Nasarawa State Task-Force on Covid-19 Chaired by His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe, Deputy Governor, Nasarawa State today reconvened to re-appraise activities of the Committee in 2020 and to further step-up strategies to contain the dreaded disease in the second wave, 2021.
As the nation grapple with a surge of COVID 19 pandemic on the second phase, Nasarawa State Government has taken steps towards ensuring citizens are not contracted with the deadly virus.
The measures were part of resolutions adopted during an expanded meeting of the State Security Council and Taskforce on COVID 19 held at the Council Chamber of the Government House Lafia today.
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According to the Governor, so far, Nasarawa State recorded 449 confirmed cases, with 346 discharged cases, while 88 cases are currently undergoing treatment at home. In all, 13 deaths were also recorded.
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”22″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]1. The Right Honourable Speaker;
2. Principal Officers and Honourable Members of Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. Members of the State Executive Council here Present;
4. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
5. Special Advisers here Present;
6. Permanent Secretaries here Present;
7. Members of the Press;
8. Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have the pleasure to welcome you all to the signing into Law of the reversed budget of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
2. It would be recalled that I signed into Law the 2020 Fiscal Appropriation document on Monday, 30th December, 2019 of One Hundred and Eight Billion, Four Hundred and Forty-four Million Eight Hundred and Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Fourteen Naira (N108,444,805,614.00) only. We started the implementation of that law on 1st January, 2020 as a responsive Government in accordance with the provision of the law, which stipulates that the accounting year shall begin from 1st January to 31st December, 2020. This is the first time that Nasarawa State Government began the execution of its fiscal policy strategy on the day it was supposed to begin.
3. It is important to note that, in the process of implementing the 2020 Appropriation Law, the world witness the sudden upsurge of a novel pandemic of Coronavirus tagged Covid-19 which is still ravaging the global economic system. The virus has shutdown global economic activities rendering capital markets ineffective for income generation and purposeful development. However, we remained committed and focused on our determination to provide good governance based on reality that is anchored on the principles of transparency and accountability to our dear State. This we belief is geared towards uplifting the living standard of our people and transforming the State into a viable socio-economic and prosperous entity.
4. It was based on these realities that it became imperative to present another Appropriation Bill to our esteemed House of Assembly within the mid-year of 2020. The revised version of the 2020 Budget is in line with the reality of the expected income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Assembly deliberated on the revised fiscal document and passed same into Law on Thursday, 23rd July, 2020. This is a demonstration of our collective commitment to the development of our dear State.
5. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen, we are all witnesses of the ravaging nature of this pandemic. However, this Administration has made significant landmarks in the control and containment of the spread of the virus in the State. I am happy with the manner in which our medical personnel are demonstrating their professionalism in containing the disease, as well as handling those infected. No amount of money can actually pay for the sacrifices they are rendering in this regard.
6. In this connection, Isolation Centers have been provided by Government in most parts of the State for quick and easy access to those infected. We will continue to provide welfare to the health personnel within the limited resources at Government disposal in order to spur them, as well as to show Government’s appreciation for the enormous sacrifices.
7. In the same vein, medical equipment have been provided in these Isolation Centers and we shall continue to provide more as our resources can afford. This was the major reason why Governments in most part of the world have reversed their budgets and Nasarawa State cannot be left out.
8. In spite of the negative trends of the economy, we are committed to ensure total development of our dear State, hence, the provision of basic infrastructure that have direct bearing in the lives of our people. Some major roads construction have started such as Mararaba – Udege Road, Sisinbaki – Farin Ruwa road, Bus Terminals at Lafia and Karu, and other Feeder Roads within the State. This Administration shall ensure the completion of all viable projects started by the previous Administration such as the Cargo Airport at Lafia, Lafia – Keffi Road, Adudu – Azara – Wuse – Plateau Border Road amongst others. We want to re-emphasize that, we shall not neglect the remaining Lafia Township Roads and other Urban Roads in the State. We shall continue to uplift the health facilities in the State and also elevate infrastructure in the education sector.
9. Let me reiterate that, in consonance with the reality of our current financial position, Government will be strict in expenditure control to ensure efficiency in spending and accountability. I want to believe that the Bureau for Public Procurement has put in place mechanism for effective monitoring of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to strictly comply with budgetary provisions and fiscal control.
Parameters and Basic Assumptions of the 2020 Amended Budget
10. Mr. Speaker and the Honourable Members, I am aware that the State Budget Preparation Committee met severally to brainstorm on the reality of the effect of COVID-19 on the general income to the State. Therefore, in reversing the 2020 budget, they were guided by the Macro-fiscal and Mineral Sector Assumptions as projected by the Federal Government when making submission of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to the National Assembly, as well as the trend in the global capital market. Our assumptions are essentially dependent on the Federal Government Fiscal Strategy Paper, since the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the major source of revenue to the State. The following, therefore, are our assumptions:
i. Crude Oil Price
In the original approved budget, the State’s assumption for crude oil price was $57 per barrel. However, in the revised budget, crude oil price is $20 per barrel. This crash was caused by the Coronavirus.
ii. Oil Production
Following the low oil price in the global market, Nigeria cuts its oil production from 2.2 million barrel per day to 1.7 million barrel per day. This means Nigeria will earn less.
iii. Exchange Rate
Exchange Rate of US$305 was projected in the original budget but Government has reviewed the rate upward to $360 to reflect the current economic realities.
iv. GDP Growth Rate
In the original approved budget, the GDP Growth Rate was 2.98%. However, in the revised budget it was projected at -4.42%. This negative GDP growth rate is influenced by the larger than expected storms to global value chains due to the Coronavirus, affecting global demand for goods and services.
v. Inflation Rates
Inflation Rate has been revised from 10.80% in the original budget to 14.13% in the revised budget. This increase in inflation rate is based on the April 2020 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Report recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for activities in March 2020.
11. On the basis of these assumptions, aggregate revenue is projected at Sixty One Billion, Seventy Four Million, One Hundred and Eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eight Naira (N61,074,108,808), while the expenditure outlay is estimated at Sixty Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N62,968,348,138) only. The deficit of N2.505 billion is expected to be financed through internal and external borrowings.
12. Accordingly, the 2020 Amended Appropriation Law is Sixty Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira (N62,968,348,138) only which translates into the total expenditure outlay.
13. This shows that the original 2020 budget of the State was reduced by 41.94%, that is, from N108,444,805,614 to N62,968,348,138. The details of these figures are contained in the estimate’s document.
14. In keeping faith with our original plan, we still christened the Revised Budget as “Amended Budget of Inclusive Development”. This is in line with the present Administration’s philosophy anchored on transparency, accountability, prudence and inclusiveness in the discharge of its responsibilities to the good people of Nasarawa State.
15. The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated the Nasarawa State expenditure requirements. This is reflected in two ways; first is the need for the State to implement an expansionary fiscal policy, to recharge the economy, and second is the reallocation of expenditure to focus more on support to specific sectors such as health, providing welfare support to the vulnerable, and a shift to other priority and high impact projects that are driven primarily by economic rationale and not political expediency.
16. The total recurrent budget decreased by 37.78%, that is, from N58,670,129,609 to N36,502,715,764 only.
17. In selecting the capital projects as COVID-19 response expenditure, Government first and foremost identified the challenges arising from COVID-19 and developed clear plans, objectives and strategic options for responding to the challenges that will help the State to identify expenditure items for responding to COVID-19. Therefore, the Capital Expenditure of the State was reduced by 46.83% using the plans, objectives and strategic options to select the projects. The original capital budget was N49,774,676,004 but reduced to N26,465,632,374 in the Revised Budget.
COVID-19 Responsive Expenditures
18. The COVID-19 responsive expenditure is very essential to Government. As stated earlier, the revision of the 2020 budget is in response to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with this, Government will ensure that COVID-19 responsive projects/programs are projects that meet the broad definition of COVID-19 response expenditures.
19. The unfolding health and economic crisis demand bold action, Government is therefore, poised to draw on practical support to rapidly scale up its healthcare system and its capacity to contain the likely escalation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, as it progresses to the most vulnerable areas, disrupting millions of people’s livelihoods, with a disproportionate impact on poor households and small and informal businesses.
20. Our Administration has developed a comprehensive blueprint, Nasarawa COVID-19 Economic Response for responding to the challenges of the Pandemic. The Revised 2020 Budget is aimed at allocating resources towards strategic Government objectives and strategic options provided in the blueprint. Government deliberately provided a COVID-19 responsive expenditure of 17.56% total expenditures in the Revised Budget. Some of the strategic areas covered in the 2020 Amended Budget are as follows:
• Payment of hazard allowance to health workers and other response activities.
• Increasing hospital beds, quarantine/isolation facilities, equipment and consumables.
• Improved agricultural productivity to increase source of income for our citizens.
• Provision of access to food producing areas to access health facilities and increase food distribution in the State.
• Provision of stimulus package/ loan/support to help our citizens navigate out of the crises.
21. In conclusion, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that we are in a very trying times. I, therefore, appeal for the understanding of the people of Nasarawa State, as we continue to evolve measures to cushion the envisaged consequences of the situation.
22. Thank you and may God bless us all
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed plan to establish a molecular laboratory in Nasarawa State to enable medical experts carry out test for the dreaded COVID-19.
Director General of the centre, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this while on a courtesy call to Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
Dr. Ihekweazu, who was in the state on an official visit to the state, further disclosed that the NCDC will work with the state government to set of the laboratory in the next few weeks.
Dr. Ihekweazu was in the state to inspect facilities at the Nasarawa State Infectious Diseases Control Centre, in Lafia, the state capital.
While commending the state Governor for investing heavily in the health security of the people, the NCDC director general described the state owned Infectious Diseases Control Centre, as a great opportunity to pool together resources and expertise from the state, alongside the resources from the NCDC, as well as from research institutions and the private sector.
Dr. Ihekweazu promised to brief the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on the progress made in Nasarawa State, with a view to supporting the state further.
“I’m going to Abuja with two mandates. What I can do from the small pot of resources-human, technical and otherwise. But also really to passionately talk to the PTF to recognize the work you are doing and support you,” he told the Governor.
If the molecular laboratory comes to fruition, COVID-19 test will be conducted in Lafia, instead of taking samples to Abuja for the test.
Responding, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the policy thrust of his administration is to complete every conceivable dream initiated by his predecessors, stressing that the infectious diseases control centre was started by the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura.
Engineer Sule disclosed that even though his administration’s mantra is to promote economic empowerment and create employment, these are all predicated on three key issues namely, security, education and health.
According to the Governor, with these three, there won’t be any economic activity or empowerment, which explains the thrust of his administration in these three key areas.
He explained that even though the state may lack the resources to complete the centre on its own, efforts are geared towards wooing support from within and outside the state in order to make the centre functional.
This is just as the Governor disclosed plans to construct the link road leading to the centre, as added effort to provide necessary infrastructure in order to facilitate easy access to the facility.
Earlier, in a welcome address, state Commissioner of Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba Yahaya, while describing the infectious diseases control centre as the best in West Africa, if not Africa as a whole.
Pharmacist Yahaya stated that the setting up of the centre, Nasarawa State is looking beyond the current coronavirus pandemic but will be ready for any eventual outbreak of any infectious disease in the future
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”17″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]Speech Delivered by His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State on the Occasion of Distribution of COVID-19 Palliatives to Vulnerable People in the State, Lafia: Wednesday, 1st July, 2020
1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;
2. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;
3. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;
4. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;
5. Members of the State Executive and Security Councils;
6. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;
7. The Head of the Civil Service;
8. Special Advisers;
9. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);
10. Permanent Secretaries;
11. His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC (Rtd) Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;
12. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;
13. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils and Overseers of Development Areas;
14. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs present;
15. Gentlemen of the Press;
16. Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with a sense of responsibility that I address you today on the occasion of the second phase of the distribution of food items as palliatives to the vulnerable people across the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State.
2. It would be recalled that Government procured twelve (12) trucks of rice in our commitment to cushion the plight of our people during the locked down period as a result of the need to control the spread of CCVID-19 in the State. You are also aware that the Olam Farms Ltd also donated one (1) truck of six hundred (600) bags of rice bringing the total to thirteen (13) trucks. These trucks were distributed to the vulnerable people across the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State at the first instance.
3. The distribution was carried out by a special Committee of Honourable Commissioners, Special Advisers, Local Government Council Chairmen and other appointees of Government. Today’s event is in furtherance of our commitment to continue to provide succour to the vulnerable households and indeed, the poorest of the poor across the nooks and crannies of the State.
4. My dear people of Nasarawa State, you would also recall that the State Government recently received essential commodities worth thirty-five (35) trucks of different food items from Coalition of Private Organization (CA COVID-19), as part of its support to complement Government efforts in cushioning the effects of hunger in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
5. I commend the Coalition of Private Organization (CA COVID-19) and other philanthropists for this humanitarian gesture, aimed at assisting the less-privileged and vulnerable groups in the society. Indeed, this gesture is worthy of commendation.
6. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I need to state that these commodities will be shared across the one thousand, four hundred and ninety-five (1,495) polling units in the State. It is important to note that these food items are to be shared to the poorest of the poor who have no source of income to cater for their daily needs. In this wise, salary earners, businessmen and other privileged people are exempted from this intervention.
7. I need to state that Government has re-strengthened the palliatives distribution Committees at the Local Government, wards and polling unit levels to ensure transparency in the distribution of the palliatives. Accordingly, the State Steering Committee on COVID-19 will ensure strict supervision and keen monitoring of the distribution process. I need to put on notice that the Palliative Committee at all levels will be held accountable for any anomaly in the distribution of the palliatives.
8. I, therefore, charge you to justify the confidence Government reposed in you by ensuring transparency and fairness in the distribution of these palliatives which should be conducted irrespective of political consideration, religious affiliation and ethnic bias or any other form of sentiments. Above all, you must allow the fear of God to prevail in the course of carrying out your assigned responsibility.
9. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as you are aware, Government has continued to issue Proclamations in an effort to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the State. This is aimed at protecting the lives of our people against contracting the virus. As you may be aware, report from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), indicates that, Nasarawa State recorded over two hundred (200) cases. It therefore, becomes necessary on all and sundry to continue to comply with the preventive measures and Government directives in order to prevent further spread of the virus in the State.
10. Let me use this opportunity to thank individuals and organizations for their immense contributions towards the fight against the virus. I assure you that Government will continue to support and complement the effort of individuals and groups in turning around the fortunes of our dear State and the country at large.
11. At this juncture, let me express our profound appreciation to the people of Nasarawa State for your understanding and resilience in our collective commitment to control and contain the spread of the pandemic in the State.
12. On this note, it is now my pleasure to flag-off the distribution of food items to the vulnerable people across the thirteen (13) Local Government Areas of the State
13. Thank you and may God bless us all.
In the spirit of transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources for the benefit of our dear State, His Excellency Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe today briefed press on successes recorded as well as give account of all contributions made by organizations, banks, institutions and spirited individuals for the fight against the deadly CoronaVirus disease.
Dr. Akabe maintained that the sum of Ninety-Four Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N94,750,000.00) only was donated to Nasarawa State Government for Covid-19 and the sum of Five Hundred and Thirty-Six Million, One Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira, Thirty-Two Kobo (N536,156,273.32) only was expended. He added that, all breakdown of figures will be made available for the general public.
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[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”14″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has inspected various food items donated by a civil society group, Coalition of Civil Society Against COVID-19 (COCAVID), with a view to ensuring that such food items are kept in safe, clean environment.
This, according to Engineer Sule who inspected the food items stored at the Lafia municipal store houses, on Wednesday, said was in order to avoid possible contamination.
While expressing satisfaction with the condition of the stored food items, which comprises of rice, sugar, semovita, noodles, among others, the Governor explained that so far, 34 four trucks out of the 40 donated by COCAVID have arrived the state, with the remaining six trucks being awaited.
Engineer Sule disclosed that arrangement is underway to distribute the food items across the state, to cushion the hardship brought about by the measures put in place by government to contain and control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”10″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″]Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe today received delegation from Federal Ministry Of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development who are on a working visit to present Official document on palliatives as part of Federal Government intervention to Nasarawa State Government on the fight against Covid-19.
The delegation was led by Laurat Ajima Elayo the Director Legal Services of the Ministry who represented the Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq Umar.
The Nasarawa State Government has been presented with five trucks of food items as palliatives from the Federal Government.
The food items, which comprises of three trucks of rice, one truck each of tin tomatoes and groundout oil, are meant to be distributed to vulnerable persons across the state, in order to cushion the hardship brought about by restrictions put in place to curb further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hon. Imran Usman Jibrin, Senior Special Assistant on Humanitarian Service and Focal Person NSIP Nasarawa State, who led a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, officially handed over the palliatives to the Nasarawa State Government, on Monday.
The SSA gave a breakdown of the food items as, 1800 bags of rice, 2500 cartons of tomapep and 600 kegs of groundout oil, stressing that the palliatives are to be distributed to the poor, vulnerable and people living with disabilities.
Receiving the palliatives on behalf of the state government, Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruq for the gesture, promising to distribute the items to the targetted beneficiaries.
Dr. Akabe also appreciated the efforts of both the Federal and State Governments, in facing one of the deadliest challenges confronting the world at the moment, reiterating the support of the state government in the fight against COVID-19.
The delegation from the Federal Government was led by Mrs Laurat Ajima Elayo, Director Legal Service of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, who represented the Minister.