As the world battles with Coronavirus, Delta Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, has asked Nigerians to brace up for the multiplier effects of the disease that could affect their socio-economic lives.
The governor made the call at a quarterly session with the media in Asaba on Thursday, and said that the virus had made the price of oil in the international market to tumble and had also caused many industries to stop production.
He said that unless urgent steps were taken to check the effects of the disease also known as Covid-19, many states in the country may not be able to pay salaries of workers.
He prayed that the situation would not be as it was in 2016 when the country was “technically on recession.”
Okowa said, “now that we have mass production of oil which constitutes our economy, mostly due to the fact that our oil is not being sold and oil prices have also gone down, it is obvious that each and every one of us, our states and the nation will have challenges even with execution of budgets for the year.
“At the federal level, a committee has already been set up to look into the issue of the reconsideration of the benchmark and that benchmark that will be eventually arrived at will impact on us.
“We have to be able to wait for the Federal Government to arrive at a new benchmark on the price of oil, because it is that figure that we as states will use in considering the likely revenue allocation we will be getting in the remaining months of the year.
“So, there is no doubt that our budget is likely going to be threatened and we know that any part of the threat affects more of the infrastructural development which our people desperately yearn for.”
“We have continued to do the best that we can under the very trying conditions that we are facing as a state and as a nation; we have tried to pass the 2020 budget early.
“We have tried to do our best to implement it although the events of the last few weeks have threatened the revenue of our nation which is oil.
He thanked the media for support and the partnership they had been giving his administration “by reporting our activities to the public because, the public have a right to know what we are doing as a government”.