By Jonathan Ugbal
Four billion Naira has been earmarked for the food bank program of Governor Ben Ayade’s administration in Cross River State the 2019 chart of accounts reveal.
The figure is N1.5 billion lesser than the N5.5 billion earmarked for the scheme in 2018.
The food bank is a scheme designed to provide food for the vulnerable but has failed to kick off in the State since Mr. Ayade adopted it in 2016.
The trucks used for the scheme were acquired while he was a Senator in the 7th assembly for the five local government areas in northern Cross River.
However, since the trucks moved to Calabar, they have only been used for his birthday celebration with Bakassi returnees and thrice to deliver foodstuffs for Camerounian refugees in Ikom local government area.
The Governor is also expected to procure decoders valued at N400 million. It is unclear what the decoders are meant for. N1.2billion was budgeted for this item in 2018.
However, the budget document obtained by CrossRiverWatch showed other items that raise eyebrows.
These include renovation and reconstruction of Governor’s office at N500 million as well as the construction and equipping of the Government House Clinic at N500 million.
The figure remains same for the 2018 appropriation for these two items while the Citizen Financial Program which was appropriated N1.8 billion in 2018, will be funded with only N500 million.