Cross River Assembly passes N301bn 2017 budget

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CROSS RIVER, JANUARY 14, 2017 – The Cross River House of Assembly has passed the 2017 budget of N301 billion, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

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On Oct. 31, 2016, Gov. Ben Ayade presented a N301billion budget proposal to the assembly for scrutiny and passage.

Mr Jonas Eteng-Williams, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, presented the report of the budget to the House on Friday in Calabar.

Eteng-Williams said that after the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), defended their budget proposals, the committee carefully studied the budget and gave approval for the passage of the budget.

“From the budget, a total of N226.48 billion representing 75.2 percent of the budget is for capital expenditure, while personnel cost and overhead stand at N56.78 billion and N17.93 billion respectively.

“The committee also approved N707 billion to be passed into law for use in the next three years, but the N301 billion for 2017 still stands.

“The N707billion will cover 2017, 2018 and 2019, which is the three years period remaining for the present administration.

“We projected the expenditure of the state within these three years and arrived at this figure.

“For the three years, the state government will have to spend the sum of N707 billion. We are giving the state governor 30 days to give us his medium-term expenditure framework.

“We did a public hearing on the said amount before approving it. We are also predicting that very soon the price of oil in the international market will rise, ‘’ he said.

The Speaker, John Gaul-Lebo, who commended the committee for a thorough work, said that the budget was passed to enable the governor to execute his developmental projects.

Gaul-Lebo said that the passage of the budget would also assist Ayade to execute his projects which include the 260km super highway and the state deep seaport.

He advised MDAs to make judicious use of the funds allocated to them, saying that the legislature would monitor them closely.

The speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Bassey Ekpeyong, to prepare a clean copy of the budget estimate and forward same to the governor for his assent.

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