By John Adie, Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade Tuesday signed the the state’s 2020 appropriation bill into law.
Ayade commended the state House of Assembly for beating the deadline of passing the appropriation bill before the 31st December 2019.
Christened “Budget of Olimpotic Merismasis”, the #1.1trillion budget is geared towards bringing to fruition, the signature projects of the administration, including the 270 kilometre superhighway connecting Cross River with Northern Nigeria.
82 percent of the budget is for capital expenditure while 18 percent is for recurrent expenditure.
According to Ayade: “Cross River is the first state in the history of Nigeria to present a budget of over a trillion Naira.The first time in the history of Nigeria that a state, a sub national has presented a budget in the neigbhourhood of over a trillion Naira.
“There are two types of budgeting. Either you do deficiet budgeting or you do envelope budgeting.
In envelope budgetting, if you look at your medium term expenditure framework, you budget according to your expectation which is an agenda informed by how much you intend to achieve. Nobody has asked how Cross River which gets the lowest allocation in the country and services debt in the neighourhood of #1.8 billion manages to pay teachers, civil servants, pensioners.”
Continuing, the governor emphasised that Cross River was able to achieve its objectives “because the deficiency is compromised with intellectual money.”
“At any point in time a man’s ability is limited by his financial muscle his brain has failed”, Professor Ayade said.
According to him, “for us in Cross River, with governor and his deputy as Professors, it will be a thing of shame for us to budget based on our envelope size”.
Enumerating the avalanche of industries he has established since assumption of office, the governor assured that the 2020 budget will create jobs for Cross Riverians.
“In the 2020 appropriation bill I have just signed into law, we have developed factories that have matured to a point where you need only operating capital to have them start commercial production. It will be the end of suffering in Cross River.
“Cross River state has 33 industries in four years and you can point at them. So, I want to assure all of you that this budget of N1.1 trillion is something we can achieve, something we can accomplish”
Earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Jones Eteng Williams, while presenting the budget to the governor for signing said the House will vigorously carry out oversight functions on the ministries, saying, ” the appropriation bill is like a Bible for us because it’s the document we work with. We don’t have any other document”