Governor Samuel Ortom signed into law, the revised appropriation bill of N108.8 billion for the year 2020.
The revised budget has a total reduction of N80 billion from the earlier N190.8bn assented to by the Governor. This translates to 43 per cent reduction in the earlier reviewed budget signed by the Governor on 30th December, 2020.
Governor Ortom while performing the ceremony, said the action became necessary following the reduction in oil-related and non oil revenues to the state occasioned by Coronavirus.
The revised budget has reccurent expenditure of N68.6bn representing 40 per cent reduction from the former estimates and personnel cost of N37.3bn, representing a reduction of 26 per cent, while overhead cost and capital projects have estimates of N31.3bn and 40.3bn respectively, representing 51 and 46 percent reduction.
The Governor explained that despite the huge reduction in the current expenditure estimates, government had kept faith with its responsibility to the general workforce by protecting the personnel budget with very minimal reductions in some discretionary allowances.
He said the bulk of the reduction were made on non-critical overhead costs, stressing that overhead provisions that are critical to the COVID-19 response had been retained or increased in some cases.
The Governor reiterated his determination towards provision of infrastructure, security of lives and property of Benue people and the general welfare of the people despite reduction in the budget estimates.
By Jimin Geoffrey