Governor Ayade of Cross River state has earmarked N24billion for COVID-19 relief and recovery.
The figure was contained in the reviewed 2020 Budget of Olympotic Merristemasis sent to the State House of Assembly, yesterday for consideration.
The initial budget of 1.1trillion which the governor signed in January 2020 was reviewed downward to N147,130,166,996 and 16.3 percent of the amended budget, (approximately N24billion), is reserved for the management of COVID 19.
1 . When out of sheer delusion, our governor signed a budget that crossed a trillion mark in January, for a state that earns barely N50Billion annually, I termed it hallucination and someone said that was too hard. Now reality is staring the governor in the face and he has come down from his high horse to do what he should have done in the first place, namely: give us a realistic budget and stop all the verbose jargons about Intellectual Money, Green Money or Other People’s Money.
I still have his quotable quote from the budget signing ceremony…..
“At any point in time a man’s ability is limited by his financial muscle his brain has failed. For us in Cross River, with a governor and his deputy as professors, it will be a thing of shame for us to budget based on our envelope size.”
-Ayade January 7, 2020
But only yesterday, reality took down his naivety.
2 . In a State where the official position of government remains that, it’s COVID-19 free, N24billion is been earmarked to manage the same virus?
Even with the N900 million that was collected from local government funds for the management of COVID 19; the N500 million donated by the state plus the N1 billion NDDC said they gave to the state government and other sundry donations from organizations, the state has refused to care for persons who have tested positive to the virus and kept the isolation center away from patients. Medical workers have continued to complain about lack of PPEs and even allowances, leaving us to wonder where all these billions are been spent or will be spent.
But we are definitely poised to follow our money and those who are manipulating these figures should be aware of that.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.