Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River state, could not fight back tears when he signed the 2018 budget of N1.3 trillion into law on Tuesday as the Cross River becomes the first to pass the N1. trillion mark among states in the nation.
In tears, the governor asked a clergy in the audience to hold the signed copy of the budget in his hand and lead everyone present in prayers for divine intervention to make the budget realisable.
He reportedly kept shaking his head while controlling his tears but managed to stand up for the prayers and the national anthem rendered at the close of the ceremony before he left.
Earlier, he said the budget he christened “Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation” is epochal in the history of the state and the nation.
“This budget is indeed kinetically crystallizing all our vision, but we must put all our hands on the table,” he said.
“The state itself is in a continuous state of gyration and easily agitated therefore we need a stabilising factor like a budget of this nature that can change our situation.
“Part of the philosophy of this budget will focus on human capital development and we say we will put food on the table; which was still what we focused on in our year one and year two but on this third year, we are amending the agenda; to be food on the table hand on the plough.”
He said in the budget, there is provision for social safety nets for low-income earners and the very poor.
“The budget is not by the characteristics of our envelope or purchase capacity but, it is enveloped by the capacity of our thought process. This budget is designed and tailored to fit our dream and our dream is big,” he said.
“We have decided to focus on a budget that will deal with the fundamental issues and commitments of this administration. It is the fulfillment of the dreams and aspirations our people, who decided to vote young people into power. Therefore, we must speak to power, truth, commitment, energy and the sincerity of the fact that the intellect drives the world not money.”
TheCable reports that budget report from the state legislature had revealed that out of the N1.3trillion budget, estimated revenue from internal sources is N40.7 billion and from the federation account, N67.7billion is expected, totalling about N108.5billion.
Less than half of N0.3trillion is expected as actual earnings receipt but the ambitious budget sets aside over N1.1trillion for capital projects implementation.
That amount is being expected from foreign investment that has not been secured in over two years despite the numerous foreign trips of the governor and the visits to the state on the invitations of the governor.