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Benue slashes 2020 budget over impending recession

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has reviewed downwards the 2020 budget from N195 billion to N119 billion to meet the current realities that point towards recession due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ortom made the decision known yesterday while briefing newsmen after a joint meeting of the State Executive Council and Action Committee on COVID-19.

The governor said speculations were that the looming 2020 recession would be at 3.4 per cent higher than the 1.5 per cent experienced in 2016, adding that the effect would be harsher.

He said as part of the measures to ameliorate the effect of the recession, people of the state were encouraged to embark on massive farming for sufficient food production.

The governor explained that in view of the above, the state government decided to set up a strategic agricultural committee – headed by himself with his deputy as alternate chairman – to work on modalities to mobilise people to embark on massive farming.

He noted that the committee would also include members of the House of Assembly and other specialists in the agriculture sector. Disclosing further that the 23 persons who came in contact with the index case in Benue had been isolated and released after 14 days since test carried out on them came out negative.

On whether Benue was also benefiting from the Federal Government’s palliative for the COVID-19, Ortom said Benue would not be an exception. He explained that apart from cash transfer, the Federal Government was still providing food under the school feeding programme, adding that those beneficiaries would have the food at their doorsteps.


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