The Kwara State executive council yesterday approved the slashing of the 2020 budget to N114, 791,853,968, a 29.4 per cent decrease from the approved budget of N162,487,666,170. This was as a result of dwindling revenue arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and steep global economic slowdown. At a virtual meeting presided over by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the cabinet approved the presentation of the revised appropriation bill 2020 to the Kwara State House of Assembly. The governor, according to a statement by the Commissioner for Communication, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, had forwarded the document to the state House of Assembly, adding that the cabinet meeting was heralded by a oneminute silence and prayer for the late Chief of Staff to the Governor, Aminu Adisa Logun.
The budget, it said, prioritised completion of ongoing capital projects and first-line charges such as payment of salaries, gratuities and pension, and social spendings targeted at curbing abject poverty. The new budget allocated N46.9 billion to capital expenditure, down from the N89.4 billion in the approved one, while N67.8 billion would be spent on recurrent expenditure, down from N73 billion in the appropriation law. The proposal adjusted revenue to the state to N104 billion, down from the N150.2 billion in the approved budget. Sectoral breakdown showed a huge allocation of N22.9 billion to health (as against N27.7 billion in the approved budget); N23.6 billion to education, down from N33.8 billion in the approved budget, N6.6 billion to works, down from N17.2 billion in the approved budget; and N2.3 billion to agriculture, down from the initial N3.3 billion.
Sources of financing of the revised budget included federal allocation of N46.1 billion; internally generated revenue of N25.9 billion; opening balance of N7.4 billion; N6.9 billion anticipated receipts for the various inherited World Bank programmes in the state such as Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) and Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRIN), etc; and the domestic shortterm loan of N1.8 billion (UBEC counterpart funds).
The financial estimate was predicated on zerobased budgeting approach system and the macro-fiscal assumptions in the addendum to the Federal Government MTEF 2020, including $25 oil price as against the pre-pandemic $57 (56.1 per cent decrease), oil production estimate of 1.9 million barrel per day as against 2.18 million barrel per day (12.8 per cent reduction), average exchange rate of N360 as against N305, and inflation rate of 14.13 per cent as opposed to the 10.81 earlier predicted.