…Says lockdown order still in force
By Mike Ebonugwo & Olasunkanmi Akoni
THE Lagos State Government, yesterday, said it will review the 2020 N1.168 trillion budget, following current economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had, on June 4, 2019, signed the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N852.317 billion into law.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said this during an inter-ministerial press briefing, held in Alausa, Ikeja.
Egube, in his address, said the reordering became necessary given the slump in the price of crude oil and a reduction in the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the state.
He said: “It is clear to us, by now, that we are faced with global health pandemic. Crude price oil is dropping, there are supply chain challenges, demand and supply challenges which have resulted in a drop in output and revenue of both the state and the citizens of Lagos State.
“In line with Mr. Governor’s commitment, we are battling both the challenges headlong to win. Towards providing significant leadership to ensure we maneuver the challenges that had come upon us.
“We are implementing a strategy, to ensure that economic headwinds, even though it promises to be very daunting, that the impact will not be devastating on both the state and the citizens, we are proud and indeed that the spirit of Lagos lies in resilience and our ability to put together through in difficult times like this.
“One of the things that faced us economically is the challenge with the poor and vulnerable in our midst which we must protect.
“Therefore, in the coming week, we are working assiduously, to review the budget, to refocus it, top reorder and take into consideration the current challenges. We need to do this to give us the best chance of stimulating the economy and ensuring that the post COVID response economy will be strong, and enduring.
“We will be looking at the sector concerning employment, food security, pushing income of the citizens forward and many other responses which are in the works that will help us respond accurately to the challenges that we face in line with our direction and philosophy to ensure we run a government that is participatory and ensures citizens’ engagement, Mr. Governor has directed that we engage stakeholders around various sectors to engage them actively basically to articulate correctly the right set of responses that we will deploy in the state.”
Lockdown directive still in force
Also speaking, the Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr. Omotoso, said that the current Presidential restriction order in the state is still in force, saying Governor Sanwo-Olu has not relaxed the directive.
Reacting to a trending story on social media that the Governor has lifted the restriction order for Good Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm in the state, Omotoso said: “The lockdown is still on. Governor Sanwo-Olu has always reiterated that only President Muhammadu Buhari can only give any order if it is going to be relaxed or not because Sanwo-Olu himself did not impose it in the first place.”