By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
The Ondo State House of Assembly has assured of a well inclusive revised 2020 budget proposal in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chairman House Adhoc Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mr Sunday Olajide gave the assurance during the committee’s meeting with some Ministries, Departments Agencies (MDAs) in the state.
It would be recalled that the state executive had submitted revised 2020 budget proposal to the assembly for consideration.
Olajide said the review became important so that the state could sustain its economy especially when the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the world.
“A whole lot of expectations are not met. And as it is, we just have to revisit the budget and in reviewing it, we just have to put down some figures and in the proposal given to us, we are having total reduction of over N30 billion because we are moving from N187 billion to N151 billion.
“We have looked at their figures and the MDAs have come to defend them and the committee will later do its work and come up with more realistic figure.
“We questioned some figures and we were able to address some issues in the course of our meeting,” he stated.
According to him, the review virtually cut across all MDAs, saying that “because of time, we called critical stakeholders in health, education, agriculture, works, finance, information, youth development, among others.
“These are the areas where activities of the government directly or indirectly have effects on Covid-19,” he averred.
Olajide informed that the committee would submit its reports to plenary session of the assembly for passage in due time.
He affirmed that whatever that was not captured in the year under review would be considered in 2021 budget, calling for the cooperation of the concerned stakeholders in making the revised budget proposal a reality.
The committee chairman vowed that necessary attention would be given to the health sector in terms of budgetary allocation in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Emmanuel Igbasan appealed to the committee to approach the budget review as a matter of necessity.
Also, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa said that the revised budget proposal would further afford the state to key into some intervention funds which would be used for developmental projects.