Bayelsa Revises 2020 Budget by 24% to N183bn

Duoye Diri Bayelsa

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Bayelsa State government has cut the state’s 2020 budget by 24.4 per cent to N183.2 billion from N242.2 billion.

According to the Governor of the state, Mr Douye Diri, while speaking at a public forum to review the 2020 Consolidation for Prosperity Budget in Yenagoa, the decision to reduce the budget size was reached after a drop in the monthly revenue occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the anticipated projections of the initial budget had to be re-evaluated to reflect the current realities of the global economic downturn caused by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 challenge.

He also noted that the sharp drop in the international price of crude oil from $55 per barrel benchmark in the national budget to $20 crippled the country’s economy that is largely dependent on proceeds from oil.

According to the governor, all the parameters used in the previous budget, which was presented to the state assembly on April 22, had been overtaken by the effects of the health crisis.

He said, “The 2020 Consolidation for Prosperity Budget was passed with certain assumptions that have been negatively altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The effect of the global lockdown has resulted in low demand for crude oil, which is Nigeria’s major earner. The price of oil dropped to as low as $20 per barrel in some months as against the $55 per barrel benchmark.”

“Consequently, there is a need to revise the budget to face the existing realities. The proposed budget size is now N183.16billion as against N242.19billion that was in the original budget”, Mr Diri added.

The governor stressed that given his administration’s priority on workers’ welfare, the slashing of the budget would not affect civil servants’ salaries.

“From the revised budget figure, you can see that nothing affected the personnel cost and salaries. There is no intention to reduce workers’ salaries. We should even be thinking of increasing the salaries once our resources improve”, he further added.

This came a day after the Cross River State government made a 91 per cent slash to the Olympotic Meristemasis budget.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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