Joseph Odok|28 November 2017
I am recently bemused by talks about budget implementations in Nigeria. It leaves so less to be desired. Yet it applies in both National and states but with a more vibrant National Assembly, though most times petty, there is sufficient engagement on budget that I may not need to dwell so much on national budget. In comparison of the management of economy between the national government and State, I think the federal government have shown more more prudence than our governors. In all fairness our various governors in various States are the major obstacles to national development as they have become tax collectors of various allocations and IGR solely to fund their personal businesses, families, concubines, in gross neglect of local government autonomy and capital expenditures in an infrastructural drive.
The passage of 2017 appropriation bill in CRS was done in secrecy. Strong rumours amongst some Cross River State House of Assembly members suggests that the Cross River State House of Assembly passed an oral presentation of the budget as the appropriation bill 2017. This caught my attention and I was invited for a presentation on Hit FM, Calabar to challenge the Cross River State Government to make public the 2017 budget by downloading the budget in any website or social media platform. Till date the people of Cross River were prevented from citing/sighting the budget, it remained in secrecy to confirm something was sinister. Laughably the , budget is claimed to be 2017 about 80% implemented. A budget of over 300 billion Cross River State appropriation Bill 2017 has nothing to show as Cross river state have remained in a geometrically retrogressive mode since the emergence of the Ayade's government
If government media men are to be taken seriously, it is clear that the 80% implementation of over 300 billion means that more than 250 billion was sourced and used by the Ayade's government in 2017. This is besides the various release in terms of bail out funds. My question remains what have the CRS Government done with over 250 billion appropriation release to him for the development of the state when there is a systemic collapse?
These are indices of the cross river state today that will assist us to access the performance index of the Governor vis-a-vis implementation of the 2017 budget:
1. Education: Cross River State has no well planned educational policy. It's schools are one of the most dilapidated amongst the States in South South, it remains an educationally disadvantaged state with one of the worst State's library in Nigeria. Workers at various levels primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions are shortchanged and under paid. Currently, ASUU CRUTECH is on strike over unpaid salaries and arrears. Promotion exercise has never been implemented in Cross River State since 2009/2010. This month, the governor reversed 2 month implementation of promotion for a minute section of teachers. The performance index Cross River State in national examinations like WAEC, NECO, and JAMB is poor. Besides sorting, more than 80% students that schooled in CRS owned primary and secondary schools cannot pass without micro chips and sorting. Sorting fee is justified in most families today
2. Zero Funding of MDAs: No government have killed and buried t he various Ministries, Agencies and Departments like the Ayade's government. No repress, allowances, no facilities in all the Ministries, Agencies and Departments. MDAs exists only as revenue generation outlets for the personal income of Frank Ayade, the co-governor and brother of the CRS Governor
3. Roads: There is a total collapse of roads in Cross River State. The non maintenance and continuation of the Liyel Imoke Ekorinim drainage drive creates an impending doom as major areas in Calabar are now flooded. The Akpabuyo road have become a deep seaport. The Calabar/Ikom/Ogoja/Obudu Federal Road is in total disrepair with commuters often made to sleep days on roads. Rural roads that were poorly done by the Imoke's government have mostly been washed away
4. Collapse of Local Government Structure: The government of Prof. Ayade has seen the total annihilation of the local government system. During and after the expiration the tenure of the democratically elected Local Government Chairmen and Councillors, no Local Government council have been able to executed a single project in the Ayade's administration
5. Stoppage of Scholarship for students: though the Liyel Imoke's government left an epileptic scholarship scheme, the Ayade's government has totally obliterated funding in scholarship. Since assumptions into office, the Ayade government have not offered any scholarship to any students nor continued with the funding of students that were previously sent for scholarship by the Liyel Imoke's government. In fact since the inception of the Ayade's administration, foreign students doing their degrees and post graduate studies have long been abandoned in foreign land despite being sent there on state's scholarship
6. Neglect of the Cross River State Water System: In the Donald Duke's era and early part of Liyel Imoke's administration, Cross River State had one of the best water systems in Nigeria. In fact there were attempts to connect the whole villages in Cross River State to a common water grid which attracted international support from various agencies. Sadly at the later part of the Liyel Imoke's administration to the Ayade's administration, wide spread corruption have destroyed the Cross River State water system. Today the Cross River State Water Board is moribund and dysfunctional
7. Security: There are increasing cases of insecurity in the State ranging from kidnapping, assassinations, broad day robbery, extra judicial killings, arms proliferation, drugs abuse etc. Some assassination are state sponsored, especially the failed assassination attempts on me by DG Cross River State Homeland Security and obvious attempt of the Cross River State government to compromise investigation of my case using the office of the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State, Inter Governmental Affairs, Liaison office and the Cross River State police command.
8. Abandonment of major legacies by previous administration: The Prof Ayade's administration have seen utter abandonment of legacies of Cross River State like the Obudu Ranch Resort, Obudu Mountain Race, Games Reserves across the state, tourist attraction centers like Marina Resort, Tinapa, Agbokim Water Falls etc in pursuit of unrealisable dreams like Deep Seaport, Super High Way and other unimplemented MOUs
9. Appointment of miscreants, cultists and misfits as cabinet members and political appointees: Ayade government is the first to conceive the concept of aptitude test for political appointees yet the worst in selection of quality persons as government appointees
10. Huge tax System: Ayade's government has seen increased tax system that is constantly driving people and businesses from Cross River State. These structures of extortions ranges from the establishment of Cross River State Mobile Courts, the Board for tax on Carbon Emissions from Generator sets and cooking gas, various levies for tricycles, taxi drivers, trucks. Because of zero funding of MDAs, various Ministries, Departments and agencies have developed a tax system to enrich themselves by extorting the people.
How has the cross river state government employed the 2017 Budget to develop the State?
Social Change Agent