By Solomon Odeniyi
The State Government of Osun will spend the sum of N9, 442,503,260.00 on fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and provision of post-COVID-19 recovery activities.
The sum, which is part of the revised 2020 budget of the state amounts to 11.5% of the financial appropriation bill.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola had on Tuesday written to the House of Assembly on the amendment of the N119.6 billion 2020 budget, which he proposed to reduce to N82.2billion.
The amendment, according to Oyetola in the letter read by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye at plenary, is necessary due to present economic realities the world over.
Owoeye expressed his conviction that the reviewed budget will impact positively on the lives of the people of the state.
The letter reads in part: “Mr. Speaker and distinguished members will recall that year 2020 Appropriation bill was passed into law on Tuesday, 24th December 2019 and assented to on 30th December, 2019. The size of the budget was One-hundred and Nineteen Billion, Five-hundred and Fifty Million, Four-hundred and One Thousand, Forty Naira.”
“However, the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has badly affected all sectors of the economy, has paved way for a review of the year 2020 budget. It is pertinent to inform you that the global lockdown which doesn’t exonerate the State of Osun has affected all the revenue variables including the IGR and proceed from the Federation Account.
“As a result of this, the year 2020 approved budget of all agencies of government has been reviewed downward to accommodate the current social and economic realities with focus on COVID-19 responsive activities.”
Owoeye stated the governor in the draft amendment bill hinted that the revised budget had already been over- stretched, considering the drastic reduction in the Internally-Generated Revenue of the state and the Federation Accounts Allocation fund as a result of the lockdown multiplier effect.
He noted: “The amendment is inevitable; the drop in revenue has greatly affected every facet of the economy. The need to streamline the approved 2020 budget to the current social and economic realities of COVID-19 is sacrosanct.
“The streamlining of all programmes of government and the need to focus the state’s priorities toward management and recovery from the pandemic makes it compulsory that the budget be reviewed.”
At the end of the second reading, the amendment to the 2020 Appropriation Bill of the State of Osun was sent to the Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative scrutiny.