Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade on Thursday presented N227.709 billion Appropriation Bill for consideration by the State House of Assembly as fiscal 2021 budget.
The governor, who led the Executive team to the Assembly, explained that the 2021 Appropriation Bill christened “Blush and Bliss”, out of the budget estimates, N192, 511, 985, 550, representing 69% would be committed to recurrent expenditures while N85, 196,800,000 or 31% of the estimates would be used to fund capital projects.
He described the fiscal 2021 budget as peculiar because the government will shift from infrastructure to the people, in terms of humanitarian services delivery.
The governor said: “Having looked at it from the fiscal strategic paper which is an elucidation of the prospective cumulative income of the state, it is obvious that the income does not fall within the trillions we have done in the past. Of the budget estimates, the sum of N192 billion represents the recurrent expenditure which is 69% of the budget.
“Inside this 69%, 70% is warehoused for youth development, job creation, massive opportunity to lift people from poverty, humanitarian services, conditional cash transfer, everything that has to do with values of humankind. 31% which amounts to N85, 196, 800, 000 is set aside that has to do with infrastructure”, Ayade added.
According to him, the government will shift from its big dreams and projects to focus on feeding people and putting foods on their table.
He expatiated: “The budget is blush be wise it is a thing of shame from where we are coming from, because we are falling away from our big dreams, from our kinetic aspirations, olimpotic agenda and reducing ourselves to a sudden consumptive, primitive effort just to reflect on the mood of the time.
“But it is a source of Bliss because young people will now have opportunity to be employed and be happy that government has shifted from big dreams to the primary effort of feeding the people”, the governor added.
To beef up security in the state, Gov Ayade hinted that the government will set up Neighbourhood Security Watch, which will create jobs and security for the people of the state, adding that a normative framework that guarantees a fixed amount monthly for security agencies will be created next year to enhance the security level of the state.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Eteng Jonas William, commended the government for the efforts to keep the state financially stable in the current year, promising that the Legislature will give utmost priority to the Appropriation Bill for its timely passage.