Why Cross River State 2018 Budget Risen to N1.3 Trillion
Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has said that the N1.3 trillion budget estimate for 2018 presented to the state House of Assembly is an ambitious budget designed and tailored to fit the state’s dream.
The governor disclosed that the 2018 appropriation bill is not enveloped by the state’s purchasing power and capacity, saying it is a budget that crystallises the depth of his administration’s vision into action. “It is meant to draw the prospective investors to our state,” he stated.
He said that rather than the envelope budget, he opted for the kinetic budget that allows room for intellectual capacity.
Ayade, yesterday, made history as the first governor to propose a trillion naira budget in the country when he laid a budget estimate of N1.306 trillion before the state house of assembly for the 2018 fiscal year.
Before now, Lagos State held the record with its 2017 N812 billion budget and is expected to hit the one trillion mark this year. However, Lagos State is yet to present its 2018 budget.
Christened “Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation,” Ayade said the budget is to crystalise all the efforts and vision that have been put into developing the state since he assumed office in 2015 and to move it from a civil service economy to an entrepreneurial economy.
The governor explained that the size of the budget is meant to create room for warehousing of capital investors’ funds now that the actual construction of key projects of the administration has commenced.
The budget speech, which was not made available to journalists, for the second year, was read at the floor of the Assembly Chambers.
Revealing more on Why Cross River State 2018 Budget has Risen to N1.3 Trillion, The Special assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on social media, Eval Asikong wrote below on his facebook page.
Why Has Cross River 2018 Budget Risen to N1.3 Trillion?
But While the 2018 budget has been criticized on grounds that the sumative amount of N1.3 trillion is outragious, it is worthy to consider that the 275 Km Super-Highway and the Bakassi Deep Sea Port alone presents a whooping cost implication of N1. 4 trillion which is higher than the N1.3 trillion 2018 budget and that there is no benchmark to peg budget at any level of government.
While some have also argued that the N6.6 billion IGR of January to June in 2017 cannot be relativised with the expected N1.3 trillion income and expenditure in the 2018 budget, it should be known that the budget is a forecasts into 2018 and not 2017.
As a budget of expansion from a governor with business background, resources are expected to be optimized, and not minimized.
There are multiple Windows to alternative funding sources than the usual negligible proceeds from the non expansive Internally Generated Revenue-base. I am not sure that by 2018, the State’s IGR will amount to 8% income, but with foreign Strategic Equity Partners and their Senior Debt Funders to drive the signature projects, more than N1trillion in form of Direct Foreign Investment will be made available.
The approval of the Transaction Advisor for the Bakassi Deep Sea Port, last month by the Federal Government, is already a precursor to such lofty accomplishments.
Cross River has the most strategically located maritime gateway and her waterways have zero presence of pirates and militants which is why dealers on wet and dry cargoes prefer entry of their merchandise into the country through her gateway.
According to Senator Victor Ndoma, now that the future of oil economy is hazy, the federal Government is resolute in encouraging and promoting Port businesses. It is interesting to know that there are no limitations as to the number of youth any given functional maritime port could meaningfully engage.
That Ayade’s Deep Seaport project coincided with a time the federal government is cracking on a deliberate policy of making port business a mainstay of the nation’s economy, is not ordinary, but a coincidence crafted by Providence and behoves support from every true and meaningful son and daughter of the state.
With a functional maritime gateway and corridor, many Portside companies will flood Cross River and about 80% of the civil service population will be lost to port related companies because of its juicy prospects which has always been our dream. For now, the state is spending much time to set a foundation for a new economic super structure and as we know, the setting up of foundation takes time because if the foundation is wrong, the superstructure will not last. Now that the foundation has been set, let’s watch out for the speedy progress of the superstructure.
In conclusion, our aspiration and vision of expansion cannever be circumscribed by self pity and “avoidable lack”. For that reason, we refuse to run a budget of fiscal consolidation/adjustment neither will we run an administration of welfare retrenchment. Such conventions are too extant to enjoy any meaningful relevance in this supersonic age. To understand more of Ayade’s pattern, I refer all to read “the Heterodox Model”
God bless Cross River!