In a recent statement during the One Day Budget Dialogue on Discussing the 2024 Proposed Budget, Otu Otu Ita, the Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Budget Monitoring and Evaluation, Tuesday in Calabar, shed light on challenges in presenting the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) NEGROIDHAVEN can report.
Ita explained that due to the governor’s assumption of duties on May 29 and the requirement to submit the budget to the Assembly before the last day of October, the timing was insufficient for the Executive to present the MTEF to the House of Assembly. However, hard copies of the MTEF and FSP have been developed and are available. The intent is to simplify the documents and make them accessible online in the coming days for public scrutiny.
Despite the timing challenges, Ita emphasized the commitment to transparency by providing graphical presentations of the MTEF and FSP, showcasing the government’s dedication to engaging with the public on fiscal matters. The dialogue, organized in collaboration with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Network (BTAN), brought together members of the civil society community in Cross River State.
His words, ‘It is also important that I mention that we have developed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) that is yet to be presented to the House of Assembly. These are graphical presentation, we have them in hard copies. But, we are hoping that in coming days we will present them to the House of Assembly.
‘But, it’s all about when the governor assumed duties. The governor assumed duties on May 29, and the budget had to go the Assembly before the last day of October so that timing did not allow the Executive to present the medium term expenditure framework to the Assembly.
‘But, hard copies are available. We are intending that in the coming days, when we simplify what we have we will also present them online for everyone to see.’
Recall that the State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu had proposed a budget size of N250,000,000 000 (two hundred and fifty billion naira) for the 2024 fiscal year, where capital expenditure is estimated to gulp, N154, 000,000,000 (one hundred and fifty-four billion naira) while the sum of N96,000,000,000 (Ninety six billion naira) is proposed for recurrent expenditure.
The Governor made this proposal at the Chambers of the State House of Assembly on Thursday 26th October, during the presentation of the State Budget Estimates and Appropriation Bill 2024 called, “The People’s First Budget”.
According to the Governor, sectors to be prioritized in 2024 include Education, Agriculture, Environment, Infrastructure, Youth and Sports Development, Security, Tourism and General Administration.
The Special Adviser’s remarks underscore the importance of open communication and the government’s efforts to enhance public understanding of budgetary processes. As the documents become available online, citizens will have the opportunity to review and contribute to the discourse surrounding the state’s financial strategies.