Gov. Obaseki assures salary, pension payments despite budget cuts

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has said the reduced state budget would not affect workers’ salary and pensions.

The governor stated this on Wednesday in Benin, on the occasion of signing the bill into law.

He said the budget was reduced by 30 per cent, from N179 billion to N128.8 billion,

Obaseki pledged to make necessary sacrifices to ensure the sustenance of critical sectors of the state’s economy, amid disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

He stated that the reduced budget is coming at an unusual time when the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed certain challenges.

According to him, “The challenges may be difficult now, but in the medium and long term, this administration would need to re-think the economy of the state.

“The financial and economic consequences of Covid-19 pandemic are challenging, if not more challenging than the health crisis it created.

“Following several reforms taken by this administration, especially in our financial management and budgeting system, and that of the economy, the impact has not been so devastating.

“We have been able to pay workers’ salaries and also pay our pensioners on time. We will focus on critical infrastructure that is required for production. We would be realigning the Edo economy to make us stronger after the pandemic comes to an end.

“With this budget, as a state, we need to make painful adjustments as we don’t intend to lay off workers or stop paying pensioners. We would spend more on recurrent expenditure as we keep jobs on, but it will affect capital expenditure that we wanted to undertake this year 2020.”

Governor Obaseki assured the people of the state that despite the reduction in the 2020 Budget by 30 per cent, his administration will focus on the things that are key, important and critical for the state’s development.

“People and nations are no longer depending much on energy and crude oil, following the slowdown in the global economy. Transportation has been grounded, factories are not producing as we are having a cyclical shift in earning profile and its fundamentals as life may not go back to what it used to be,” he added.

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