MARYLAND/ USA –
IN what is the largest for a single state in Nigeria’s history, the Cross River governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has proposed a budget of N1.3 trillion for the 2018 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly for deliberation and passage.
Lagos state is current holder of the record with its N812 billion budget for 2017, even as the state has indicated its next budget may also amount to N1 trillion. Other states budget ranges from N150 billion to N350 billion.
Presenting the appropriation bill to the state legislature in Calabar on Thursday, Ayade said the proposal was designed to add value to the socio-economic development and well being of the people of the state.
The appropriation bill tagged “Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation’ is far higher than the Cross River’s budget of N301 billion for this year.
The governor explained that it was meant to “crystallise” what the state had achieved in the past two years of his administration.
He said the priority of the budget was to develop the state’s deep sea port and the super highway which he said were his two marked projects.
Ayade stated that 70 per cent of the budget was for capital expenditure and 30 per cent, re-current expenditure.
He stated that the size of the budget is expected to create room for potential investors, now that the annual construction of the state deep sea port and superhighway has commenced.
The governor added that the budget was for actualisation and implementation of the state deep sea port, super highway and other laudable projects earmarked for completion.
According to him, “The 2018 budget of N1.3 trillion, tagged `Kinetic Crystallisations’, is meant to drive the economy of the state to an enviable height.
“The sum of N126 billion was budgeted for the Ministry of Infrastructure. This is to help us develop critical assets in the state.
“N7 billion was also budgeted for the state job centre with a view to helping us train our unemployed youths with marketable job skills.
“Also, we have budgeted N2 billion for our school feeding programme. In addition to that, we also budgeted N52 billion for social welfare to care for the aged.
“My administration is human friendly and my desire is to ensure that every family has what to eat before going to bed,’’ he said.
Ayade further stated that the garment factory, with a 1,000 workforce, would be increased to 3,000 in 2018 as part of his administration’s drive to engage the unemployed in the state.