The Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has signed the 2021 appropriation bill into law.
The budget, christened, ‘Budget of Blush and Bliss, has a total sum of N281.9billion, a sharp reduction from the previous budget size of over 1.01trillion.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, which was held at the State Executive Chambers of the Governor’s office, Calabar, on Wednesday, Ayade disclosed that the budget has made provisions for the establishment of a state polytechnic.
“It also has provisions for social welfare schemes like grants and other financial benefits to help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people.
He disclosed that the size of the budget was smaller when compared with previous budgets that were in the region of over one trillion naira.
The governor attributed this to the fact that his administration has decided to reduce the financial commitments of the state in key projects such as the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275km superhighway to just five percent.
These projects, according to him, are now to be built on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
“For the budget of 2021, the budget of “Blush and Bliss”, the gross component is in the dramatic reduction of the budget size from over N1.01 trillion to 218 billion. One will ask what will then happen to that missing gap?
“We had explained this in the budget presentation that we are shifting from all the big big dreams to the basic, primordial things of survival and ensuring that there is food on the table.”
He commended members of the state House of Assembly for sacrificing their comfort and personal pleasure during the Christmas holidays to ensure that the 2021 budget was ready for signing.
Earlier, the Speaker, Hon. Eteng Jones Williams explained that the House made some adjustments in the appropriation bill the governor submitted to it in October to accommodate new realities that were captured in the bill such as the establishment of the Cross River state Polytechnic which bill the governor recently signed into law.