Again, Cross River Assembly fails to receive 2018 budget

Cross River House of Assembly

For the second time in three weeks, presentation of the Cross River State’s 2018 budget by Governor Ben Ayade to the state House of Assembly has failed.

The governor was to present the budget three weeks ago. But when the 25-member House sat, he failed to show up. It was alleged that members were not ready to receive him, as they were allegedly protesting non-payment of allowances by the state government amounting to over N600m.

Within the week, several radio announcements were made, saying the governor was going to present the budget last Thursday. But for the second time, he did not appear. The House was reportedly not ready for him, due to alleged financial wrangling.

Members, said to be in a face-off with the governor, sat on Thursday but did not list the budget on their proceedings.

Though all arrangements were put in place for the presentation estimated to be about a trillion naira, it was gathered that there was no formal communication between the governor and the House on the matter.

Sources at the Assembly alleged members were insisting that at least N10m be paid to each of them as allowances; otherwise they would not sit to receive the budget.

The House leadership however dismissed this as “complete falsehood”, saying there was no such demand and that the House was not holding the governor to ransom.

In a reaction, the Deputy Speaker, Joseph Bassey, said: “The budget was not in our vote and proceedings and we were not aware. This was why it was not received last Thursday.”



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