By Carol Utulu
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has expressed fears over the economic implications of the recent crash in global oil price occasioned by the outbreak of the Corona virus scourge.
The governor who expressed the fear during his quarterly interaction with the media, said the state government was likely to cut down its 2020 budget if the situation persisted.
He noted that there was no doubt that the recent slump in oil price would pose a major challenge in the economy of the states and nation at large.
“Events of the last few weeks with regards to the recent crash in global oil price poses a major threat to the source of government revenue.
“Definitely, this development will no doubt affect the successful implementation of the 2020 budgets of states and the Nation at large.
“We are however being very cautious and don’t want to rush into decisions on this. We will slow down on capital budget. But wil will encourage contractors to stay on sites.
“There is no doubt that COVID-19 is currently affecting national economy negatively. Because as I speak, many industries are not in full production at the moment.
“And if the threat is not checked, it is going to create more negative impact on the economy, especially, the internally generated revenue,” Okowa said.
The governor, however, said that his administration had continued to invest in manpower development through engagement and empowerment of youths.
“This is why here in Delta, we have continue to explore and see how best we can diversify our economy so that we don’t depend solemnly on oil,” he said.
According to him, the acquisition of technical skills and investment in agriculture will go a long way in propelling economic growth and development.
“We will continue to strengthen technical education in our state to develop technical manpower to grow and develop our state economy.
“It is in view of this that only recently, we awarded contracts for the establishment of nine technical colleges in the state.
“We will also continue to finance the agriculture sector to make it lucrative so that more and more people can go into farming,” the governor said.