From Angela Mbaocha, Abakaliki
Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. David Umahi, has signed the 2020 reversed budget into law.
The virtual signing of the budget which was reduced from N178.366 billion to N131.847 billion, took place on Monday at the Ecumenical Center, Abakaliki.
Umahi said the state was focusing on Agriculture to recover from the covid-19 pandemic.
The governor maintained that he was not ready to share the state’s federation allocation with those criticizing his administration as according to him, he has done lots of human empowerments in the state.
He disclosed that schools in the state would remain closed until their environment were cleared of bushes and all other necessary measures put in place for effective teaching and learning.
“Let nobody think that my administration will one day assemble whatever we get in Abuja and begin to share it. I will not share Ebonyi money. Ebonyi state is a construction site, we have done a lot of empowerment, we have done a lot of projects.
“Let me make it clear that Ebonyi schools will not open now. If every state is opening their schools, Ebonyi will not follow them. We have started the process to see how we can reopen and the process is to use the communities to clear all the schools; primary schools and secondary schools and then send medical teams to look at them and then they do sample testing of the teachers.
“Our medical teams will teach the teachers about COVID-19 protocol. We will look at the syllabus of our primary schools and secondary schools and they will be reviewed by the teachers”, he noted.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for finance in the state, Mr. Orlando Nweze, said that the proposed budget for post Covid-19 would be dedicated to the rehabilitation of general hospitals in the State, agriculture and other major sectors for the survival of Ebonyi residents.
“Your Excellency, Today, the 20th day of July 2020, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, may I re-present to you 2020 revised budget revised from the initially approved 2020 budget of N178,136,634,975.38 to N132,002,391,626.66 with a percentage decrease of 25.9% having a total Covid-19 expenditure of N28,615,000,000.000 accounting for 21.68% of the total budget expenditure”