The Sokoto State Government on Tuesday met with stakeholders on how best the state’s 2020 budget could be reviewed to include provision of Isolation Centres, screening facilities and other costs in the management of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The Town Hall Meeting which was organised by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning had in attendance various Non Governmental Organisations, Traditional and Religious Leaders in the state.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Malam Abubakar Shekara, said that the aim of the forum was to involve the public in the fiscal process on how best the state’s 2020 budget could be reviewed.
“As we are all aware, the economy of states, the country and infact the entire world is adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Therefore , budget had to be reviewed to look at projects that in the mean time can be regarded as priority and also apply reserves toward the management of the pandemic.
“That is management in terms of prevention and palliatives for the society because of the hardship that occurred due to the lockdown and other measures taken by authorities in response to Coronavirus.
“This is also to deal with the issue of poverty, which of course, is going to be aggravated by the fact that the people no longer get jobs or go to their various trades,” he said.
Shekara added that the review would also look into the cost for the management of COVID-19..
“This is to include the provision of Isolation Centres, screening facilities and enlightenment among other necessary measures in addressing the pandemic.
“However, extra budgetary allocation has to be made for those purposes as the 2020 budget does not include any allocation for COVID-19,” he added.
In his remarks, the District Head of Gagi, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi commended the state government’s commitment toward addressing the pandemic in the state.
Umar-Jabbi described the level of poverty in the state as artificial, charging youths to fight it by utilising the abundant farm lands across the state.
The monarch called for more sensitisation and education on COVID-19 as a necessary measure to address the issue of economy and prevent its further spread.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
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