Cross River House of Assembly accused of receiving bribe to pass 2018 budget

Cross River House of Assembly accused of receiving bribe to pass 2018 budget

- The Cross River state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says the 2018 budget proposed by Governor Ben Ayade is unrealistic

- The party also alleges that the state lawmakers have been bribed to pass the budget

- The proposed 2018, N1.3 trillion budget submitted to the State House of Assembly by Governor Ben Ayade is the largest for a single state in Nigeria’s history

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Cross River state chapter, has accused the state lawmakers of being bribed with N10 million naira each to pass the proposed 2018 budget submitted to the House of Assembly by the state governor, Ben Ayade.

This was contained in a statement signed by the party’s state publicity secretary, Mens Ikpeme.

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The party also said that the proposed 2018, N1.3 trillion budget is unrealistic as the governor did reveal how he would fund the budget, PremiumTimes reports.

The APC said: “The budget Gov. Ayade had just done is an academic exercise in futility. He has not made distinctions between his modes of expenditure. He merely went to the Cross River Assembly to lecture them on academic budget rather than present the state’s budget. He made the state budget an intellectual paper and not a financial working document.”

Gov. Ben Ayade announced budget of N 1.3 trillion without sources of funding, He said funding shall come from revenue generated from tolls made from Superhighway and Deep Sea Port. The deaf and dumb know that the aforementioned projects are not realistic. These are projects that shall not see the light of day as legal documentations like environmental impact assessment documentations has not been perfected.

“Cross River state budget is the highest in Nigeria. Richer states like Lagos with overflowing revenue base do not have this type of huge budget expenditure.

“Cross River state will never balance their budget on annual basis neither would it reflect on the state expenditure base. That means, Cross River state’s spending next year shall exceed her non existent revenue income.”

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Reacting to the allegation, chief press secretary to the governor, Christian Ita, said the allegations are not true.

Ita said: “Why would the governor bribe them? Is it not their constitutional responsibility to work on the budget? The claim is laughable, it’s only typical of APC in Cross River state. We don’t take them seriously because they are a group of jesters and comic characters trying to distract the government.”

The state assembly spokesman, Mathew Olory, also denied the bribery allegations.

Olory said: “It is not true. We can’t subject the governor to that situation. This is not the first budget we are receiving, the budget was supposed to be submitted earlier but we got a message from the SA budget that some MDAs were not ready so when the governor came we received the budget. There’s nothing like that. If APC wants to make any case, they should talk with facts and figures and be able to prove their case.”

Earlier, reported that Governor Ben Ayade paid December salary in November to enable workers make early purchases in December.

The governor’s decision was to enable workers make early purchases before the hike in food prices which usually accompanies the December periods.

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