Cross River to Spend 67% of 2021 Budget on Recurrent Expenditure
By Adedapo Adesanya
Cross River State Governor, Mr Ben Ayade, has presented the 2021 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly tagged Budget of Blush and Bliss with a total estimate of N277 billion.
The sum of N192,511,985,550 representing 67 per cent of the entire budget is earmarked for recurrent expenditure while N88,196,500 representing 33 per cent is for capital expenditure.
The Governor explained the reason for allocating 67 per cent of the total budget for paying salaries and others, noting that it was because of the cumulative impact of the disasters that characterised the year 2020.
This according to Mr Ayade, the huge amount of money is expected to meet the immediate and physical needs of Cross River residents in the aftermath of the COVID-19 and #EndSARS protest, which later resulted into the destruction of properties in the state.
Speaking at the session, he said, “I decided along with my executive council, after due consultation, that the budget of next year will focus more on the humanitarian perspective.
“We have decided to shift focus from infrastructure, from big projects and refocus on the people.”
“So, this is the people’s budget. This budget takes care of unemployment, takes care of the issues of security consistent with the provisions of the Constitution in Section 14 sub Section 2,” the governor said during the presentation.
He said further that “we have decided to focus so much on agriculture, youth employment, social housing, and youth skill development.”
The budget has a provision for the establishment of Neighbourhood Security Watch which is aimed at dealing with the issues of neighbourhood protection and create employment for youths.
Explaining the reason for the title of the budget, Mr Ayade said: “Blush because we are going through a situation where our face is red and in pain. It is blush because we are coming away from our big dreams of kinetic crystallization, from our Olimpotic Agenda and reducing ourselves to a consumptive effort just to reflect the mood of the times.”
He also condoled with residents of Cross River who in the course of the recent arson and vandalism in the state suffered any form of loss.