Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa says unless urgent steps are taken to check the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19), many states in the country may not be able to pay salaries.
Governor Okowa has also asked Nigerians to brace up for the multiplier effects of the disease that could affect their socio-economic lives.
Speaking at a media interaction held at Government House, Asaba, last week, Okowa said governor the virus had made the price of oil in the international market to tumble and had also caused many industries to stop production.
The governor prayed that the situation would not be as it was in 2015 when the country was “technically on a recession.”
“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,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “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”.
He urged Nigerians to pray that the situation would not be worse than the year 2016 recession.