The Delta State Government has lamented the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the state economy.
It also revealed that the dwindling revenue occasioned by COVID-19 forced it to have discussions with major stakeholders – contractors, labour unions among others – on how to mitigate the challenge.
Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, disclosed this while briefing the media on the outcome of the state Executive Council (EXCO) virtual meeting in Asaba.
He was also optimistic that with the rise in the price of crude oil, the situation would normalise for the state to resume funding projects and payment of salaries.
On the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the last six months, he said, “We had what looked like a windfall in January with N7.8b in February, we had N5.3b and March was N6.045b. Then unfortunately in April, with the pandemic at its peak, everything came down and we had N3.9b. In May, it was N3.5b and in June it went up to N4b.
“Oil rate and activities in the economy have a lot to do with how much that is generated within the time under review. With the lockdown businesses were not growing as much as they should. The month of January recorded that much as that is when they monitored allowances paid to workers, especially for those in the corporate establishments. In April, most activities were at a stand-still. That was why it came that low.”
Aniagwu also said that the federal allocation was low, which added to the state’s heavy burden.
“When you even add what has been coming from the federal government, you will also realize that running the government at a time like this is somehow difficult.
“That also takes us to the issue of the salary cut. We have a very understanding workforce in Delta State. When we get to where we will meet halfway they would understand because if you do not generate the money, you cannot earn it,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the state Working Committee (SWC) of the Delta State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended the member representing Ndokwa-East State Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Friday Osanebi, for three months, with effect from Thursday, July 16. 2020.
Osanebi, who is the immediate past deputy speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, has accepted the party’s decision while asking his supporters to remain calm.
In a statement by its State Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, the party stated that the action was a sequel to the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee set up and Chaired by Mr. Lovette Idisi to investigate Osanebi for his alleged actions deemed to be inimical to the peace and harmony of the party.