OrderPaperToday – The Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) has accused the state assembly of receiving N10million for each member to pass the 2018 budget.
The Governor of the state, Ben Ayade had submitted a N1.3trillion budget proposal tagged, “Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation’’ to the assembly.
In a statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mens Ikpeme on Thursday, the APC further alleged that the lawmakers serve as a rubber stamp to the governor.
The party also blasted the governor, saying: “In his usual evasive fraudulent ways, he could not expose the state’s budget documents to the public nor do his dishonorable assembly rubber stamp members have copies. They instead compromised by receiving N10 million each for ease of passage of Ayade’s naked, corrupt and fraudulent budget.”
The party also demanded that the Governor tell Cross Riverians the clear source of funding for the budget.
According to the statement, Ayade did not make distinctions between his mode of expenditure but merely went to the Cross River Assembly to lecture them on academic budget rather than present the state’s budget.
The statement 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.
It continued: “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.”
The Governor’s chief press secretary, Christian Ita and the spokesman of the assembly, Mathew Olory however denied the bribery allegations.
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.”
On his part, 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.”