…we are shifting from infrastructure to the people – Gov Ayade
By Ike Uchechukwu
The Cross River State government on Thursday presented its 2021 budget estimate to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval in the tune of 227 billion naira.
The State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade alongside his deputy, Professor Ivara Ejemot Esu and members of his executive council presented the estimates at the floor of the assembly.
The 2021 budget which was christened “Blush and Bliss”, will see the state expend 277, 708, 783, 550 naira ( two hundred and seventy-seven billion, seven hundred and eight million, seven hundred and eighty-three thousand, five hundred and fifty naira only).
Out of this, 192, 511, 985, 550 representing 69% will go to recurrent expenditure while 85, 196.00 representing 31%0will go to capital expenditure.
The governor said this year’s budget is unusual because government will shift from infrastructure to the people.
He disclosed that unlike previous years, this year’s budget is different because it’s cumulative income does not fall within the trillions they have done in the past and that humanitarian perspective will be the focus of the budget.
His words: “Having looked at it from the fiscal strategic paper which is an elucidation of the prospective cumulative income of the state, it is obvious that the income does not fall within the trillions we have done in the past.
“Of the budget estimates, the sum of 192 billion represents the recurrent expenditure which is 69% of the budget.
“Inside this 69%, 70% is warehoused for youth development, job creation, massive opportunity to lift people from poverty, humanitarian services, conditional cash transfer, everything that has to do with values of humankind.
“31% which amounts to 85, 196, 800, 000 is set aside that has to do with infrastructure”, Ayade said.
He said the core focus of the budget is humanitarian services which justified the theme of the budget.
He said the government will move from its big dreams and projects to focus on feeding people and putting food on the table.
“The budget is blush be wise it is a thing of shame from where we are coming from, because we are falling away from our big dreams, from our kinetic aspirations, olimpotic agenda and reducing ourselves to a sudden consumptive, primitive effort just to reflect on the mood of the time.
“But it is a source of Bliss because young people will now have opportunity to be employed and be happy that government has shifted from big dreams to the primary effort of feeding the people”, the governor said.
On security, he said the government will set up Neighbourhood Security Watch which will create jobs and security for the people of the state.
He said a normative framework that guarantees a fixed amount monthly for security agencies will be created next year to enhance the security level of the state.
Speaking earlier, the speaker, Eteng Jonas William commended the governor for his pragmatic efforts to keep the state financially afloat during the year.
He pledged that the assembly will give prompt consideration and due attention to the budget estimates.