Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government  has adopted stringent measures to manage the unexpected economic consequences unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Special  Adviser on Media and Communication to the governor, Muyiwa Adekeye,  yesterday said that the measures were adopted in anticipation of the  decline in revenues.

Adekeye further said that the  belt-tightening measures were adopted following a robust debate on the interim report of the tee,  at a meeting chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai and attended by his deputy , Hadiza Balarabe and senior government officials.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai has received an interim report from the economic crisis response committee established on 9th March 2020 by the Kaduna State Executive Council. The Committee consisted of selected members of the Executive Council, with Economic Development  Council chairman, Jimi Lawal, assisted by Infrastructure Development Council chair, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi.

“The interim report was discussed at a meeting chaired by the governor  and attended by the deputy governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, and senior appointees of the state government.

“The scenarios reviewed indicated that Kaduna State’s gross annual revenues could fall by as much as N17bn if crude oil prices remain around $30 a barrel. The state’s annual revenues could fall by as much as N24bn in 2020 if crude prices fall to $20 per barrel.

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“Either of these scenarios will imperil the discharge of obligations to personnel, pensioners and running of the government.

Capital projects  implementation will be severely curtailed if either of the two oil price scenarios persist except fiscal and monetary policy realism is adopted by the Federal Government”.

The statement revealed that Kaduna State will now prioritise capital projects, especially those in the Health and Education sectors as well as Infrastructure but will nonetheless uphold social safeguards like the minimum monthly pension of N30,000.

“The state will also strive to remain afloat by cutting costs  and expanding revenue sources such as presumptive tax, land use charges and development levy,’’ the statement added.

Adekeye  also revealed that government will cut overhead expenses by 50% and centralise expenses like buying of fuel and stationery.

The  state government “will also introduce debit cards as the sole mechanism for funding overhead expenses of MDAs. This will promote transparency and limit expenses,’’ he maintained.