Gov Simon Lalong of Plateau, on Tuesday, wrote to the State House Assembly seeking for a downward review of 2020 budget from N177.3 billion to N99.9 billion.
Lalong in a letter read on the floor of the House by the Majority Leader, Mr Daniel Naanlong, said that the review became necessary due to the current realities caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor said that COVID-19 had adversely affected the sources of revenue of the state and the implementation of the budget.
“From the reviewed figure of N99.9 billion the sum of N76. 9 billion is meant for recurrent while N22.97 billion is for capital expenditure.
“I have forwarded 30 copies of the reviewed budget for your consideration and passage into law,” he said.
Mr Abok Ayuba, Speaker of the Assembly, said the house had earlier received a letter from the executive requesting the House Committee on Appropriation to join them in the review of the budget.
He said that there was a need for quick passage of the bill considering the time of the year, adding that the House committee had made some inputs in the budget.
“Let us see reasons to speedily pass the budget as we are in a serious situation that is ravaging the state.
“In this kind of situation, recurrent needs to be on the increase to save the lives of the people before capital development.
“Having passed the second reading, the budget would be committed to Committee on Appropriation to look at the budget and report back to tomorrow being Wednesday,” he said.
Mr Yahaya Adamu, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation said that the committee had discussed the issues in the budget at length with the executive considering the time frame.
“We have to hasten up since July is almost ending,” he said.
Mr Nanbol Daniel, (PDP- Langtang North Central) observed that in as much as the pandemic had ravaged the economy, things should be done properly.
Daniel, who is the House Committee Chairman on Health, said that the budget was out of track as the recurrent was far more than the capital expenditure.
“We are looking at a budget of N99.9 billion and only recurrent is taking over N76 billion.
“What are we planning for the future of our youths with this kind of budget,” he asked.
He said that key areas including health were not considered in the reviewed budget.
Mr Gwottson Fom, (PDP- Jos South State Constituency) corroborated Daniel’s position saying that the reviewed budget did not consider the future of children.