By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River State Government has appropriated over N14.5 billion for tourism related activities under the purview of the Special Adviser Governor’s Office, a study of the 2019 budget of Qabalistic Densification shows.
A newly introduced African Festival of Arts and Culture (Africult) will cost the State N300 million while a motor rally of 500 hybrid Hyundai vehicles is expected to gulp N120 million with a strange item tagged “CRS Direct Labour Project” appropriated N1 billion.
A further breakdown shows that N10 billion was budgeted for “Emergency Intervention Fund” which is N3 billion higher than the N7 billion appropriated for that in 2018 while the design and construction of a seven star hotel at the Calabar International Conference Center is expected to cost N50 million. This figure remains unchanged from the 2018 appropriation law.
The budget for the newly introduced Cross River Northern Festival (NorthFest) celebrations remains unchanged from 2018 at N300 million while the funding for Miss Africa beauty pageant will be increased from N250 million in 2018 to N350 million in 2019.
The flagship tourism event, the Carnival Calabar and Festival usually captured under Christmas Festival Activities was appropriated N650 million which is N50 million less than the budget sum appropriated in 2018.
The budget for the Leboku festival remains unchanged from 2018 at N240 million while a suspicious item tagged “Other Events (Yam Festival and Miss Nigeria)” is appropriated N300 million.
Furthermore, the State will procure technical equipment for N20 million; spend N1 million for ICT management and N150 million for the “Calabar Convention Center.”
Also, the design of a new development area and infrastructure will cost N25 million while the Gold Course is appropriated N20 million with CallyWood to be funded with N1 billion.
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