By Emma Una – Calabar
Senator Ben Ayade of Cross River State governor on Wednesday signed into law the state’s appropriation bill which was passed by the state assembly on Tuesday.
The budget tagged “Budget of Bliss and Blush” containing a total sum N281.7 billion estimate was tabled before the State House of Assembly on October 5 and after a ‘speedy deliberation’ by the assembly it was passed on Tuesday evening.
Accenting to the Bill, Senator Ayade said the budget which has considerably reduced compared to past budgets which were in region of trillions of naira has made provision for grants and welfare packages to cater for COVID-19 impacts on the people and also the establishment of a state polytechnic.
“The budget of Bliss and Blush gross component is in the dramatic reduction of the budget size from N1.01 trillion to N281 billion.
”One will then ask what will happen to the missing gap and we had exclaimed during the budget presentation that we are shifting from all the big big dreams to primordial things of survival and ensuring that there is food on the table for the mass of the population”.
He said his plan during the 2020 budget was to move from food on the table to hands on the plough but the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and EndSars protest the food on the table scheme had to continue.
“The 2021 budget is streamlined to meet the intended focus hence it made provision for only 5% on capital projects as the 275 km superhighway the Bakassi Deep Sea Port, the Calas Vegas Island and the State Privatization Council in partnership with KPMG as consultants will work towards selecting the best investors who are available, willing and capable to invest in these projects”.
The governor is optimistic that the legion of companies he has set up will become functional to boost the state’s economy.
Speaking earlier, Speaker of the States House of Assembly, Eteng Williams said the assembly made some adjustments to the budget to accommodate new realities captured in the estimate such as Establishment of a state polytechnic.