Tuesday, 4 August 2020

C'River 2020 Appropriation Review & Stewardship of the 9th CRSHA

Eugene Upah | 4th August 2020

The 2020 'Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis' of 1.1 Trillion earlier passed by the Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) has been reviewed for obvious reasons. The downward review became necessary as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world. The resulting effect has created harsh economic tendencies resulting in paucity of funds and manpower at all levels making it unrealistic for the initial proposal to be wholly implemented.

Speaking on this development, Speaker of the CRSHA, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams said the downward review was based on current economic realities coupled with the state government's resolve to exclude low income earners and small-scale businesses from taxation, an action aimed at cushioning the economic effects of the Epidemic.

A number of states such as Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Kwarra, Delta, Nassarawa, Kogi, Rivers, Adamawa, Imo, Abia, Edo, Niger, Katsina, Bauchi, Osun have revised their budgets as their economies have either stalled or not working at optimal level. The recent downward fluctuations in IGR generation as well as reduction in the federal allocation by a considerable percentage is the justification for the review. Cross River state, for same reason had to follow suit as the projected revenue profile seems unrealistic under the current economic condition.

From every indication, many of the 36 states excluding Bayelsa are planning to reduce their 2020 budgets or changing their fiscal priorities with most suspending on-going capital projects as part of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on budget implementation. It has become fundamentally clear that most of the states are going back to the drawing boards while experts are recommending prioritization for Health and SMEs.

You would recall that the CRSHA passed a Budget of 1.1 trillion Naira for the 2020 fiscal year. At this time need has arisen to realistically revise the budget downward to N147,130,166,996 (One Hundred & Forty-Seven Billion, One Hundred & Thirty Million, One Hundred & Sixty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Six) Naira only.

This was done after thorough deliberation by Members in furtherance of government's mission of delivering quality representation to the people of Cross River State.

The 9th Assembly in the state has so far seen the implementation of several people-oriented policies, hands-on supervision and on-the-spot assessment of oversight activities, passage of 7 (seven) critical bills, some of which include the Bill for establishment of Uni-Cross, Assembly Commission Bill, Imposition of Mining and Quarrying Fees Bill, Coronavirus and other Epidemic/Pandemic Bill, Safety of workers Bill and two others are some of the few landmark feat recorded under Eteng's leadership of the Assembly. This is outside taking 17 Motions, 8 Matters of Urgent Public Importance, 61 Resolutions and signing into law of the Assembly Service Commission (ASC) Law 2020 by the State Governor, Sen. Prof. (Sir) Ben Ayade.

The legislature in the state has maintained close synergy with other arms of government since the inuguration of the 9th Assembly on 11th June, 2019 and this is evident in the level of cordiality and interactivity as well as routine engagements with Pressure Groups and the Civil Society Organizations.

Eugene Upah
 is the Snr Special Assistant to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade on Public Communications.

You can reach him on