Governor Darius Ishaku has offered explanation for the poor performance of Taraba State’s 2020 budget.
The fiscal document, according to The Guardian findings, recorded 43.77 per cent performance as against the projected 75 per cent.
Presenting a N139, 460,435,961.80 proposal to the state House of Assembly for 2021 at the weekend in Jalingo, the governor said the COVID-19 pandemic affected the budget of the outgoing year adversely.
He noted that the virus could not enable the state actualise most of its projections in the period under review.
The disease, he admitted “took us unprepared and severely affected our fortunes in fulfilling the desired growth rate and development to be delivered to the people of the state.”
Ishaku, who took time to regale the lawmakers with highlights of the 2020 budget, narrated how the scourge compelled the state government to alter earlier plans to check its spread.
Following the outbreak, the state, he added, set up one gen expert/molecular laboratory each in Jalingo and Takum specialist hospitals for examination and detection, including: “Purchase of medical products, equipment and consumables for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.”
Stressing how the revenue sector increased collection with “ tax arrears from federal parastatals and financial institutions”, Ishaku submitted that his administration “granted tax reliefs to taxpayers in view of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the state.”
To contain the epidemic, the governor added that sanitation equipment were hurriedly procured and healthcare facilities provided from votes meant for other sectors.