By George Odok
Calabar – Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has signed the state’s 2020 appropriation bill of N1.1 trillion into law.
Speaking at the ceremony on Tuesday, Ayade commended the State House of Assembly for meeting the Dec. 31, deadline of passing the appropriation bill.
According to him, the state is the first in history of Nigeria to present a budget of over N1 trillion.
Christened “Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis”, Ayade said the budget was geared towards bringing to fruition, the signature projects of his administration including the 270 kilometre superhighway connecting the state to Northern part of the country.
He explained that 82 per cent of the budget was for capital expenditure, while 18 per cent was for recurrent expenditure.
“There are two types of budgeting, either you do deficit budgeting or you do envelope budgeting.
“In envelope budgeting, 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 N1.8billion manages to pay teachers, civil servants and pensioners,” he said.
While enumerating the number of industries he has established since assumption of office, the governor assured that the 2020 budget will create jobs for the people.
“In the 2020 appropriation bill that 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 sufferings in Cross River.
“Cross River 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,” he said.
Earlier, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Jonah Eteng-Williams, while presenting the budget, said the house will vigorously carry out oversight functions on on government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.