Saturday, 14 December 2019

Eyo Ekpo slams Ayade, demands physical copies of 2020 budget from CRSHA Speaker

Ukorebi Esien |14 December, 2019

A former gubernatorial candidate in Cross River State, Barr. Eyo Ekpo who contested for the governorship stool of the state under the Social Democratic Party, SDP, has dared the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams to make available to him a copy of the state's 2020 appropriation bill. 

Bar. Ekpo who said the governor only showcased his speech making prowess while mesmerizing the lawmakers with his "sophistry and sophistication real or imagined" without presenting a physical copy of the budget, made the call at the instance of a viral video that seeks clarification on six gray areas surrounding the over bloated budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis.

"Apart from having a swell time displaying his sophistry and sophistication real or imagined, what did Governor Ayade actually achieve at his recent event in the Cross River State House of Assembly?.." 

"... Why did the Governor deliver only a speech and NO BUDGET, i.e., an ACTUAL statement of projected income and expenditure for 2020 under cover if an Appropriation Bill, 2020? Put differently, did the Governor lay the budget itself before the House after making his speech on his budget of olimpotic meristemasis". Ekpo questioned. 

Accusing the governor of not laying the 2020 financial appropriation bill before the house, Ekpo said the governor only made a speech to tickle the fancy of members of the house while displaying his falsehood. He therefore dared the leadership of the house and the member representing his Calabar Municipality constituency, Rt Hon. Efa Esua to for the avoidance of doubt produce physical copies of the budget. Ekpo went on to say he is willing to foot the cost of producing and any other expenses associated with making the document available to him. 

"Speaker Eteng Jones Williams and my Honourable Member Efa Esua representing Calabar Municipality State Constituency, I am by this medium requesting that you kindly make available to me the copy of the Appropriation Bill and Budget showing the estimated of State income and expenditure for the financial year 2020. I am willing to pay all necessary fees and costs of reproducing these public documents. Thank you". He demanded. 

Furthermore, the astute politician called on Cross Riverians to seek answers raised by the video, stating that the ultimate questions Cross Riverians should be asking is if the state really has a budget for 2020 in essence? 

"...the ultimate question really is: does Cross River State actually have a proposed 2020 Budget? Or do we have only the name of a proposed budget and a speech stating the highlights of a budget that is yet to arrive?" He queried. 

It should be recalled that governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State had on the 21st of November,  2019 Presented a budget estimate of over one trillion naira called budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis before the Cross River State House of Assembly where the Speaker of the 9th Assembly was heard during his opening remarks saying the governor's budgets has become an academic exercise built around intellectual concepts. Many had over the years argued and accused the governor of not always presenting a physical document during his budgetary presentations while flaunting several legal provisions associated with budget presentation. 

See the viral video that has exposed Ayade's ineptitude in budgetary procedures: