Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, yesterday disclosed that over 2.4 million people in the state benefitted from COVID-19 palliatives distributed by his administration across the state, in the wake of the pandemic.
He also said in the wake of the disease, private business owners enjoyed a six-month income tax waiver, thus underscoring his administration’s commitment to public welfare.
Abiodun gave the remarks in Abeokuta, during a virtual consultative meeting on 2021-2023 Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2021 Budget, held for Ogun East Senatorial District.
“Our administration distributed palliatives to over 400,000 vulnerable households to cushion the effect of the COVID-19.
“At an average of six per household, this translated to about 2.4 million individuals.
“For us in Ogun State, we appreciated the fact that only healthy people could contribute their quota to the successful implementation of “Building our Future Together” Agenda.
“To also give life to businesses, various reliefs were given to business owners as part of palliative measures, to assist them cope with the economic slide and ensure business continuity.
“These relief packages include six-month extension of the 2019 income tax returns’ deadline for self-employed residents from March 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
“We also granted an eighth-month extension of filing of 2019 annual PAYE returns by PAYE operators/tax agents from January 31, 2020 to September 30, as well as complete waiver of interest and penalty for late filing,” the governor disclosed.
He also noted that the Ogun State Government had expended heavily in procuring necessary health equipment for combating COVID-19, just as isolation and test centres were put in place across the state.
“We are the first to have state-funded and National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), and accredited COVID-19 mobile molecular laboratory in the country,” he enthused.
While remarking that the attendant socioeconomic slow-down caused by the pandemic forced his administration to review this year’s budget downward, from N450bn to N280bn, government was still able to embark on some critical projects.
He listed 10 road projects, in addition to hospitals, primary healthcare centres, schools and other social infrastructure, as some of the recent achievements of his administration.
Earlier, the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo,, had remarked that this year had been very challenging for the country’s and even the global economies, owing to the COVID-19 disease.
“In spite of these unprecedented challenges, this auspicious time has also afforded us an opportunity for deep reflections, especially on many areas where we require higher levels of effectiveness and efficiency in our processes and cost of governance,” he appraised.