By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River Department of Budget on Monday in Calabar, the State’s at the public presentation of the approved budget for the 2022 fiscal year, said it has alao uploaded the document online.
The Governor, Benedict Ayade assented to the budget nearly five weeks ago, less than 48 hours after it was passed by the State House of Assembly. Mr. Ayade had presented a budget size of NGN276 billion, but when it was passed, it increased by NGN78 billion to NGN354 billion.
The Special Adviser, Otu Otu Ita, told a gathering of stakeholders that the budget was uploaded online as part of the department’s commitment to inform the populace of government activities so that they can “police” and “interrogate,” it for effective governance.
“It is the desire of the budget office that the 2022 budget must be policed. Please, interrogate the budget to ensure good governance. It is when you study it and that you can support the government by asking the right questions,” Mr. Ita told a gathering of over thirty journalists, civil society actors and representatives of government parastatals.
In recent years, the budgeting process of the Cross River State government has been shrouded in some form of secrecy, with the proposed and approved documents always circulating in the hands of a few. At some point, in order to qualify for one of the disbursement linked indicator of the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Project (SFTAS) program, the documents were uploaded to the website of the Internal Revenue Service, www.crsirs.ng.
And, the budget department, according to Mr. Ita which said it was brought to its notice that many did not know that fact, decided to set up a temporary website www.crsbudgetoffice.org where budget files from 2020 have been uploaded. He said the site will be moved to a .gov.ng domain in the coming weeks.
Mr. Ita gave a brief rundown of the budget, which is NGN354.5 billion. He said that the total projected recurrent revenue was NGN91.5 billion of which the monthly allocation from the Federation Account Allocation Committee stood at NGN62.9 billion while the projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is NGN28.6 billion.
But, NGN91 billion is a far cry from over NGN354 billion. And, to achieve the budget sum, the State hopes to get NGN142.139 billion from Capital Development Funds and NGN33.921 billion through aids and grants which he charged the Civil Society Organisations to aid the State achieve.
“I charge you all, especially the Civil Society Organisations, that is non-state actors, to help the State. We need your support to enable us, the Government of Cross River State, to achieve what it hopes to get in aids and grant in 2022,” Ita said.
He promised that the department will, by the end of the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year, convene a roundtable to look at the budget in details.
Watch the recorded feed from the Facebook live video from the public presentation below…
Public presentation of the 2022 budget of Conjugated Agglutination of the Cross River State Government by the Special Adviser, Budget Otu Otu Ita
Posted by Crossriverwatch on Monday, January 31, 2022