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Delta reviews 2020 budget over coronavirus, promises equitable distribution of relief materials

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• Firm donates medical kits to Edo

The Delta State government is to review its 2020 budget to reflect current economic realities occasioned by the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic globally.

The Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, who dropped the hint yesterday at the end of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Asaba, noted that critical ministries would begin to take another look at their different projects to give value to the people and ensure that the economy was sound post-COVID-19.

He reiterated that the index case recorded in the state on Tuesday was responding to treatment, adding that the 17 people that had contact with him had been traced and advised to self-isolate.

His words: “At today’s Exco meeting, we were much more concerned about the state of the economy, and that meant we needed to take a second look at the 2020 budget as well as take other decisions that would make life much better for our people.

“You will recall that the Exco approved N389 billion for 2020, and in the wisdom of the State House of Assembly, it was reviewed upwards to N395 billion.

“That particular budget took into cognisance certain parameters like the budget benchmark of oil price at $57 per barrel and other indices. But, going by the present realities triggered by two principal factors – the drastic reduction in oil price at the international market, which has fallen far below the projected estimates used in putting together the 2020 budget.

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Meanwhile, an oil and gas company operating in Edo State, Seplat Petroleum Development Company has donated medical items to the state government to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

The items include motorised sprayers, Knapsack sprayers, protective eye goggles, hands sanitizers, nose/face masks, temperature guns, chemical gloves, and personal protective equipment amongst others

Receiving the items at the Government House in Benin City, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, said the donation would not only go a long way in fighting the pandemic but enhance the safety of health workers who are tirelessly ensuring that the cases recorded in the state do not increase.

He called on other corporate companies and individuals to emulate Seplat. Earlier, Base Manager of Seplat, Emmanuel Otokhine said as a responsive and responsible company with operations in Edo, the gesture is in line with the Company’s corporate social responsibility and having seen the efforts of the state government in fighting the pandemic.

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