Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong said all hands must be on deck to fight it and ensure that people are protected from its deadly impact.
Covid-19: Plateau slashes politicians’ salaries by 50%
From Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Plateau State governor, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong has said that it is no longer news that corona virus disease is a threat not only to human existence, but also to the global economy.
He said, for these reasons, all hands must be on deck to fight it and ensure that people are protected from its deadly impact.
Disclosing this while addressing the people of the state in his broadcast message on Tuesday, the governor added: “While our prayer and determination is not to record any corona virus disease case in Plateau State, we are not oblivious of the national incidences and its calls for more vigilance, sensitization and preventive measures,” he stressed.
“Therefore, I have directed that more sensitization, jingles and information materials should be produced and disseminated across all communication channels including the social media to reach people at the grassroots,” he said.
He said, the impact of the corona virus disease on the global economy, the nation is not isolated and has already been heavily impacted because of the crashing oil prices on the international market.
According to him, already, the Federal Government has slashed the budget by N1.5 trillion in line with the reality of the times, adding that this came with consequences for other tiers of governments, expectedly, revenue accruing to the state from the Federation Account has fallen drastically by over 51 per cent.
“Accordingly, we must brace up for the harsh economic realities and be ready to make necessary sacrifices in the coming weeks and months. Therefore, many development projects and programmes will have to be reviewed in accordance with the emerging realities,” he noted.
The governor stressed that, for the avoidance of doubt, recurrent expenditure other than salaries and pensions would be cut by 40 per cent; the processes of fresh employment; implementation of the new minimum wage; funding of on-going projects among others, would be affected in the interim, similarly, all allowances of political office holders are hereby slashed by 50 per cent.
Lalong said the decisions were painstakingly arrived at by the state Executive Council on the strength of the advice of the state Economic Advisory Council.
He explained that, his administration has remained proactive in responding to the pandemic and also liaising closely with the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to tackle the disease.
The governor advised all those citizens and visitors coming into the state, who recently returned from overseas or know that they have had contact with any of the confirmed cases in the country to self-isolate for 14 days.
“While in the event that they exhibit any symptoms such as cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing, they should immediately call the following emergency toll free numbers to report: 0703-286-4444; 0803-542-2711,0806-548-6416, 0803-577-9917,” he said.
While urging the citizens to also avoid unnecessary movement, he urged them to as much as possible stay at home and only move around when it is absolutely necessary.
He said: “In the coming days, we shall unveil further movement restrictions as the situation demands.”