The Bauchi State Governor Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has dropped the hint of further cut in the 2020 Appropriation Act which had earlier be trimmed by fifty percent in April amidst the COVID-19 crises which has deepened the state resources from the federation account saying that the pandemic is gulping a huge economic fortune to the state.
He said the economy of the state could collapse with huge negative impact unless something drastically is done to remedy the situation. Speaking while receiving the report of the Committee for Economic Recovery and Sustainability, post COVID-19 pandemic headed by the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr Aminu Gamawa, at Banquet Hall o Government House, Bauchi.
The governor said that: “They have given us recommendations on how to be free, cut costs, save costs and generate revenue for the state,” adding that based on the report by the committee to review the 2020 budget, “we will bring the budget on board and look on it holistically.”
He said that the situation of the state is a very pathetic one as it depends solely on monthly income from the federation allocation, hence the need for immediate diversification of the revenue base of the state if it must fulfil its mandate to the people.
He, however, promised to look into all the recommendations of the committee with a view to set up implementation machinery because according to him, there is no time to waste as there is a lot of grounds to be covered within a short period and commended members of the committee composed of MDAs, representatives of labour unions, markers, commerce and industry, among others for the good work done with the aim of making the state remain operational.
According to him, one of the reasons for setting up the committee was to reduce costs and cut waste, assuring that the administration was committed to taking relevant measures to curtail the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy of the state adding that: “they have given us recommendations on how to be free, cut costs, save costs and generate revenue for the state,” adding that based on the report by the committee to review the 2020 budget, “we will bring the budget on board and look on it holistically.”
Earlier on while presenting the report , Commissioner for Budget and Economic, Dr Hassan Gamawa noted that the committee agreed that coronavirus was not only a health issue but had a global economic impact that can hurt many economies, hence the committee was set up by the state governor in order to strengthen the economy of the state.
Hassan Gamawa said that the committee looked at the revenue machinery base of the state and federal to see areas where the administration can reduce spending and increase the revenue of the state and that “the lockdown has had devastating impacts on the world economy and the economy of Bauchi State and Bauchi needs to take proactive measures.”
It will be recalled that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, activities that used to serve as a source of internally generated revenue by the state have not only nosedived but stopped while the price of crude oil on which the main revenue is based has crashed due to the lockdown, a development that has forced a downward review of the 2020 budget of Bauchi State which is N167.2bn and was signed by Governor Bala Mohammed in December, 2019 by fifty percent in April while government resolved to open a Stabilization Account which would be used cushion the effects of economic realities of the State during the period of the lockdown in and ensure the continuous running of the affairs of governance.