Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday presented a budget of N1.1trillion for 2020 to the State House of Assembly.
The budget, tagged “Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis”, has a capital expenditure of N911 billion representing 82.8 per cent and a recurrent expenditure of N188 billion, representing 17.2 per cent.
While explaining that meristemasis is the active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, which in this case represented the state, he pointed out that, “the budget will catalyse into existence a great opportunity for the state to put all hands and legs on the pedal.”
He said the decision to set aside 82.8 per cent of the budget for capital expenditure, was indicative of government commitment that will continue to reduce recurrent expenditure and focus on capital expenditure.
On the sectoral breakdown, Ayade disclosed that the health sector has an allocation of N44 billion, education N38 billion, New City Development N35 billion while agriculture was allocated N22 billion and social housing N12 billion, among others.
The governor announced that his administration would sustain its current tax policy with adjustment.
“All low income people like civil servants earning below N100,000 will be exempted from tax.
“Small scale businesses like barbing saloon, hair dressing and others are hereby exempted from taxation,” he said.
He also abolished daily levy of between N500 and N1000 by taxis in the state, noting that they will now pay N2000 only every month.
“We must come to the understanding that indeed any state whose budget is driven by envelope size is limited in vision.
“There are two ways in business and public sector management that you place your budget. It is either that your budget comes as an expression of your envelope size or as an expression of your ambition.
“The prosperity agenda set for this state does not allow me the opportunity of an envelope budgeting,” he said.