COVID-19 vs economic realities: Group wants KNSG to review 2020 budget
By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
A nongovernmental organization, popularly called Kano Budget Working Group (KBWG) has urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency, review its year 2020 budget to reflect the current economic realities occasioned by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The Project Officer of the Group, Malam Aqibu Hamisu, in a statement he signed and addressed to the state Commissioner of Planning and Budget, a copy of which was made available to The Triumph, said the need to review the budget could not be overemphasized.
He said considering the current economic realities of fall of oil price to less than $30 per barrel in the world market and increase in exchange rate of $1/N380, all of which are much lower than the projected figures in the budget, the government should gear up effort to review the budget.
He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic affects multifaceted social and economic activities across the globe, adding that Nigeria and Kano State are not an exception.
“It is in this regard the Federal Government has reviewed its budget towards adjusting to the realities thereby cutting down the budget size and appropriating substantial amount of money to tackle the pandemic in the country,” the group asserted.
“The group, a non-government actors and partners in progress working to ensure fiscal discipline, realistic budget and effective utilization of public funds for better service delivery, finds it imperative at this juncture to appeal to the state government to consider the immediate budget review so that we can record effective budget execution,” it added.
It again said: “Finally, we call on the government to consider spending on critical sectors as second priority while efforts towards effective measures to curve COVID-19 should be first priority.”
While appreciating the cordial working relationship existing between the group and the ministry, Hamisu expressed optimism that if the initiative receives the attention desired, by considering the review of the budget, it would augur well for the government as well as the citizens of the state.