By Emma Unah
Ben Ayade, Cross River State governor, yesterday, Wednesday, February 6, 2019, presented a budget proposal of N1,043,967,000,000 (one trillion, forty three billion, nine hundred and sixty seven million naira) for the 2019 fiscal year before the State House of Assembly.
Ayade who tagged the budget “Budget of Quabalistic Densification”, said it will migrate the state from a third world to a first world by transforming the infrastructure and economy to meet the expectations of the people.
According to the governor, “It is a magical budget of concentrating all of our ideas and ideals into a cumulative action point. The budget seems to address the fundamental thrust of our governance because it focuses on the realisation of the core mandate of this government which is shifting Cross River State from a third world to a first world within eight years”.
Ayade dedicated thirty percent of the budget estimate to infrastructure stating that the 2018 budget achieved seventy four percent performance and assured that the 2019 budget will exceed that of last year in realising the expectations of majority of the people.
“This budget is in tandem with our strategic long term plan of industrialising every local government area and connecting them to the super highway, serving as the main nexus that connects the industrial hub and serves as the evacuation corridor and empties into the Bakassi Deep Seaport for export of raw materials. That is the overall executive master plan of my government to create a new Cross River State that is industry-based and draws its raw materials from our natural resource base.”
He described the budget as spiritual and to ensure the completion of ongoing projects such as the super highway which attracted N664 billion in last year’s budget and the deep seaport for which N88 billion was budgeted in 2018. ” This is a budget of deep vision to deliver a prosperity agenda under the catalysis of minimal money, intellect and the third force which is spiritual under God the father. It is a densification of all spiritual force to drive a combo of intellectual and monetary forces for actuation of the migration of Cross River State”. Ayade added that each of the 18 local government areas would get a mini super highway as evacuation corridor from the deep seaport.
The state, the governor also stated has done very well in spite of little resources it gets every month from the federal allocation where N1.8 bn is used to settle the states debts. “We see a new hope, a new dawn. We have no business with poverty. We can only end poverty through practical application of knowledge”, he affirmed.
Though the budget estimate did not provide sectoral breakdown, the governor said the sum of N644 bn had been spent in the construction of the superhighway and N88 bn was gulped by the Bakassi Deep Sea Port in the 2018 budget
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