Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River State has presented one trillion, three hundred and fifty billion, two hundred and twenty million, one hundred and fifty six thousand, two hundred and twenty five naira, thirty kobo (N1, 350, 220, 156, 225. 30) to the Cross River State House of Assembly.
Ayade, who tagged the budget `Budget of Kinetic Crystallization’ said it was meant to crystalline what the state has achieved in the past two years of his administration. He said that the priority of the budget was to develop the state deep sea port and the super highway which are his two signature projects. The Governor said that 70 per cent of the budget was for capital expenditure, while 30 percent for re-current expenditure.
According to him, the size of the budget is expected to create room for expected investors, now that the annual construction of the state deep sea port and superhighway has commenced, adding that the budget is for actualization and implementation of the state deep sea port, super highway and other laudable projects earmarked for completion.
“The 2018 budget is meant to drive the economy of the state to an enviable height. The sum of N126 billion has been budgeted for the ministry of infrastructure. This is to help us develop critical asset in the state. N7billion has been budgeted for the state job centre with a view to help us train our unemployed youths with marketable job skills.
“Also, we have budgeted the sum of N2billion for our school feeding programme. In addition to that, we also budgeted N52billion for Social Welfare in other to provide and care for the aged. My administration is human friendly and my desire is to ensure that every family have what to eat before going to bed’’, he said.
The governor further said that the garment factory, which currently has 1,000 workers, would increase to 3,000 in 2018 as part of his drive to engage the unemployed in the state. The 2018 budget estimate is far higher than the 2017 budget of N301billion. “This is a budget for 2018 and tagged Budget of kinetic crystallization, the budget that converts our deep vision, our final transformation into actualization and reality.
“The budget that prepare Cross River State for the next ten years, the budget that seized to be analyzed, the budget that is driven by the philosophy of debt, the budget that is driven by the spirit of dream and not the spirit of talking, the budget that put an end to the conquest of task, the weakness of the pocket.
“The budget that is driven in ambition that is stronger than the carrying capacity and fear of the whole nation that budget that is too ambitious to the realistic in the minds of the ordinary, except you are self realized and spirituality high, et you are God fearing and believing in God that there is ambition, God will give you provision.
Responding, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr John Gaul-Lebo, commended the governor for commencing work on the deep sea port and the super highway. Gaul-Lebo said that the two projects when completed would attract more investors to the state, thus improving its revenue profile. He assured the governors of the Assembly’s continued support for the economic and political growth of the state.