2020 N1.1tn budget: Ayade begs for FG’s intervention

Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade has begged for Federal Government’s intervention to enable the state implement its bogus N1.1tn 2020 Budget of Olimpoitc Meristamasis.

Ayade, while signing into law the 2020 budget in his office in Calabar recently, declared its successful implementation would depend on President Mohammadu Buhari and Federal Government, as the state “is grinding to a halt”.

The Guardian observed the state has been floating huge budget figures since 2016 without executing up to 30 percent.

For instance, the state budgeted N303bn in 2016; N707bn in 2017; N1.3tn in 2018 and in 2019, N1.4tn, with much of the funding being expected from foreign investors for the superhighway and deep seaport projects, which did not materialise.

Ayade has maintained that performance of last year’s budget, which he tagged: “Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation,” was up to 74 percent, even though finance experts have debunked this claim, saying there were no empirical facts to back it up.

This year’s budget is yet another big one, and with little from the Federation Account, internally-generated revenue, and indebtedness of foreign and domestic debts put at N235.9bn, according to 2018 reports of Economic Confidential. There is also the domestic debt of N5bn bringing the total debt at N240.9bn and besides, N1.8bn is deducted at source for debt servicing.

Ayade, while assuring House of Assembly and State Executive Council member, who witnessed the signing ceremony, said: “I assure all of you that this budget of N1.1tn is something we will achieve within 2020.”

“With the support of President Buhari, we will get the necessary Federal Government support that will give us the impetus to realise the Cross River beyond oil.

“In this ceremonial signing of the 2020 Budget of Cross River State, let me plead with Mr. President that Cross River State is one of the states in Nigeria, whose oil wells were taken without our consent; that no due process in the ceding of Bakassi was followed; the Supreme Court gave judgment and in one of the proviso, it was stated that the Federal Government through the instrumentality of the stabilisation fund should continuously support Cross River State to the extent of the oil well loss.

“Let me make it abundantly clear that such agreement was discussed and ratified by the previous administration. The sum of N15bn was to be made available to Cross River State every two years and N500m every month. That has not happened for a long time…”

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