Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Tuesday alerted residents to the financial challenges faced by the state due to the dwindling federal allocations, occasioned by crude oil theft in the Niger Delta and slump in the prices of crude oil in the international market. Oshiomole said the huge gap between the state’s revenue and what is currently available to it was the reason the state is “going to face very serious challenges this year.” The governor said the same reason accounts for the two-time review of the federal budget from the $78 per barrel it initially was based to the $65 per barrel it currently is. Oshiomole stated that “It is not clear whether this unstable market price is going to continue on a downward trend or whether we have seen the worst of it or whether we are likely to experience a marginal increase in price, but what is obvious is that this year’s revenue will be far less than expected.”
He added: “Whether we know the thief or we do not know the thief, whatever is the case, the receipt from the federation account is likely to suffer a huge fall.” The governor said his administration would get by its financial challenge by cutting government overheads, plugging leaks and ensuring that government gets its expected revenues from taxes. The governor said why many states were unable to pay workers December salaries, and the federal government inability to equally pay workers in some of its agencies and parastatals, Edo State was able to pay its workers. He appreciated members of the State Executive Council for their sacrifices in 2014 and enjoined them to proffer ideas on how to surmount the current hurdle.