Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Ayade cuts down 2020 budget from one trillion to one hundred billion

As the world continues to suffer from the crushing effect of the novel Corona Virus, which has caused economic downtown in many nations, several governments are putting up measures to cushion the effect of the virus on the economy. 

The Cross River state government is not left out on this as the governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade has made an unbelievable cut on the state's 2020 budget of Olimpotic Meristemssis . The budget which was pegged at 1.1trillion Naira has seen an 87% cut bringing it to a little over N 146 billion.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr. while newsmen, yesterday in Calabar, according to Ekpenyong, the Covid19 pandemic necessitated the review of the budget as well as the need to  effort to cushion its effect on citizens of the state.

"The Cross River State government had thought it imperative to do some economic policies and measures in order to forestall this hardship and cushion the effect of the pandemic," he said.

"The budget has been submitted to the Cross River State House of Assembly for its consideration, review and possible resolutions, the budget that has been submitted has a revised figure of 2020 Original Budget Figure of N147, 130, 166, 966," Ekpenyong explained.

He added that the budget review exercise had the participation and inputs of Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state.

According to Ekpenyong, the fall in federal revenue and allocation of expenditure to COVID-19 responses triggered the review of the budget by the state government.

Speaking further, he said they considered four reasons before adopting the review including the downward projected federation revenues amongst others.

He said: "Four reasons were taken into consideration for to review, they include the downward projected federation revenues especially the Cross River State projected statutory revenue allocations from the federation account. Reduction in non-priority capital and recurrent expenditure.

"We focused on allocating a lot of expenditure to COVID-19 response programmes and exercises  which are targeted at relief , restructuring and recovery from the pandemic.The COVID-19 response items in the budget are marked at 16.3 per cent in the amended budget.

We expressly identified and stated the Finance sources to fully finance the budget deficit accumulating new domestic carriers," Ekpeyong said.