By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The NGN1.3 trillion 2018 appropriation bill of the Cross River State Government has scaled through the second reading on the floor of the state assembly.
Majority Leader of the House, Mr Moses Ucheche, moved motion for the second reading of the bill on Friday, and said that the budget was designed to improve the economy and infrastructural development of the state.
Ucheche, who represents Obanlinku Constituency, said that the budget was realizable in spite of its huge size, reports the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
He explained that after going through the Bill carefully, he found out that it captured social welfare packages for the youths and aged, contained support for small-scale businesses and provided for rural roads development.
According to him, the budget also captures the two signature projects of Gov. Ben Ayade, which is the Deep Sea Port and the Super Highway where work has already commenced.
“The 2018 budget, tagged `Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation’ is a budget of hope and development for the state and I wish to call on my distinguished colleagues to support this bill,” he said.
Mr Jonas Eteng-Williams, Chairman of Committee on Finance and Appropriation (PDP-Yakurr 2), outlined other projects to be executed from the budget to include Calapharm, rice mill factory, banana factory and power plant.
Eteng-Williams urged the state government to use the budget to tackle security, education, agriculture, health and urban and rural development.
In his contribution, Mr. Hilary Bisong, representing Boki II Constituency (PDP), described the budget as “an investment instrument meant to develop critical infrastructure in the state.”
Speaker of the Assembly, Mr John Lebo, expressed hope that the budget would address critical areas of the state developmental plan.
Lebo said that the state government had in the last one year put together a growth and strategy development document for massive infrastructural development in the state.
“Some of the key projects that this budget will execute are the state Deep Sea Port and the Super Highway projects which I believe will add more value and generate more revenue into the state’s coffers.
“We support the figure that the governor has presented at this point because we are going to witness massive projects in the state when this budget is fully implemented,” he said.
The Speaker thereafter committed the Bill to the Committee on Finance and Appropriation for more scrutiny and work.
Gov. Ayade presented the Bill to the lawmakers on Nov. 30.
The assembly had announced that the second reading of the budget is billed for this week.