Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has presented a budget estimate of ₦330 billion for the fiscal year 2023.
Prof. Ayade dubbed the budget “Budget of Quantum Infinitum” when he presented it to the Cross River House of Assembly on Thursday in Calabar.
The governor stated that the budget was designed to improve the welfare of the state’s citizens and residents, noting that this was his final budget presentation due to his transition period.
He explained that the budget was dubbed “budget of quantum Infinitum” because it included a large portion of the state’s progressive and development plan.
Ayade stated that the budget would prioritise project completion, salary and gratuity payments, pensions, grants, livelihood support, and capital projects, among other things.
According to him, the budget also focuses on completing some of the projects that he has overseen over the last seven years.
Ayade stated that ₦130 billion was for recurrent expenditure, which accounted for 39 percent of the budget estimate.
He stated that recurrent expenditure will pay salaries, bonuses, and pensions, as well as cushion the effects of hardship and poverty in the state.
“For capital expenditure, we have budgeted a sum of N200billion which represent 61 percent of the budget estimate,” Ayade said.
“The capital expenditure will provide for the completion of all the projects that are yet to be completed in the state.
“I wish to call on the Federal Government to support this budget and help us to complete our projects. Since the loss of Bakassi, the state has continued to suffer economic hardship.
“This budget seeks to carry too many things given our commitment to sustaining the growth and development of the state.”
Emphasising his commitment to the social welfare of Cross River residents, Ayade maintained: “There’s a provision for grants, there’s a provision for conditional cash transfer, there’s a provision for social comfort just for the betterment of our people.
“There’s a provision for health insurance for those who are zero income earners. All of those massive aggregate provisions is to show that we focus on the people.
“In this budget, we have also made provision for conditional cash transfer of ₦5,000 to ₦10,000 to the rural dwellers. They need it the most because indeed we care about the people.”
The Cross River State Governor also revealed that N5 billion had been budgeted for security in order to provide vehicles for security agencies and ensure they operate with modern equipment.