The cross River State House of Assembly has passed the 2016 Revised Appropriation Amendment bill into law.
Announcing the passage after the bill had been read the 3rd time by the Clerk of the House, Elder Barr. Bassey Ekpeyong, the speaker, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo, said based on the variables, the Cross River State House of Assembly arrived at a budget size of Two Hundred and Fifty Nine Thrillion, One Hundred and Fifty Five Billion Four Hundred and Nineteen Million, One Hundred and Ninety Five Thousand Naira (N259,155,419,195).
The amount represents a recurrent expenditure of N64,755,838,745.68 and a capital expenditure of N238,038,506,547.97 for statutory votes, with the Ministry of Infrastructure being allocated the highest amount of N64,133,520,391.46.
The recurrent expenditure has a slight increase from N65,064,493,452 to N67,451,649,379 in the revised budget.
The Speaker noted that when His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade accents to the budget, a retreat will be recommended to bring all MDAs and Members of the State Assembly to a budget forum.
Lebo thanked the committee Chairman and Honorable members on Finance and Appropriation for their commitment to the speedy attention given the 2016 revised appropriation bill.
In their various reactions before the passage, Members frowned at the attitude of staff of MDAs for collecting Government revenue in Ministries and paying to a third party, the Contractor, before paying to government account, describing it as unacceptable.
In another development, Members decried the poor state of water supply across the State, lack of electricity, poor supervision and allocation of Government Cocoa escaped to a privileged few.
Briefing the Assembly press, the Chairman, House committee on Finance and Appropriation, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams, explained that the 2016 revised budget has a unique feature which makes it peculiar to the State adding that MDAs that refused to appear will have to defend their actions.
The chairman stated that the budget is a long term framework which implementation process can take up to 2019 and for that reason, it is pertinent for all MDAs to note that the budget review is in line with the current realities of the State’s needs.