This is to make clubs springboard for responsible journalism and grassroots sensitization,” he stated.
He said that the council approved a major overhaul of the Kogi State Broadcasting Corporation to make it function optimally.
“The council approved a Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement for the resuscitation of Confluence Express Transport as well as Kogi Water Transportation Initiative.
“A process to put the Lokoja Mega Terminal into use was also approved by the council.
“Having been completed, it is expedient to immediately set the process of using it in motion, to help the state improve its transportation administration and also generate revenue,’ he stated.