Even with the loan repayment burden weighing down heavily on the state, obtaining loans is one of the sources of revenue the Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, is to fund the humongous N1.3b 2018 Budget of Kinetic Crystallization. He plans to obtain loans a little above N49b this fiscal year.
It is not clear if the N49.092,281,050 loans are to be obtained or sought locally or from overseas as it is not stated in the budget. Loans, Value Added Tax (VAT), grants, excess crude oil and joint state and local government accounts were classified under capital receipts in the budget.
The issue of loans is very disconcerting, considering how the ones obtained by the governor's predecessors have almost incapacitated the state economically as the loans obtained to execute seemingly white elephant projects are deducted at source when funds are being disbursed to states from the federation account. It is so bad that the state gets almost zero allocation monthly, leaving it almost prostrate.
Under VAT, the state hopes to generate N7,938, 179,302, while it expects N5,180,794,451 from grants. And from excess crude oil, N1,313,803,536 is expected to be generated. And N162 million is expected from the joint state and local government accounts.
Other capital receipts not specified in the budget amount to N1, 127,971,932,943. This brings the total capital receipts and transfer from the consolidated revenue fund to N1,163,513,534,424.
Under recurrent revenue, N40,774,646,221 is to be generated. And from federal sources, N67,729,260,003 is expected. This brings the total revenue to N108,503,906,224. This is more than the revenue target for last year which was N95,916,769,711.
Meanwhile, there was a marked improvement in the allocations to health institutions in some instances, while in some cases, last year's allocations were more than those of this year. For instance, while N56,979,983,824.96 was allocated the state ministry of health headquarters in Calabar in 2018, only N6,605523,811.52 was the amount presented as the revised provision in the 2017 budget.
Separate allocations to health institutions include that of Primary Healthcare Development Agency which had one of the highest allocations. It got N2,730,382,968.78 this year. Last year, it was allocated N2,917,700,985.27. Considering the critical role the agency plays in the delivery of primary healthcare, especially in the rural areas, no amount allocated to the agency could be considered too much.
Another critical agency that got an appreciable allocation is the State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (SACA). It was allocated N1,569,609,573.16, several times higher than last year's allocation which was N203,221,021.02.
One of the state's foremost health training institutions, College of Health Technology, Calabar, got N1,309,079,337.56 this year but got N795,516,891.30 in 2017. School of Nursing also in Calabar got N188,364,042.26 in 2018 as against N184,519,431.73 it received according to the revised provision figure of 2017.
School of Midwifery, Calabar, got N115,059,248.37 this year, which is lower than the N155,550,921.24 allocated to it last year. N576,508,791.88 was allocated to the School of Nursing, Itigidi in 2018. In 2017, it received N288,459,814.68. Central School of Nursing, Ogoja got N221,066,796.62 this year, but was allocated N83,783,327.21 last year.
This year, N44,521,100.62 was budgeted for the School of Midwifery/TBL, Monaya, Ogoja, while N64,675,003.00 was allocated in 2017. The allocation to the School of Midwifery, Obudu, is N190,196,739.40 this year, while last year, it got N57,620,000.00.
The General Hospital, Calabar, got N697,065,955 in 2018 and in 2017 it got N773,087,716.00. The Cross River State Eye Care Programme, Calabar, got N80,861,730.44 this year. Last year it go N82,129,444.00. The state's Essential Drug Programme got N209,893,632.61 in 2018 and received N248,625,004.87 the previous year.
The sum of N263,778,644.13 was allocated to General Hospital, Akamkpa this year, while N256,988,080.52 was allocated in 2017. In 2018, General Hospital Ugep was allocated N265,238,569.15, whereas in 2017 it got N312,054,743.94.
General Hospital, Ogoja got N426,099,484.00 in 2018, whereas it received N431261,254.98 in 2017. The sum of N131,920,619.00 was budgeted for Lutheran Hospital, Yahe, while last year it got N125,492,271.29.
Other health institutions such as general and cottage hospitals, government dental center, school of midwifery across the state also got varying allocations in the budget.