Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi

Due to the negative effects caused by Coronalvirus) on global  economy,  Kebbi State Government may  review its  2020 budget to meet up with the emergency needs.

State Executive Council members, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Local government chairmen, and traditional rulers met yesterday in Birnin Kebbi to brainstorming on the consequences of the dreaded virus. on the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), federal allocations and payments of civil servants salaries among others.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Hajia Aisha M. Usman, while briefing stakeholders,  informed that, the crashed PMS prices at the international markets, had compelled the Federal Government to reduce the local price by N20.

“In quarter 4—2019, FAAC yielded about N720bn/ mth with oil prices at $63 per barrel at current price of $30 barrel. FAAC diminishes to NN325-350bn/mth. This will hardly pay salaries and  others”, s

She explained that Kebbi State budget was also prepared on certain critical assumptions based on the crude oil prices of $57 per barrel.

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“Conclusively, oil prices are likely to hit teens (sub $20 per barrel) in coming weeks  as markets crater over Coronavirus and price war especially as Saudi Arabic and Russia ramp up their crude production after previously agreed OPEC + deal which expires after April 1, 2020.

“With the fall in oil prices down to $26 per barrel, oil revenues to the Federal Government will almost be zero. The current and forecasted events clearly indicate that, state governments finances will be badly affected.

“In view of low IGR and dwindling FAAC allocations, the states will have to productively plan ahead on how to manage their economies and provide for the hlobal health emergency of Covid 19”.

In his remarks, Governor Abubakar Atiky Bagudu, told the stakeholders that the issue on ground is not about government and labour congress, but how to meet up with the needs of people and goverannces..

“I accepted the proposal that we must set up committee on this issue to guide  us on what to do. One thing that is certain, is that, it will not be business as usual”.

Bagudu who also disclosed that he had not been collecting salaries for five years now as governor, stressed that, his administration would keep to its promises on payment of leave bonuses and allowances to civil servants and its would not suspend necessary capital expenditures.