Mix-up over presentation of 2020 budget in Cross River,

By Edem Edem, Calabar

There was mix-up at the Cross River State House of Assembly over the presentation of 2020 budget by the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade.

The announcement over the presentation of the 2020 budget, DAILY NEWS was informed  was made public and members of the public gathered at the Assembly on Friday waiting for the presentation of the budget.

Sadly, the Governor who was scheduled to present the budget on Friday did not come while some government officials and members of the public were waiting endlessly.

Speaking on Friday, the Director General of Budget Office, Abeng Onoh told journalists in his office that the budget would be ready by next week.

“When the governor asked us, we told him we have not finished. I just finished speaking with the consultant. By Wednesday or Thursday (next week) the budget will be okay. The problem why the budget was not finished is not from us but the consultant.

“The network was always fluctuating. Sometimes he will come and sit down for the network to come up. It was not the governor’s fault.” Onoh, who did not disclose the name of the consultant, further explained that

“What happened is that nearly, all the states are operating 52 digits while we are still operating 35 digits mode of codification of projects in the budget.  The whole world over are using 52 digits. So we are converting from 35 digits to 52 digits.

“So we have not really finished.  If you look at the capital expenditure, the coding has geo-location. If you have a project in Obubra, any person who sees the code on the internet will know the location is Obubra. Likewise projects in other local governments.

“In the Federal Government budget, it is the states that are used as codes. It is also operating the 52-digit code. Every state has a code. In the state every local government has a code. Any project you do in that local government has a code and can easily be traced as projects are codified according to local government.

Cross River State uses State Integrated Financial Management Information System rather than Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) the Federal Government and other states use.”  He said all the MDAs have submitted their estimates.

On why the governor does not provide a sectoral breakdown of the budget whenever he presents it, he said, “If a man is intelligent and has everything in his head, why does he need big papers to go and start reading?

Did you watch Bill Clinton? He just goes to the Assembly and addresses them. It depends on your intelligence quotient. Some people are used to figures. Some people are intelligent. It is a gift from God.

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