TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

CROSS RIVER STATE BUDGET SPEECH 2012 DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR LIYEL IMOKE, GOVERNOR CROSS RIVER STATE.

Source: thewillnigeria.com
Click for Full Image Size
Listen to article

Mr. Speaker
Distinguished Hon. Members
Of the Cross River State
House of Assembly
Fellow Cross Riverians

I count it a great privilege to address you today on the occasion of the presentation of our 2012 Budget Estimates for consideration and approval by the House.


It is important to mention that your co-operation has contributed immensely to the realization of our simple resolution to touch the lives of our people, irrespective of where they are domiciled.


Last year, our budget was revenue-driven. This was intended to re-awakened our zeal to fill revenue gaps through the adoption of multi-sectoral revenue generating measures. It was a venture well-conceived with the best of intentions.


Our financial validity as a state lies in our ability to generate resources that will enable us reach out to all Cross Riverians in every constituency in the State.


As I address you today, our recurrent obligations have risen astronomically due to the new wage regime for our public servants. I am happy that the House intercede during the implementation of this new regime and the Unions, from all indications have realized that a wage structure which widens the gap between the senior and junior cadre of the civil service, rather than bridging it is inherently unsustainable and wholly unacceptable.


In spite of Mr. President’s initiative to mitigate our lost oil revenue, we continue to grapple with this unjust deprivation which has robbed us of over N20 billion so far.


Nevertheless, our determination to deliver on our goals remains uncompromised. These challenges have served as motivation for us to break fallow grounds and re-examine the performance and promoting our services to our people.


One of such instance is in relation to our new budgeting system which is now operational across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and has made it possible for us to remain Focused, Responsible and Transparent in the running of State business.


With measures such as these in place, we can conveniently review the 2011 budget and Appropriate for the year 2012.

2011 BUDGET IN RETROSPECT

Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Hon. Members, the 2011 Budget was termed "Budget of Consolidation”, reflecting our determination to build on the gains of the 2010 budget which was anchored on Internal Revenue Generation (IGR).


Last year’s Appropriation remained consistent with the State’s 7-point Agenda which represents a multi-faceted development plan for the State. In 2011, we achieved a reasonable degree of fiscal discipline and transparency with the implementation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). Here are some sectoral highlights of 2011 budget.

INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE

As mentioned earlier, the 2011 budget was revenue-driven. The revised target for internally generated revenue was N15,064,988,408 (Fifteen Billion, Sixty-Four Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, Four Hundred and Eight naira.


We believe that with the reconstituted internal revenue service greater efficiencies will be attained in the next fiscal year.


Our efforts at revenue generation are aimed at freeing up funds for investment in capital projects, which will contribute to improving the indices of development for the State. The challenges of development are significant but we are steadily addressing the needs of our people. In the 21st century, it is no longer acceptable to us to see our people living without access to electricity, our clinics lacking basic medicaments and schools not properly equipped and managed. We will continue to intervene to redress these deprivations.


In 2011, 41% of the total budget was earmarked for the Economic Sector in view of its potentials to create business opportunities and grow the economy. While the total Recurrent Expenditure for this Sector wasN13,483,805,999.32 (Thirteen Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty-Three Million, Eight Hundred and Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine Naira, Thirty-Two Kobo), the Capital Expenditure component was N35,190,786,157.57 (Thirty-Five Billion, One Hundred and Ninety Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Seven Naira, Fifty-Seven Kobo).

AGRICULTURE

Mr. Speaker, Hon members, as you are aware, Agriculture is, in real terms, one key sector which our State has a significant comparative advantage. Consequently, we are leveraging this with a view to creating productive and sustainable jobs for our youths.


Last year, we earmarked the sum of N2,311,794,618.38 (Two Billion, Three Hundred and Eleven Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety-Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighteen Naira, Thirty-Eight Kobo) for the sector. Of that amount, N1billion was received from the Federal Government as loan for disbursement to farmers at a single nominal digit interest rate. Our administration shall continue to prioritise value-addition at source for agricultural produce through processing, storage and distribution before the products leave the State in our bid to expand the agri-business opportunities in Cross River State. To this end two oil palm estates, Calaro and Ibiae, were privatized and the private investor has already made significant progress in developing the estates.


Also, in the year under review, the Cross River Agricultural and Rural Empowerment Scheme (CARES) was not only strengthened, but expanded to meet the target groups such as women, youths and the poor. The Ministry also facilitated the acquisition of tractors under a tripartite Public, Private Partnership equity arrangement involving the Federal Government, Cross River State Government and the Private Sector. The Ministry also commenced its quality assurance initiative by issuing seals of quality for agricultural produce and consequently enhancing its revenue generation potentials. The Commercial Agriculture Programme and other dev elopement partners supported initiatives are being fully implemented.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Our gains in this economic sub-sector have received local and international acclamation. Our State remains the premier destination for business or leisure.

In 2011, we sustained our efforts with regards to the creation of a conducive environment for Private Sector Participation in the sector.

I am delighted to inform this house that our annual Calabar Festival is on the verge of self sustenance aided by increased sponsorships from the corporate world. We shall continue to meticulously guide this sector as our people begin to explore and exploit the various opportunities created by the development of the tourism industry which is fast becoming our second economy. The Bebi Airstrip was equipped with new and modern navigational aids and has only recently been certified by the relevant aviation regulatory agencies.

INVESTMENT PROMOTION

In the year under review, Government secured the services of consultants to develop a comprehensive policy and incentives framework for engaging interested investors. This initiative has started yielding dividends as several multinational firms have signed MOUs on agricultural estates development and sundry engagements in the State.


Wilmer International Ltd. has commenced the development of several thousand hectares of oil palm plantation with associated oil palm milling and refinery operations valued at $200 million in the State. OANDO has completed its gas pipeline project and is now delivering gas to Calabar. This presents a great opportunity for rapid industrial growth and wealth creation. Additionally, Investors in the state continue to invest heavily in expanding their activities and their production capacity.

LANDS AND HOUSING

This vital sub-sector had a budgetary allocation of N1,779,626,210.90 (One Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twenty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Ten Naira, Ninety Kobo in 2011. This provision was intended to facilitate the full implementation of the Cross River Geographic Information System (CRGIS) initiative. The CRGIS will capture all land and property with accurate coordinates such that expected revenues accruable to the State Government could be determined electronically, thus minimizing leakages. This project is practically completed and will be in full operation the new year.


Apart from the vigorous pursuit of the Urban Development Master Plan which is also 85% completed, the Government has earmarked specific land for agricultural and industrial Estate use. These parcels of land are at Ikom, Akamkpa, Etung and Boki Local Government Areas. The renovation and restructuring of Surveys and Town Planning to house the CRGIS has been completed. It is expected that the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) will commence forthwith.

FORESTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Hon members, you are well aware of Cross River State’s position as the driving force of environmental conservation remains unrivalled. We are one of the 25 bio-diversity hot spots in the world today. This puts our agenda on the global arena.


We have also made considerable gains with the global REDD+ and other climate change campaigns. The ban on all logging activities within the State remains as a way of preserving our forest stock and contributing to the stability of the global ecosystem.


We expect to access substantial technical and financial resources from the UN-REDD programme to support the State’s REDD readiness efforts.


In the light of this, we have expanded REDD activities to other forest communities in the State such as Efumkpa, Ikoi Ekperem, and Owai in Akamkpa and Okokorin in Obubra and Agoi Ibami and Agoi Ekpo in Yakurr – all in a bid to partake in the emerging low carbon economy through the carbon credit mechanism.


In 2011, the State Government submitted Preliminary Engineering designs for twelve (12) critical/priority erosion sites to the World Bank under the World Bank sponsored Nigeria Erosion Control and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP). To further consolidate our position as the cleanest state capital, we invested in (6) Backloader compactor trucks and other equipment for the Integrated Waste Management System (IWMS).

MORTGAGE FINANCE & ESTATE DEVELOPMENT

Government engaged Consultants to develop a comprehensive housing policy and an affordable housing strategy in 2011. We also commenced the restructuring and recapitalization of CROSPIL.


Work is at advanced stage at Akpabuyo Housing Estate. The first set of housing units would be completed and handed over to our deserving civil servants in March 2012. We intend to replicate this in the three senatorial districts of the State for those who cannot afford outright property construction or purchase.

BUDGET AND TREASURY MANAGEMENT
INFORMATION SYSTEM
Our determination to entrench transparency and process-driven accountability saw us committing funds to the building of an integrated financial management information Unit. This project otherwise christened BATMIS (Budget, Accounting & Treasury Management Information System) project was implemented in collaboration with the World Bank and is now in full operation.

DEBT MANAGEMENT

As a State, we are committed to meeting our debt servicing obligations. In 2011, we spent over N10,000,000,000 (Ten Billion Naira) on servicing of our local and international debt obligations.

STATE PLANNING COMMISSION
The State Planning Commission as a pivotal driver of the state’s development agenda has undertaken a series of initiatives designed to advance its activities. In 2011, the State Planning commission (SPC) in conjunction with Project Harmony, a marketing research services consultant conducted a Tourism Potential Evaluation to further develop the State’s tourism industry.

In addition to this the commission has successfully compiled a comprehensive compendium of Cross River State facts and figures. In the cause of the year, the new law setting up the States statistical bureau was passed. This will further strengthen our planning and development capacities.

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT

In 2011, we earmarked N24,059,875,081.76 (Twenty-Four Billion, Fifty-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand, Eighty-One Naira, Seventy-Six Kobo) to address our programmes on Transport (Roads and Bridges).


Our efforts have yielded positive dividends as work is in progress in the development of roads, electricity and water supply infrastructure in Ikot Effanga Mkpa I and II and Ikot Ekpo estates in Calabar Metropolis.


We have equally moved to decongest the city of Calabar by commencing a new by-pass from the Margaret Ekpo Airport to NdidemUsang Iso road Extension. Work has also commenced on the Nyangasang roads in Calabar Municipality.


Contracts have been awarded for erosion control works at Ikot Uduak, Beebobsco, Nyaghasang and other sites. Work is also progressing satisfactorily on the Channel II drain project in Calabar.


Nko-Agoi road has been completed and is ready for commissioning. I am happy to report that the Urban Renewal Roads Project in Obudu, Calabar Municipality and Calabar south Local Government Area are progressing satisfactorily. Contracts have just been awarded for the next phase of the urban renewal roads projects in Ugep, Ikom, Ogoja and Obudu. The Okundi – Nsadop – Onitsha farm – Iso Bendeghe – Nkarasi road project is now in progress.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

In addition, construction work has commenced as over 28 roads measuring over 474 kilometers across the State under the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP). Progress is also appreciable with regard to public transportation, we have commenced the procurement process to develop both staff and hardware requirements for our transport data administration and motor vehicle registration. During the year, we procured 5/Five fully fitted state-of-the-art operation vehicles, 25 operational motorcycles with state-of-the-art radio communication equipment. We engaged new personnel for the department and a special Marshal Unit created to enhance motor traffic operations. The effect of these developments is evident especially across the Calabar metropolis where there has been a smooth evolution of our public transportation system.

RURAL ROADS

A provision of N5,075,969,266.73 (Five Billion, Seventy-Five Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Nine thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-Six Naira, Seventy-Three Kobo) was made in 2011.


In the year under review, the 530km rural roads and 764 metre span bridges under the Rural Development Agency (RUDA) were vigorously pursued, thus attaining 85% completion overall. Indeed, Thirteen (13) of these roads, covering a distance of over 200km have attained 100% completion, with eight of them commissioned in March, 2011.


ELECTRIFICATION

In 2011, we recorded significant success in our efforts to provide access to electricity all over the communities of the State. Work is on-going in street lighting of roads within the State Housing, Federal Housing and some major streets in Calabar South as well as the maintenance of the existing street and traffic lights in the metropolis. We expect to commission these projects early in the New Year. Sixty-Seven electrification project sites were accommodated in the 2011 Budget. Out of these, 51 had been completed and linked to the National grid while the remaining 16 project sites are at advanced levels of completion.

SOCIAL SECTOR SERVICES EDUCATION

A provision of N18,648,719,573.39 (Eighteen Billion, Six Hundred and Forty-Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira, Thirty-Nine Kobo) was made for Education in 2011.


In the course of the year, we have strengthened our intervention in the comprehensive renovation of schools. Civil work on the renovation of (Sixty secondary schools) has reached 90% completion, while several capital projects in the College of Education, Akamkpa and Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) are at advanced stages of completion.


2011 also saw considerable efforts being made at the development of the capacity of our personnel. A roadmap for the revolutionizing of teaching methodology via e-learning was approved and implementation commenced in 2011.


We have also commenced designs in respect of construction work on the proposed State Polytechnic at Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area. Construction work is expected to commence in the New Year. Several hundreds of our students benefitted from our expanded overseas and local scholarship schemes. We have continued to intervene in the development of infrastructure in our primary schools through SUBEB.

HEALTH

The State Ministry of Health had a provision of N4,515,570,450.58 (Four Billion, Five Hundred and Fifteen Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Naira, Fifty-Eight Kobo) in 2011.


Procurement processes were concluded and contracts awarded for capital projects in the Nursing Schools and College of Health Technology. The Programmes of the College of Health Technology are accredited in the course of the year as a result of our intervention and the efforts of the Provost and Staff of the Institution.


We equally collaborated with the Medical and Dental council to upscale facilities for the accreditation of General Hospitals Calabar, Ugep and Ogoja to serve as training centres for new medical personnel.


In 2011, Roll Back Malaria in collaboration with Nigeria Red Cross and IFRC conducted a survey using the Management Survey Tool (MST) to assess the result of the LLIN distribution in ten Local Government Areas of the State. The success of the scheme led to its extension to additional LGA’s.


The free health care programme and the primary health are programme in collaboration with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation recorded tremendous success in the course of the year and was extended to additional LGA’s. Over 30,000 children and pregnant women have been treated. We have also witnessed a significant reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates in these communities.


To further drive the scheme, the State Government invested in the renovation of drug stores, procurement of 5.0KVA generators, eight ambulances and vehicles for the programme’s medical officers.


Construction work on the new General Hospitals in Odukpani and Boki are at completion stage while contracts are in the process of being awarded for the comprehensive equipping of both hospitals.

SOCIAL WELFARE

We strengthened our effort to reach the most vulnerable in the society with our social welfare interventions. Over 3000 households received benefits and the conditional cash transfer scheme while members of each household received relevant skills training preparatory to the existing scheme.

INFORMATION AND ORIENTATION

A key tenet of democracy is access to information which subsequently supports transparency and accountability in governance. To this end, we invested heavily in 2011.

Installation of digital transmitters for the State’s Radio/Television Stations have been concluded and currently being test run. For the first time in our history, CRBC TV and Radio is being received in most parts of the State. Attention has equally shifted to the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation where procurement processes for the purchase of basic modern printing equipment have been concluded.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT YOUTH & SPORTS

We had provided the sum of N3,837,873,852.52 (Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Two Naira, Fifty-Two Kobo) for Youth and Sport Development in 2011. And we have attained some crucial milestone. Procurement processes for the construction of the Ikom and Ogoja Stadia are being concluded with construction work expected to commence in earnest in the New Year. Our comprehensive sports development programme has began to yield results. Not only has the State become a destination for Sports events and festivals, but we have also become national champions. In the course of the year we hosted and won the National Secondary Schools Sports Festival. We also won the hosting rights for the 2014 National Sports Festival. We remain committed to our Youth Development and Employability Programmes. In the course of the year, several of our youths were engaged as staff and trained in several MDA’s including the Department of Public Transportation, the Cross River GIS Agency, the ICT Department to name a few.

WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

As an all-inclusive administration, it is our intention that all members of society are carried along in the wave of our development. We have continued to pay attention to issues of gender mainstreaming, care of pregnant women and children and the vulnerable in society.

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

In 2011 a provision of N9,058,066,937.51 (Nine Billion, Fifty-Eight Million, Sixty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Seven Naira, Fifty-One Kobo) was earmarked for regional development covering water supply, lands and housing, sewage, drainage and refuse disposal. We have also concluded situation analysis and developed growth strategy for a comprehensive urban and Regional Development Master Plan.


As I mentioned earlier, during the year, we undertook renovation of the Surveys and Town Planning Department which houses the Cross River Geographical Information System (CR-GIS). We also completed and commissioned the new ultra modern office of the Auditor General of the State. Treasury offices in some parts of the State have been constructed and are being furnished. Work has commenced on the comprehensive rehabilitation of the Urban Water Schemes in Ogoja, Obudu, Ikom and Itigidi. We expect them to be commissioned early in the New Year.


We have identified 80,000ha out of our proposed 140,000 ha as part of the urban and regional development master plan, with regard to a land bank for Agricultural and Industrial use. Surveys are still on-going.


The Border Community Development Commission has concluded the procurement processes to embark on projects in 40(forty) border communities across the State valued at N1.34 bn. The projects include 8(eight) police stations with staff quarters, furnishing and water components; 13(thirteen) health centres with staff quarters, furnishing and water component; 8 (eight) six-class-room blocks with water and furnishing.


Work has commenced on the Calabar International Convention Centre with the piling contractors fully mobilized on site. Procurement process for the road infrastructure and civil works are being concluded. We have also, in the cause of the year entered into agreement with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) for the provision of …………….services for the development of the Specialist Hospital.

INTERNATIONAL DONOR SUPPORT

MOUs have also been signed for both UNICEF and MPP 9 (DMU) projects.


Grants support to the State rose from N1,315,034,637.33.

(One Billion, Three Hundred and Fifteen Million, Thirty-Four Thousand, Six hundred and thirty-Seven Naira, Thirty-Three Kobo) only in 2010 to N1,671,728,391.28 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety-One Naira, Twenty-Eight Kobo) only in 2011. This represented an increase of Twenty Seven percent.


Two very significant EU (European Union) projects – SRIP (Support to Reforming Institutions Programme) and the WSSSRP (Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reforms Programme) came to a close in 2011. SRIP I stimulated the on-going reforms in procurement and accountability in Public Sector Governance at State and Local Government levels. In these respects the State’s performance stood out across the country as Cross River State won an award of an initial 1 million Euros and a reward of $1 million for good performance from EU and UNICEF. We are fast becoming the model for the transfer of best practice and engagement with international development partners.


In 2011, we successfully implemented the Etung MPP 9 LMU (Local Management Unit) of 33 livelihood and income generation projects amounting to about N300,000,000.00(Three Hundred Million Naira). In 2011, UNICEF also committed itself to the tune of N400,000,000.00 (Four Hundred Million in support of our efforts towards achieving 100% immunization and deworming in the State.


Our increasingly beneficial relationships with international development partners are intended to reduce extreme poverty, avail our people access to qualitative education, reduce maternal and infant mortality as well as address the HIV/AIDS’ pandemic.

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

It has always been our desire to cut cost in terms of Recurrent Expenditure to make way for capital projects due to the compelling financial constraints, this administration has been lean and efficient in its expedition of its policies.

CROSS RIVER STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

As stated earlier, this administration is very appreciative of the cordiality of the existing relationship between the three arms of Government in Cross River State. It is imperative that we continue to collaborate to ensure that the social infrastructure, qualitative education, good health, food and security our people need are delivered.


In the course of the year, the ultra modern State House of Assembly Office Complex was completed and commissioned and equipped with modern, state-of-the-art facilities that will aid legislators in the performance of their duties.

JUDICIARY

We have continued to build the capacity of personnel in the judiciary. To this end, its support from the World Bank for automation of recording of court proceedings has aided Capacity building in this regard.

ICT DEVELOPMENT

In 2011, this administration spent about N450,000,000.00(Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) on the improvement of the productivity of the workforce through partnership with the private sector. As a government, we appreciate the importance of ICT and its cross cutting role in facilitating the knowledge economy.


Our MOU with one of the leading GSM telecommunication outfits is ultimately targeted at providing universal network coverage of communities in the State, creating a platform for the provision of a number of a technology enabled services in health, education and tourism, utilizing applications of mobile phones. Our SmartGov. CRSG project is a transformational project; and the first of its kind in the country. This project will attract an investment of about N1.2 billion into the local economy; create data for planning and automation in our agencies.


The Tinapa Knowledge Park, which was conceived in 2011, is a landmark project that is targeted at leveraging the presently existing infrastructure and the safe and serene environment of Calabar to create a regional hub for various ICT driven agencies including software Development and Testing, Call Centres, Hardware Assembly, Data Migration & Digitization and for a number of ICT enabled services for our local economy to the State.

2012 BUDGET

Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Hon. Members, in 2012, we intend to further consolidate on the gains made in 2011 as far as our focus on Internally Generated Revenue is concerned. Our budget will still be engineered to ensure that crucially our internal revenue generation constitutes a significant proportion of our total inflows.


Our objective for 2012 is to internally generate revenue to a level that would support significantly the State Government Recurrent Expenditure (Personnel and Overheads).


Again, I commend this humble house for passing the new revenue law. In line with the provision of the law, a new Board is being constituted and its primary role will be to provide the general policy guidance to the Inland Revenue Service. We believe the new team of managers will employ creative and innovative strategies that could address revenue leakages in our MDAs in order to optimize IGR, widen existing revenue sources, modernize our processes and educate tax payers with a view to encouraging compliance.


The State will continue to make its monthly contribution regularly to the Reserve Fund which today stands at over N5.6 billion. We expect to contribute N600 million to the fund next year.


We intend to continue to meet our debt servicing obligations in 2012. Mr. Speaker, the challenge we face in the pursuit of our well thought-out development agenda is stark in the light of our severally limited finances. Our efforts at efficiently managing our public debts have continued to yield desired dividends, gaining the support and confidence of relevant financial institutions and our partners. The State Debt Management Office (DMO) set up early in this administration is proficient in the management of the State’s existing debt portfolio. We are in the process of finalizing the legal framework necessary to strengthen the operation of the office, as we look forward to continually equip and support the office to ensure the efficient implementation of our debt management programme.

Let me re-state our commitment to remain a responsible government by honouring the terms of our debt agreements and maintaining a sustainable level of debt commensurate with the rate and pace of our development as a State. We have, accordingly set aside the sum of N13 billion for debt servicing in 2012. This represents 22% of our total recurrent estimate for the year.


Encouraged by our progress and seemingly impressed by the management of our debt profile, we are expecting about N5.6 billion as loans and grants from International Development Organisations in 2012.

We will continue to implement the medium term sector strategy in our development policies and planning while ensuring focused, responsible and transparent budgeting system. Far from constituting obstacles, our financial constraints have only served as motivation to be more creative and innovative. We are not unmindful of the fact that our wage bill has doubled due to the recently adopted wage structure for our public sector workers. It can be argued with some validity that this intervention is not only necessary but long over due. I am inclined to agree with this position. However, the challenge is our ability to meet this obligation in the long-run while still maintaining the rapid pace of development in the State. We therefore appeal for understanding and cooperation as we look to address any discrepancies with a view to continuing our developmental projects and programs in the New Year.


Mr. Speaker, my administration’s desire to develop Cross River State and leave behind enduring legacies is relentless.


It is on this premise that I present to you the 2012 budget, which is aptly tagged the BUDGET OF DELIVERY as we continue to deliver dividends to the good people of Cross River State.


We are, therefore, proposing a budget size of N144,626,771,453.25(One Hundred and Forty-Four Billion, Six Hundred and twenty six Million, seven Hundred and seventy-One Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Three Naira, twenty five kobo) only with the following inflow projections:

Recurrent Revenue: Internal Sources N25,929,535,563

Federal Sources N39,294,773,824
N65,224,309,387
Capital Receipts N79,402,462.066

N144,626,771,453

Our Expenditure breakdown is as follows:
Sector Total Recurrent Expenditure N Capital Expenditure N Total Budget

N % of Budget
Economic 26,617,209,644.02 41,637,603,179.50 68,254,812,823.52 47

Social Services 16,876,681,930.23 19,455,369,613.01 36,332,051,543.24 25

Regional Development 1,212,652,491.24 12,470,698,478.64 13,683,350,969.88 10

General Administration 15,298,391,050.91 11,058,165,065.70 26,356,556,116.61 18

Total Outflow 60,004,935,116.40 84,621,836,336.85 144,626,771,453.25 100

The Economic Sector represents a significant proportion of our activity and is expected to stimulate real growth and create a productive value chain. The components of this sector and their provisions are as follows:

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture still remains our top priority in view of its huge economic potentials. This sector still constitutes the primary sector for wealth and job creation for our economy.


In 2012, we shall continue to partner with major private sector agricultural firms/Investors to rapidly develop the sector with an emphasis on agro-processing and value addition. We expect that more agricultural estates will be established through such partnerships. Also, the CARES Programme will be closely monitored to ensure that the key beneficiaries are identified and empowered. In 2012, the Ministry of Agriculture will make available of at least 50,000 hectares of arable land for commercial farming. We intend to establish an integrated agricultural project in each of the senatorial districts of the State with the intention of creating job opportunities and developing the entrepreneurial capacity of our youths. The Ministry shall also strengthen agricultural extension services. The sum of N2,248,149,406.30 (Two Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-Eight Million, One Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Four Hundred and Six Naira, Thirty Kobo) is provided for the sub-sector in 2012. Benchmarks have been set and we will monitor and report on the progress of farmers who benefited from the one billion naira agric loan recently disbursed.

FORESTRY AND ENVIRONMENT
Mr. Speaker, our environmental conservation credentials are unparalleled in the country and must be sustained.

We are not unaware of the challenges faced as a result of the ban on logging activities in the State. However, this has proven a worthwhile and necessary intervention to help us protect our ecosystem especially in the light of developments from the global climate change debates and the possible financial implications. For the State to enjoy co-operation and support of forest communities in managing the forests for carbon concession rather than for timber exploitation; the Forestry Commission will introduce the “Loyalty” as against the “Royalty” payment with effect from next year. We expect to access substantial resources from the UN-REDD to support the State’s REDD+ readiness efforts. We shall further expand REDD+ activities to more forest communities in the State.


In 2012, the State shall fund the stabilization and Reclamation of 12 critical erosion sites under the World Bank NEWMAP Project. The State shall also develop a conventional sewage treatment plant and continue to procure waste evacuation equipment. The sum of N2,592,006,236.14 (Two billion, five hundred and ninety two million, six thousand, two hundred and thirty six naira, fourteen kobo )is provided for this purpose.


TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

We shall strive to maintain our leadership position in the tourism industry in the country and strive to be a key player in the West African sub region.


The Annual Calabar Festival which has become synonymous with the Christmas festivities has grown every year and 2012 will be no different. We shall continue to strive to create a conducive environment for private sector participation and eventual ownership of our tourism industry. We will invest in the development of tourism site across the State as Qua Falls, Agbokim Waterfalls, Afi Mountain Resort, Alok Monoliths amongst others with a view to enhancing these assets and making them visitor ready. The sum of N1,739,383,010 (One Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Nine Million, Three Hundred and Eighty-Three Thousand, Ten Naira) is being earmarked for this purpose. It is my belief that Government shall begin to generate substantial resources from this sub-sector in 2012.

INVESTMENT PROMOTION

With a well developed policy and incentives framework for investors now in place, we expect more foreign participation in growing our economy in 2012. With large arable land, and attractive sites, agriculture and tourism are looking more viable as areas of interests for investors. In 2012, we expect the FDI portfolio to expand to over $1.5 billion from the current $750 million. We intend to commence Construction work on the Paradise Power Plant and to complete the ongoing work at the Portside Industrial Park in 2012. We will continue to work with the Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure that Calabar channel dredging project commences to open up this immensely crucial commercial trading avenue for the economy.

The Micro Enterprise Development Agency (MEDA) will implement the new indices for entrepreneural development and agri business support for women and youth. N157,040,022.26 (One hundred and fifty seven million, forty thousand, twenty two naira, twenty six kobo) is allocated to this sector in 2012.

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
We shall continue with our aggressive urban and rural development agenda in 2012. We are setting aside the sum of N25,900,728,030.23 (Twenty-Five Billion, Nine hundred Million, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Thirty Naira, Twenty-Three Kobo) for roads, bridges, water and public transportation infrastructure.


We expect that the Ndidem Usang Iso Road-Margaret Ekpo airport By-Pass shall reach 50% completion in 2012. We also intend to complete the construction work on over 52 urban roads in Calabar, and expect significant progress on all Urban Renewal in Ugep, Obudu, Ikom and Ogoja. We will continue to maintain Federal Roads within the limits of our resources.


Provision has been made for the completion of the Boki road network and the channel II drains while construction will commence in earnest on the new dual carriage way to the Convention centre and Tinapa.

The Road Maintenance Agency would also be expected to escalate its intervention beyond.

TRANSPORT (ROADS AND BRIDGES) RURAL ROADS

We shall continue with our policy of opening up rural areas to facilitate commerce and improve quality of life for our rural dwellers. We expect that the 475km Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) shall progress appreciably in 2012. The cost of these projects is shared between the African Development Bank (ADB) and the State Government with the State Government providing close to 66% of the funding.


To this effect, N5, 483,000,000.00 (Five Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty-Three Million Naira) has been provided in our 2012 estimates.


For Rural Roads projects under Rural Development Agency, we have provided N5,490,279,871.58 (Five Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Million, Two Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy-One Naira, fifty-Eight Kobo) to take the on-going road projects to completion and commence construction of additional rural roads. Roads under the first phase shall all be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

The State Border Communities Development Commission (SBCDC) has been provided with the sum of N519, 137,987.85 (Five Hundred and Nineteen Million, One Hundred and Thirty Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Seven Naira, Eighty Five kobo) in the 2012 Appropriation to intervene in health, education, security and other allied matters to this often disenfranchised constituency.

ELECTRIFICATION
Electricity is critical infrastructure for the development of any society. Therefore, we are sparing no efforts to ensure total electrification of our rural communities. Thirty-five electrification projects are earmarked for execution and are to be completed and commissioned in December next year. The ongoing urban street lighting programme in Calabar South and Calabar Municipality will be completed and commissioned in the Budget Year. We have provided the sum of N3,561,094,547.42 ( Three Billion, Five Hundred And Sixty One Million, Ninety Four Thousand, Five Hundred And Forty Seven Naira, Forty Two kobo)in the budget to complete on-going projects and initiate another batch in 2012.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
To ensure that the metropolis remains an attractive location for business and leisure, we shall complete the procurement process for software and hardware requirement for transport data administration in the State in 2012. We have therefore, set aside the sum of N323,478,121.01 ( Three Hundred And Twenty Three Million, Four Hundred And Seventy Eight Thousand, One Hundred And Twenty One Naira, one kobo) to consolidate on the work already being done in this sector.

SOCIAL SERVICES SECTOR EDUCATION
Education remains a key priority sector for this Administration. It is therefore at the top of the states investment agenda. We are proposing a provision of N24,341,261,824.88 (Twenty Four Billion Three Hundred and Forty One million, Two Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Eight hundred and Twenty Four Naira, Eighty Eight kobo). Part of which will be used to embark on the second phase of comprehensive renovation of 40 secondary schools across the State.

In 2012, we intend to introduce e-learning in our Primary, Post-Primary and Tertiary Institutions. I wish to also inform this honourable House that we intend to establish more secondary and primary schools in the State to meet the growth in demand. Designs have been completed for the establishment of Model Boarding Schools in each of the senatorial districts in the State. Construction work will commence in 2012.

Beside these, government will ensure that contracts already awarded for the furnishing of Laboratories and Computer Labs in the 60 secondary schools under comprehensive renovation of schools, Phase I are completed and commenced. Mr. Speaker, let me assure you that in 2012, we will continue to meet our UBE counterpart fund obligations to ensure that we access our outstanding UBEC financing for the development of infrastructure in our basic schools.

We shall continue to intervene in Cross River University of Technology, Cross River State College of Education and sundry tertiary institutions in the State. Construction work on the multi-purpose hall at CRUTECH will commence in the first quarter 2012.

The Proposed Polytechnic in Ugep, is expected to take off in 2012.Consequently we have set aside the sum of N600,000,000.00 (Six Hundred Million) for this purpose.

HEALTH
We intend to continue and strengthen our partnership with the Medical and Dental Council to upscale facilities in our Public Health Institutions. The Department of Community Health will continue its partnership with the TulsiChanrai foundation scaling up the programme to the remaining LGA’s in the State and ensuring that access to health care is provided to the most remote areas of our state. Our target is to achieve a ratio of 300 families to one health facility. Ambulance services and a clear-cut referral system is being established as part of the programme. We also expect that the health sector will consolidate its partnership with USAID, IFRI and NRC next year. The sum of N5,623,698,151.75

(Five Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Three million, Six Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty one Naira, Seventy Five kobo has been budgeted for the sector in 2012.

Project HOPE and project COMFORT will be strengthened with the setting up of a programme office for Project HOPE.

INFORMATION AND ORIENTATION
With the completion of installation of digital transmitters in the State’s broadcast outfits, attention will be shifted to the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation, to ensure we realize the daily publication of the Chronicle.

Conscious efforts would be made and mechanism put in place to sustain the publication and circulation of the Daily News Bulletin, the Kaleidoscope, PhotoNews Magazine, Giant Strides and the “Across the State” Radio News Programme.

New programmes will be developed by the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation to meet its digital status and wide coverage. All these would ensure that the Ministry of Information achieves its strategic and critical mandate of information management, social re-orientation and mobilization of the State’s citizenry.

The sum of N1,480,603,338.68( One Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty Million, Six Hundred and Three Thousand, Three Hundred and thirty Eight Naira, Sixty Eight kobo has been provided for this purpose.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, YOUTH AND SPORTS
We have provided the sum of N 4,886,488,227.93 (Four Billion, Eight Hundred And Eighty Six Million, Four Hundred And Eighty Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty Seven Naira, Ninety Three kobo)in order to continue with ongoing projects and programmes to undertake critical new ones. Specifically, we will commence actual construction work at Ikom and Ogoja stadia in 2012. We are therefore, setting aside the sum of N1 billion for these projects. The Ministry will effectively collaborate with other youth-related organizations such as the Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), CBOs and International Support Groups, on various forms of youth development activities. The Ministry will partner with MEDA in implementing new entrepreneural development and employment initiatives.

We shall re-structure the job-placement Department by creating Job-centres in all the 18 Local government Areas to provide a link between the unemployed youths and job opportunities within and outside the State. The six schools selected as centres of Sports Excellence – Maryknoll College, Government Secondary School, Obudu, Government Secondary School, Ikom, St. Brendan’s Secondary School, Obubra, St. Patrick’s Technical college, IkotAnsa, and Government Secondary School, Akamkpa shall be fully equipped.

WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
We shall continue to place emphasis on issues of gender mainstreaming, care for the aged and vulnerable in our society. In 2012, the Ministry intends to embark on a statewide sensitization of gender based laws in order to engage constructively with members of these vulnerable groups in our society.

LANDS AND HOUSING
The Cross River Geographic Information System will be fully operational in 2012. This will place us at a vantage position to collate land and property information electronically, thus facilitating efficient service delivery and issuance of title documents while minimizing revenue leakages.

We shall complete the on-going urban master plan and commence Real Estate Development in Cross River Central and Northern Senatorial districts. Efforts will be made to complete the survey and acquisition of land identified for the State land bank for housing, agriculture and industrial use. The design of the new secretariat complex will be completed and construction commenced. Also the completion of the Abuja Liaison Office and Guest House Complex will be pursued on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. The sum of N1,588,135,087.69 (One Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty Eight Million, One Hundred And Thirty Five Thousand, Eighty Seven Naira, Sixty Nine kobo) is earmarked for these purposes.

MORTGAGE FINANCE AND ESTATE DEVELOPMENT
The Akpabuyo Civil Servants Housing Project is expected to be completed in 2012. Also, similar estates shall be replicated across the three senatorial districts to provide affordable housing to most of our public officers. The sum of N 588,664,521.55 (Five Hundred And Eighty Eight Million, Six Hundred And Sixty Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty One Naira, Fifty Five kobo) has been hypothecated for this purpose.

The Calabar C…………Project will reach advance levels of construction in the coming year alongside critical infrastructure leading to the ………….and the new development area.

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Speaker, Hon members, as my administration widely acknowledged that its greatest assets are its people, Government is poised to reward the output of its workers.

The Office of Head of Service shall embark on accelerated and extensive competency based training for all MDAs, upgrade the Management Development Institute to a World Class standard, embark on Human Resource Process Mapping of MDAs and ensure quarterly monitoring evaluation of staff performance using Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

It is my belief that with the recent appreciation in the remuneration package of our staff, more service delivery and enhanced productivity would be achieved in 2012.

We shall continue to build the capacities of the workforce and carry out regular and frequent evaluation of staff to measure their efficiency and productivity.

SECURITY
Security of life and property remains a key focus for us. Particularly if we must grow key sectors of our economy. Accordingly, we will commission the newly equipped Quick Intervention Rapid Response Center and deploy dedicated personnel to the unit.

CROSS RIVER STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Also, we shall continue to invest in the capacity of our legislators whose performance contributes significantly to the quality of governance rendered to our people.

The sum of N1,716,632,375.74 ( One Billion, Seven Hundred And Sixteen Million, Six Hundred And Thirty Two Thousand, Three Hundred And Seventy Five Naira, Seventy Four kobo) is provided for both recurrent and capital needs.

JUDICIARY
In 2012, we intend to rehabilitate Judges Quarters, digitalize court proceedings and strengthen the justice delivery system across board. N942,545,335.47 (Nine hundred and forty two million, five hundred and forty five thousand, three hundred and thirty five naira, forty seven kobo ) has been provided for that purpose.

ICT DEVELOPMENT
2012 will witness the commencement of ICT enabled learning in our schools, the establishment of resource centres at local government level for the creation of grassroot capacity in partnership with federal agencies, the private sector and local governments etc. Provision has also been made for the take off of the Knowledge City Project. All these programmes are targeted at significantly increasing the level of skills, creating opportunities for our youth and ensuring that Cross River is positioned to compete favourably in the emerging global knowledge economy. The sum of N 631,505,519.13 (Six Hundred And Thirty Million, Five Hundred And Five Thousand, Five Hundred and Nineteen Naira, Thirteen kobo) is set aside to facilitate all these.

CONCLUSION
Mr. Speaker, I must confess that nothing gives me greater satisfaction than seeing our modest efforts changing the lives of our people for the better.

As we intervene in our rural areas, I am impressed that we have inadvertently rekindled hope in our people – the hope that Government cares about them.

The executive alone could not have made such a difference in our people without the collaboration of other arms of Government.

We appreciate the legislature as an important partner in our democracy. With your support, it would be possible to leave behind a legacy of hope, growth and prosperity for our next generation. I am hopeful that together we shall achieve our collective aspirations for our people.

Thank you for your attention and assurances of continued collaboration.

Merry Christmas in advance.
Thank you and God bless!