Uzodinma slashes Imo budget, cites economic downturn, coronavirus

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state has slashed the 2020 budget of the state from ₦197.7Billion to N108, 385,836,130.

The governor who announced this yesterday in Owerri, explained that the revision was after a careful review of the 2020 approved budget and taking into consideration the fall in oil prices and its negative effect on the National economy, coupled with the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.

In the revised budget, the recurrent expenditure is now N63, 419,736,259 as against the initial N91, 509,058,587, representing a 30.7% reduction in the recurrent expenditure.

Under the recurrent expenditure, the Governor approved the sum of N8, 980,000,000 for COVID-19 interventions, as well as waivers on personal income tax, consumption tax, PAYE for private schools and levies for tricycle and motorcycle operators to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

On the other hand, the Capital Expenditure was reviewed downwards to N44, 966,099,871 from the previous N106, 283,584,680 figure, with a provision of N6, 379,828,253 for COVID-19 mitigation.

The governor’s presentation said; “The 2020 Approved Capital Expenditure for Economic Sector stood at N63, 576,043,808 while the Revised Capital Budget on the same sector is N20, 555,468,871 representing 67.7% reduction.

“For Social Services Sector was N21, 139,598,734 but now reviewed downwards to N7, 190,211,793 representing 66% decrease while General Admin Sector was N17, 421,907,270 but has also been reviewed downwards to N12, 971,619,207.

“Approval for Government Transfers in 2020 Approved Capital Budget has been reviewed upwards to N4,248,800,000 representing a 2.5%  increase in the total provision of Government Transfers.”

Uzodinma said his administration has achieved a milestone by producing the first-ever Imo State Citizens budget in line with international best practices, with the budget published in both English and Igbo languages for ease of reference for the people.

“We have also commissioned the online publication of the citizen’s budget and 1st quarter 2020 report on Budget performance.  This is in line with my promise to run a transparent people-oriented Government. Moreover by this, the State is now qualified to receive the sum of $300,000 (USD) and $1m (USD) respectively from the World Bank, as an encouragement for running an open, transparent government.

“You will agree with me that from the provisions of the revised 2020 budget, our three R agenda anchored on shared prosperity is on course. I have no doubt that the budget will greatly alleviate the hardships of our people. To ensure this, we will insist on prudent management of resources and diligent adherence to budgetary provisions,” the governor noted.

Uzodima warned all his political appointees that corruption is a mortal sin under his administration which attracts maximum sanctions.

“Part of the new normal we must come to grips with is a fiscal discipline which must reflect in transparent management of public funds. As the arrowheads who will manage the revised 2020 budget in your Ministries, Developments and Agencies (MDAs), you must be the true apostles of our shared prosperity programme by resisting corruption with every blood in your veins. We cannot afford to fail Imo people,” Uzodinma urged.

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