The Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Ben Ayade has presented the 2023 budget pegged at 330 billion naira.
Presenting the budget before the Cross River State House of Assembly on Thursday, October 27, 2022, in Calabar, Ayade said: “the N330billion budget for 2023 is therefore known as a budget of Quantum Infinitum”.
The governor noted that the budget presentation was his final due to his transition time and that it was intended to improve the welfare of the state’s citizens and communities. He clarified that the budget’s moniker, “budget of quantum Infinitum,” came from the fact that it included significant elements of the state’s progressive and development strategy.
According to him, among many other things, the budget would be used to fund the completion of projects, the payment of salaries and other benefits, pensions, grants, and capital projects. He claims that the budget also has an emphasis on completing some of the initiatives started during his administration’s first seven years in office.
Ayade provided a breakdown of the spending, stating that N130 billion, or 39% of the estimated budget, was allocated to ongoing expenses. Recurrent expenses, according to him, will take care of paying salaries, bonuses, and pensions as well as mitigating the effects of hardship and poverty in the state.
He said: “For capital expenditure, we have budgeted a sum of N200billion which represent 61 per cent of the budget estimate. 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”.
Ayade emphasised his dedication to the social welfare of Cross Riverians. “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 N5,000 to N10,000 to the rural dwellers. They need it the most because indeed we care about the people”, he said.
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The governor of Cross River State also said that N5 billion had been budgeted for security with the intention of providing cars for security services and ensuring that they function with cutting-edge technology.
“Also in the budget, we have budgeted the sum of N18billion for the aviation sector and the sum of N7billion to provide solar electricity in Calabar metropolis,” he said.
Ayade also said he met pension N350million but during his 7 years spell as Governor, it has increased to N700million.
The Governor said his administration has been a stronger foundation for the state, adding that he has been paying salaries on a regular basis.
“Have we been able to lay the foundation? Yes! We have gone beyond window level…the foundation for prosperity has been set.
“When we expanded Government, there were great concerns that we will drive that to the end but we have done that for the past 7 years and as I speak, the salary of last month is already in the banks.
“I met pension at N380 million and right now we are hitting N700million”, Ayade said.
CONVERSEER reports that Ayade in his past 7 years as Governor has been presenting outrageous budgets with humongous names.
2016: Budget Of Deep Vision, pegged at N350billion.
2017: Budget Of Infinite Transposition, pegged at N701billion.
2018: Budget Of Kinetic Crystallisation, pegged at N1.3trillion.
2019: Budget Of Qabalistic Densification, pegged at N1.043trillion.
2020: Budget Of Olimpotic Meristemiasis, pegged at N1.1trillion.
2021: Budget Of Blush And Bliss, pegged at N277.7billion.
2022: Budget Of Conjugated Agglutination, pegged at N266biilion
2023: Budget of Quantum Infinitum, pegged at N330billion.
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