The State Governor, Senator Bassey Edet Otu has proposed a budget size of N250,000,000 000 (two hundred and fifty billion naira) for the 2024 fiscal year.
Capital expenditure is to gulp, N154, 000,000,000 (one hundred and fifty-four billion naira) while the sum of N96,000,000,000 (Ninety six billion naira) is proposed for recurrent expenditure.
The Governor made this proposal at the Chambers of the State House of Assembly on Thursday, during the presentation of the State Budget Estimates and Appropriation Bill 2024 called, “The People’s First Budget”.
He stated that in 2024 his Government intends to consolidate on the gains made by his predecessor while striving to deliver quality services to Cross Riverians.
Otu maintained that his Government has prioritized a higher capital expenditure over recurrent in the public expenditure structure adding that he deliberately proposed a higher capital recurrent expenditure of 61.6% to 38.4% on revenue.
The Governor revealed that for the 2024 fiscal year, the sum of one hundred and thirty-three Billion, three hundred million Naira (#133,300,000 000) is expected from the Federation Account (FAAC) while independence revenue is estimated at thirty-five billion, three hundred and twenty-two million, seven hundred and fourty seven thousand five hundred and Ninety-four Naira (#35,322,747,594).
According to the Governor, sectors to be prioritized in 2024 include Agriculture, Education, Environment, Infrastructure, Youth and Sports Development, Security, Tourism and General Administration.
He sued for the cooperation of the Legislature which he described as a veritable developmental ally of the executive arm of government.
“Mr. Speaker, taking cognizance of the onerous task ahead, may I at this juncture, sue for the cooperation of all Members of this hallowed Chambers in the area of expeditious passage of People’s Centred laws, ratification, and approvals sought by the Executive arm of Government and exercise of diligent oversight over budget implementation”.
“All hands must be on Deck. On that note, I stand before you and all the Honorable Members of Cross River State House of Assembly as well as fellow Citizens of the State present here as witnesses to present to us the 2024 budget Called “The People’s First Budget”.
Earlier, in his welcome address the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem observed that the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 120 (1) bestowed on the Governor the responsibility of presenting and laying before the Legislature, the Financial Estimate of the revenue and expenditure of the State for the incoming year.
The Speaker expressed confidence that the budget will enhance the economic fortunes of the State and improve the well-being of the Citizens.
He commended Governor Otu for his commitment towards eradicating criminality in the State which according to him is demonstrated through the concerted efforts made to stamp out cultism, hooliganism, and other forms of social vices to ensure peace in the State.
Ayambem, who congratulated Governor Otu on his victory at the governorship polls as well as at the recent Election Tribunal, added that the 2024 Appropriation bill was unique being, ” the maiden edition, presented by our maiden Governor to the maiden session of the 10th Legislature.
He however sued for the implementation of the Legislative Autonomy, take -off of the Cross River State House of Assembly Service Commission as well as the provision of vehicles for Legislators to enhance their oversight functions.
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker