Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River on Thursday in Calabar presented the 2021 budget of N277.7billion to the State House of Assembly.
Ayade, who tagged the budget as “Budget of Blush and Bliss’’, said it was aimed at improving the welfare of residents of the state.
While giving a breakdown of the budget, the governor explained that “Of the figure N277.7billion, a sum of N192billion represents the recurrent expenditure which represents 69 per cent of the budget.
“31 per cent of the budget is now being reduced and left for basic expenditure which is the sum of N85.1billion.
“The 31 per cent is to deal with infrastructure, water resources, foreign relationship, information system, climate change and also strengthen our social media unit’’.
According to him, the budget will also focus on efforts to diminish hunger and poverty, increase youths’ employment and enhance security and rural development.
He noted that the outgoing year was characterised by the Covid-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS, with negative impacts on the economy.
The governor disclosed that few days ago, the state got the final registration for CallyAir, a state-owned commercial airline to commence operations soon.
Earlier, Speaker of the House, Eteng Jonah-Williams, said that the current year would go down in history as “the year of ups and down”, calling for strategic actions and deep thinking.
He, however, noted that in spite of the year’s challenges, the house worked overtime to see that the 2020 budget was passed, paving way for economic growth and socio political transformation in the state.
He commended the state governor for giving approval for the employment of 20,000 workers into the state civil service and the indefinite suspension of tuition fees by indigenes of the state in Cross River State University of Technology.