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Cross River Assembly slashes 2015 budget by 14.8%

By on April 4, 2015

The Cross River State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the 2015 budget of N127.85bn into law.

The figure represents a slash of 14.8 per cent of the original estimates of N149.44bn presented to the House by Governor Liyel Imoke in October 2014.

Presenting the budget, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Dr. Jacob Otu-Enyia, said after a careful study of the estimates by the committee, it was resolved that the sum of N127.85bn be adopted for passage as the state’s budget for this year.

The lawmaker gave reasons for the reduction of the budget to include the fall in oil prices to $53 per barrel and the current economic downturn in the country.

He said, “Governor Liyel Imoke presented a budget size of N149.44bn for the 2015 appropriation year. Having studied this budget with my committee members and following the radical drop of crude oil in the market, we had to cut down the budget size from N149.44bn to N127.85bn.

“This shows a variance of N21.59bn, representing 14.8 per cent. When this budget was presented, it was predicated upon oil price of $65 per barrel. But all of us are living witnesses that there was a radical drop in the price of crude oil in the international market, which affected our own budgetary provision.”

According to him, since the National Assembly adopted $53 per barrel as the crude oil benchmark, it is necessary to restructure the state’s budget and give priority to critical sectors.

The Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Mr. Larry Odey, said the 2015 budget would give priority to the economic sector of the state.

“The Cross River State appropriation bill for 2015 is hereby read for the third time and passed into law,” he said.

The passage of the budget was unanimously agreed by all members of the assembly.

Odey then asked the Clerk of the House, Mr. Bassey Ekpenyong, to prepare a clean copy of the bill to be presented to the governor for his assent.