Zulum inaugurates panel to review Borno budget over coronavirus

Babagana Zulum

In anticipation of global economic meltdown due to the ravaging Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has inaugurated a high-powered panel to review the state’s budget.

According to him, the state’s 2020 budget will be reviewed and the internally generated revenue (IGR) increased.While inaugurating the panel yesterday at the Government House, Maiduguri, he said: “We’re bracing up for an impending economic meltdown caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic.

“Nigeria’s oil revenue is also dwindling to the lowest level of $30 per barrel for three months.”Economic Adviser to the Governor, Mustapha Bulu, who leads the review panel, was also tasked with increasing the IGR to implement this year’s budget.

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Meanwhile, the Kebbi State Government has directed its staff, as well as security agents and journalists working in Government House, to stay at home for two weeks.The directive takes effect from yesterday.

Confirming the directive yesterday, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mallam Yahyah Sarki, said the directive was based on the COVID-19 outbreak, adding that it would enable individuals to be protected against the virus.

He stated that the state government had also taken further proactive measures to protect its citizens, as a task force had been set up to deal with the scourge.

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The directive, however, does not include civil servants on essential services such as health and finance personnel, financial institutions, water board, media outfits, as well as electricity, security and emergency service sectors.

Governor Abubakar Bagudu urged citizens to remain vigilant, calm and report any suspected case to the health authorities.Also, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has urged citizens of the state to close of markets, stop street trading, just as he gave workers from grade Level 12 downwards 30 days holiday.

In his five minutes broadcast on Tuesday evening, Lalong said he would personally lead the fight against COVID-19 in the state.He also said that two additional isolation centres would be established in Pankshin and Shendam general hospitals.

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In view of the toll of the disease on global economy, the governor said that some belt – tightening measures announced became necessary.A task force on monitoring and compliance has been set up, he added, recalling measures taken by his administration so far to contain the pandemic.

Lalong expressed satisfaction with the isolation centres in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Plateau Specialist Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), all in Jos.

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