From Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
As a result of the negative economic effect of the coronavirus pandemic, Osun state government has organized a consultative forum for the review of the year 2020 budget estimate.
The forum, which brought together representatives of the citizenry, sought to leverage on inclusiveness while assessing the capital composition of the State’s budget.
Speaking at the consultative forum, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development for the State of Osun, Prof. Olalekan Yinusa, said it became necessary to interact with the citizens of the state in relation to the capital composition of the Year 2020 budget.
He stated that the variables on which the N119.5 billion 2020 budget estimate for Osun was base, has been greatly affected by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy.
According to him: “based on the accruals so far in the ongoing year, it is now clear that the state can no longer meet up with the estimated budget for year 2020. Hence the need to let the people have their say in the review of the budget.”
Yinusa added that despite the financial challenges occasioned by the economic effect of COVID-19, the Governor Oyetola-led administration is determined to meet the needs of the people through an open and inclusive style of governance.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected the economy of the world and that of our state. While reviewing the budget, the government still wants to carry the people along.
“In the review of the budget, the government is determined to make the needs of its citizens a matter of top priority, despite the harsh economic situation. Fiscal transparency is still key under this government”, Yinusa stated.
Also speaking at the forum, the Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Special Needs, Yemi Lawal assured residents of the state and especially the physically challenged in the society, that government will never take their welfare for granted, adding that the government will continue to prioritize their welfare as it has always done.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget, Aderemi Kolajo, also harped on the retrogressive effects of the pandemic on local, state, national and global economies, adding that whatever review that is done without the input of the citizens would be counterproductive because the variables that make up the budget are aimed at serving the citizens.
The forum had in attendance: traditional rulers, religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations(CSOs), Non-governmental Organizations(NGOs), Market Men and Women Associations, Media Groups, and Labour Unions, among others.