The governor of Cross River State, southern Nigeria, Senator Bassey Otu has presented a budget of Two Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira only (₦250,000,000,000.00) for the 2024 fiscal year.
Governor Otu, who made the presentation before the state legislature in Calabar, the capital of Cross River state, titled the bill “The People First Budget”.
According to Otu, the intent of the 2024 appropriation bill is to consolidate on the gains made by the former governor, Senator Ben Ayade in the drive to offer quality service to the people.
The governor said, “We have prioritised a higher capital expenditure over recurrent expenditure in our public expenditure structure. As a deliberate principle, we have maintained a higher capital – recurrent expenditure of 61.6 to 38.4 percentage.
“This does not only emphasize the importance of structural development but also a demonstration of the State’s commitment to the provision of the much needed infrastructural facilities in our rural and urban centres.
“For the 2024 fiscal year, we have proposed the total budget size of N250,000,000,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira). Capital expenditure will gulp N154,000,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty-four Billion Naira) only; while the sum of N96,000,000,000 (Ninety-six Billion Naira) only is proposed for Recurrent expenditure,” he stated.
The governor further stated that in order to actualise the proposed development agenda, there was need for citizens and residents to collectively make sacrifices by dedicatedly paying taxes and levies when due.
To the 2024 budget, the governor said, “the Cross River Internal Revenue Service has been repositioned to ensure that every taxable adult is brought into the tax net. Presently, the State’s revenue profile has increased by 21 percent and we have charged the agency to double the 4 percent in 2024.”
He continued, “for 2024 fiscal year, the State Government is expecting the sum of One Hundred and Thirty Three Billion Three Hundred Million Naira (₦133,300,000,000) from the federation account, while independent revenue is estimated at Thirty Five Billion Three Hundred and Twenty Two Million Seven Hundred and Forty Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Four Naira (₦35,322,747,594).”
Earlier, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Elvert Ayambem promised to ensure that the 2024 budget is passed early enough to enable government deliver on his ‘People First Agenda’.