COVID-19 And Vital Components Of 2020 Budget

COVID-19 And Vital Components Of 2020 Budget
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In what was a response of the Federal Government to the implausibility of the 2020 budget following the effect of the deadly Corona Virus on global economies, Nigeria inclusive, a committee was set up to determine the immediate response to mitigate the effect on the budget.
Nigerias 2020 budget was predicated on $57 per barrel in its funding but a downward trend saw the benchmark rubbished by an unstable and dwindling oil price in the global domain.

At a time, the price of oil dropped to an unprecedented all time low of $35 per barrel, leaving a huge gap against the governments estimates.
This sudden shock was the reason for which it became imperative to review the nations 2020 budget in order to mitigate the impact. With the budget review details still in under wraps perhaps due to the lockdown and other related issues, many stakeholders have had cause to advocate that certain aspects of the budget as earlier proposed should be left not untouched in the review process.
An impressive salvo against tinkering with aspects of the budget came from the often hard fighting Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, which has been vociferous on the need to sustain the initial budget component of the education sector.
While announcing the suspension of its warning strike against the FGs implementation of the IPPIS salary regime in the university system among other concerns, ASUU through its national leadership called on the FG to give full complement to the education budget as initially stipulated notwithstanding the shocks brought about by the raging Corona Virus that has put down not a few proposals across sectors.
ASSU is of the opinion that cutting down budget on education would adversely affect research and learning at a time when it is pertinent to move ahead of this scenario where a lot is needed to get through this concerns of the pandemic and other related matters. Of necessity, ASSU insists there must be a robust education system that can respond to emerging health concerns which can only be sustained by adequate funding.
In retrospection and with a similar position with that of ASSU, health workers have also called for a sustenance of the initial estimates in health sector in the budget. They express worry that a system that over the years was nearly comatose following deliberate neglect of the elite and leaders who found medical tourism as a response to their health needs to the detriment of home medical infrastructure which have been in utter decay.
They present a front that suggests that if the nations health infrastructure was impregnable in the first place, it would not overwhelm the system, given that it has first rated medical system was on hand to withstand any shock.
While AljazirahNigeria appreciates the need for the government to urgently seek measures that could absorb the shocks arising from the effects of this pandemic on the nations economy, it is important to protect critical sectors like education, health and agriculture, such they do not collapse in an attempt to draft a workable budget. These sectors are implicitly determinable for a purposeful tomorrow.
AljahzirahNigeria will continue to agitate for a quick response beyond budget review, to a sustained diversification of the nations economy such that it would not collapse simply because of a threat on its source of revenue. It needs an eclectic approach to boost its foreign exchange earnings. This must go beyond the realm of rethorics.

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2020 BudgetCOVID-19