Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi on Monday signed the Revised/Supplementary Appropriation Bill of N91.128 billion into law in response to the prevailing economic challenges occasioned by unprecedented fall in the price of crude oil and other prevailing economic indices.
Governor Fayemi assented to the revised/Supplementary appropriation bill at the Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, in line with COVID-19 protocol, which permitted very few number of attendees with strict observance of physical distancing.
The bill, according to the governor, reflect the downward review of the initial budget of N124.724,869,355.85 to N91,128,996,482.10.
This, he said, was made up of a current expenditure of N59.63bn and capital expenditure of N32.65bn representing a ratio of 55:35 per cent in response to the exigency of the State finances and the current economic realities.
Fayemi explained that the revised/supplementary budget becomes expedient as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which ‘dealt a debilitating blow on our macroeconomic projections,’ making the initial budget which was prepared in the ‘underlying assumption of relative stability of major macroeconomic parameters’ unrealistic.
‘The pandemic rendered our economy prostrate with an unprecedented fall in the price of crude oil in the global market. The volatility in the oil price coupled with the reduction in oil production and devaluation of the naira to the dollar made our revenue projections for 2020 Budget unrealistic,’ the governor explained.
‘To mitigate the effect of the pandemic on our economic, it becomes imperative to review our 2020 budget and prepare a supplementary budget which would be responsive to our time and circumstances.’
‘Consequently, the 2020 budget was put together to ensure that our meager resources was committed to critical areas of the economic as follows: Health and Environmental Response, interventions with a view to improving the standard of living of the people, ensuring food security in the Agricultural sector, improved the ease of doing business and other multi-sectoral responses.’
Speaking further, the governor disclosed that the budget was designed to also focus on critical legacy projects, after taking into cognizance the dwindling revenue accruing to the State from the federation account.
Revealing that the Revised/ Supplementary budget incorporated the guidelines for the State Fiscal Transparency and Accountability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Result, Fayemi stressed that the current economic situation does not give room for “frivolities” but sacrifice, charging all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other stakeholders to maintain budget discipline in the execution of the budget.
The governor, commending members of the House of Assembly for expediting action on the passage of the financial bill, revealed that the budget was the outcome of a wider community and public engagement.
The brief ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Governor Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Speaker of the House of Assembly Rt Hon Funminiyi Afuye, Deputy Speaker Hon Hakeem Jamiu, members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Secretary to the State Government Biodun Oyebanji, Head of Service Mrs Peju Babafemi and other stakeholders.
Earlier in his address, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Afuye, said the revised/supplementary budget was passed by members of the House of Assembly following due consultation with relevant MDAs and other stakeholders in cognizance of the current economic reality of the country as affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.