Andy Esiet, Calabar
Following fresh funds of N40 billion from TETFUND, the Cross River State House of Assembly has jacked up the state’s 2022 budget size.
The Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr. Eteng William in a statement made available to some newsmen on Wednesday said, state budget size was increased from N276. 279 billion as presented by Governor Ben Ayade in late October to N354. 505 billion.
The revised budget was passed by the House on Thursday, December 30, 2021 for assent by the governor .
William who presided as Chairman of the Cross River State Committee of the Whole House after the budget had passed third reading, stated that soon after the governor presented the budget, TEDFUND, agreed to support the state government with fund’s amounting to N40 billion to take care of specific projects.
The projects are, Tertiary Cancer Research Centre, Tertiary Orthopedic Centre, University Library for British Canadian School and Tertiary Tourism Centre.
He said approval for procurement of critical hospital equipment like, Pet Scan Linear Accelerator and Cyclotron were received after the budget had been presented by the governor, stating that the items will be bought at the current exchange rate which brought in additional #4.5billion.
William said “it was discovered that the initial provision of N14billion was not enough for debt servicing and debt refinancing, additional N20 billion has therefore been used to argument this provision”.
While reading the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation on the State Budget Estimate for 2022, the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation Mr. Sunday Achunekang stated, “in view of the fact that the governor’s presentations represent the first reading of the bill, it was scheduled and read the second time on November 25, 2021 and after a robust deliberation by members, the bill was therefore referred to the Committee on Appropriation for detailed scrutiny and to report back within three weeks”.
In all, Achunekang said Schedule 1 Personnel and overhead cost stood at N11 . 965 billion, Schedule 2 Capital expenditure, N225 .746 billion while Statutory Expenditure was peg at N9 . 802 billion, bringing a grand total of the 2022 estimate to N354. 505 billion.
Since the budget presentation by the governor in October, no budget break down has been carried out and this has been the tradition for the six months of this government.