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By CrossRiverWatch Admin

It was simply a comedy show and not a budget proposal presentation. To see my former VC, now deputy governor of Cross River state and the state House of Assembly members sit to listen to a clown present that crap is the height of absurdity.

A budget proposal is an estimate based on realistic income and expenditure of an entity, organization or an individual. It is simply a projection or a goal. It should be smart.

Kinetic Crystallization is neither specific nor measurable. It falls short in those. What exactly is the source of revenue that can fund 1.3 trillion naira projects? None I can imagine.

Federal allocation which is the highest revenue source for the state is no where near 70 billion naira. It is not achievable since there is no known revenue source neither is it realistic.

Ayade naively posited that the budget would crystalise every efforts and vision that have been put into developing the state since he assumed office in 2015 without specific mention of what those efforts represent.

Forgetting that budget is a short term annual plan Ayade seeks to move Cross River state from a civil service economy to an entrepreneurial economy in just one year.

Trying to play to the gallery, the governor changed the narrative of larger recurrent expenditure by announcing 70 percent Capital Expenditure and 30 percent Recurrent Expenditure without recourse to the implication of the value of the percentages.

30% of 1.306 trillion is about 390 billion which is more than 3 years budget of Cross River state in the past. The question is where is he going to generate the recurrent expenses for such humongous figure. That 5% of 1.3 trillion will take care of Cross River state recurrent bill is simple mathematics.

He blew the whole thing when he announced that the money is not readily available. No one expected that it is available but his naivity became legendary when he started talking about foreign direct investment as a revenue component in his budget proposal.

“It is expected that with the approval and commencement of signature projects, foreign investors are expected to bring in funds that will be used to fund the budget” This is a complete mess such that demeans his professorial status.

Going to his pseudo specifics, one can only but have a good laugh. Dredging of the sea for the construction of the state’s Deep Sea Port to cost N82 billion.

Is sea port not on the exclusive list? Have we restructured Nigeria? I guess I need to be tutored here. “The super highway, which will serve as an evacuation corridor for the Deep Sea Port will be split into 50 kilometres stretches to make it convenient for investors to construct selected units on a Build, Operate and Transfer, BOT, basis”. No figure

He announced that a N6 billion Social welfare scheme has been introduced to meet the needs of the people, particularly the aged who cannot work or earn any income.

This is very pedestrian. No analysis of those that would benefit from this. Six billion out of 390 billion is very small for social welfare.

Security will cost the state N15 billion in 2018. What security? Power supply N250 billion, cottage industry N12 billion is another nonsensical projection.

He will be investing 250 billion on power and creating cottage industries with only 12 billion. The last time I checked power was still in the exclusive list and that humongous investment is bigger than federal government allocation to power in 2018.

Uniforms for primary school children at N3 billion and N2.8 billion to support the Federal Government’s school feeding programme in the state.

This proposal is laughable to say the least. It is a shell without substance. There is absolutely nothing to cheer other than that it should feature in A Y live as a comedy staunt.

Ayade should withdraw that document immediately. He should tell a short story about how he presented a ten years development plan instead of an annual budget proposal.

Emeka Udeagu is a public affairs analyst and writes from Lagos.

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