BASG Subjects Revised 2020 Budget to Public Scrutiny
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
Inline with realities necessitated by global economic downturn as a result of Covid 19 Pandemic, Bauchi State Government has presented it’s proposed revised 2020 Budget to the general public.
Speaking before the commencement of the public hearing in Bauchi, the State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr Aminu Hassan Gamawa said the public hearing was organised to get inputs from the public, inline with government policy of inclusiveness.
He informed the public that, in the proposed revised budget, the state government has cut down on some projects and increased spending , particularly in the health sector in order to mitigate the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic and other public health concerns.
“Unfortunately, because of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global economy, we have no option in Bauchi than to downsize our budget to meet the current realities”, said Gamawa.
Giving a background on what prompted the downward review of the 2020 Bauchi State Budget, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Yahuza Adamu Haruna said that with the dwindling global oil price, it is no longer realistic to fund the State Government budget of N167 Billion.
Yahuza said, that, “it is in realisation of the reduction in the sources of revenue that His Excellency Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, in his wisdom, saw the need to review the budget to be in tune with the realities on ground and reprioritise government activities and programs”.
The Permanent Secretary further said that due to the unexpected socioeconomic hardship being faced by the citizens as a result of Covid 19 pandemic, government has to take monies from other subheads to finance programs and activities that are Covid responsive.
Presenting the proposed revised Budget to the general public, the director budget in the ministry, Mallam Dahiru Sambo said the objective of the public hearing was to take stakeholders through the processes of the revised budget that includes agenda and priorities of government, why it becomes necessary to review the budget and create awareness of government’s Covid response in capital and recurrent expenditure for year 2020.
Sambo maintained that for a budget to be credible it must be participatory, projects driven and that an analysis of the revenue and expenditure profile must be diligently assessed.
While taking the public on sector-by- sector breakdown of the revised budget, the director said, “ revising the budget has become necessary because of the challenges of Covid 19”.
The public hearing of the revised budget tagged “Revised Convid 19 Responsive 2020 Budget”, was attended by the Civil Society Organizations, Local Government Administrations and all the State MDAs.
Recalled that the earlier estimated Bauchi 2020 budget was over N167 billion, however the current estimate now stands at N128 billion reflecting a downward review of about N39 billion.
Our correspondent reports that the public hearing was conducted in the three geopolitical zones of the state that was well attended by relevant stakeholders.