As the cases of coronavirus continue to sour across the world, Bauchi state governor Bala Mohammed has announced the closure of all public and private schools across the 20 LGAs of the state.
Governor Bala Mohammed said the closure of the schools takes effect from Monday, March 23, 2020.
The governor made the announcement at the end of an emergency stakeholders’ meeting that houses religious and traditional leaders as well as heads of all security agencies in the state.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Governor Bala said “as you can see, we have a new style of governance in Bauchi state, these are the natural leaders in the state and we have convened a meeting to look at the economic and medical implication of coronavirus and the implication of some of the pronouncements globally, nationally and by our neighbors especially the states of north west pertaining to public gatherings, prayer grounds, and so on.
“And we agreed that an announcement will be made, that restricted congregations should be observed by all religious bodies in consonance with what is happening globally, so that not more than 50 will be gathered and where necessary people from other localities, towns and LGAs should not go for congregation so that we restrict movements.
Governor Bala said although the meeting resolves not to ban congregational prayers in the state, but large turnout of people should be highly restricted, urging people in the state to resort to prayers as solution to the evolving cases of the virus.
“We believe that Allah is testing us because of what we are doing, and we should continue to seek for Allah’s forgiveness and continue to pray and inculcate the virtues of obedience to God.”
The governor also said the state government will review its budget in tandem with the dwindling oil prices which he says will have economic impact on the state.
“We are prepared as government to review our budget so that we don’t deceive and delude people by coming up with programs and projects that will not be achieved because the oil prices have fallen, what we are expecting from the federation account will be very small.
The governor reiterates the readiness of the administration to look inwards in generating revenue, which he hopes will fill the vacuum created by shortfalls from the federation account.
The governor said already the state government had set up a committee that will be headed by the Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tela which will intensify campaign and sensitization against all outbreaks including coronavirus.