By Patrick Obia
Despite an ongoing process to privatize no fewer than 34 existing and planned assets of the Cross River State government, the Governor, Ben Ayade says his 2022 budget is aimed at completing the said projects.
Mr. Ayade presented the 2022 appropriation bill before the Assembly on Friday despite an industrial action by organised labor tagged “Conjugated Agglutination.”
The State hopes to spend NGN276 billion which is a billion less than the passed NGN281 billion 2021 budget of blush and bliss and NGN36 billion more than the revised 2021 budget. NGN170 billion is for capital expenditure while NGN106billion represents the recurrent Expenditure.
And, Mr. Ayade took to his verified Facebook page to explain what the conjugated agglutination budget is about.
“It is a cascade of so many projects to ensure their completion. Putting all together to form a new envelop, that when it explodes we will see a new prosperity agenda.
“The Budget focuses on the completion of ongoing projects and also seeks to ensure the sustenance of our administration’s policy of regular payment of salaries,” he wrote.
He continued: “This Appropriation Bill will mirror projects aimed at generating immediate income for the state and impact directly on the people.”
His post reinforced his statement during the presentation of the budget where he averred that the budget is, “intended to focus on the completion of existing projects without addition of new projects; guarantee salary payment and pensions.”
Mr. Ayade who also admitted that this was a remarkable departure from his trillion Naira budgets of Olimpotic Meristemasis, Qabalistic Densification and Kinetic Crystallization, told the lawmakers that, “the budget of this year is actually unlike what you know, it is far below the previous years.”
“This capital expenditure, the emphasis is on those key high profile projects that will immediately add value to the income of the State,” he said.
Reacting shortly after the presentation, the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams, said the House will fast track the passage of the budget on time.
“We have a procedure, the budget has been laid today which is in line with the laws of Cross River State, that the appropriation Bill should be laid on or before the last working day of October which has been done.
“The next stage is for the house to go through its readings; the second reading, engagement with all the MDAs then the House will pass the budget; as it is now I don’t know what’s inside until we open it. On or before 15th of December the budget will be returned back,” he said.
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