The 2023 budget of quantum infinitum which was endorsed by the immediate past governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade was unrealistic and practically not implementable, according to the governor, Prince Bassey Otu.
The governor has already amended the provisions of the legal instrument in line with current realities, reducing the figures from N330 billion to N250 billion.
For eight years, Ayade was known for his jaw breaking budget names. Incidentally, apart from the budget proposal that he would present before the house of assembly, it was difficult to access the budget breakdown.
In terms of actual implementation, it was also impossible to track the government’s actual income and expenditure profile. But it was almost certain that for the eight years that he ruled, the state’s budget was not implemented 100 per cent.
He was in the habit of announcing very ambitious revenue estimates, sometimes higher than what states like Rivers and Akwa Ibom would propose as their estimates, an action that earned him so much vilification.
Endorsing the amended budget, Otu said the new appropriation bill was necessary to enable him work within a realistic financial framework.
“Let me start by thanking the speaker and the house for the speed in passing this bill. One of the most difficult bills to pass in the legislature is the appropriation bill. It is the first bill I am signing into law in conformity with the People’s First agenda, collaborating with the House of Assembly we shall achieve the desired results.
“With the signing into law of this revised appropriation bill, Cross Riverians will start seeing the real dividends of democracy which will improve the fortunes of the state” the governor said.
According to him, the essence of the downward review of the budget was to capture the true income indices and make the bill more realistic in line with current reality in Internally Generated Revenue as well as the monthly allocation from federation to the state.
The speaker, Elvert Ayambem had expressed gratitude to his colleagues for working assiduously to see that work on the budget was completed in record time. There was no information, however, about the time the amendment bill was sent to the Assembly.