By Samson Echenim
CALABAR—The Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has said his government is very resolute in seeking alternative ways for generating revenue for the state, rather than depending on Federal Government allocations, saying that this informed the state government’s decision to budget a whopping N82 billion for dredging of the sea for construction of the state’s seaport.
He said: “The hallmark of this administration is the decoupling of the state from over dependence on federal allocation and so this budget will help enable the prestages for the commencement of the deep seaport, as part of economic infrastructures that fit our dreams of an enterprising economy without depending on oil as a source of revenue.”
Ayade had on November 30, 2017 presented a budget of N1.3 trillion for 2018, breaking the records as the state with the biggest budget in the country’s history so far.
Presenting the budget, Ayade said though the money was not readily available, it was expected that with the approval and commencement of signature projects, foreign investors would bring in funds that would be used to fund the budget.
The governor, who tagged the budget, “Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation,” reiterated that his administration was determined to move the state from a civil service economy to an entrepreneurial economy.
“Dredging of the sea will serve as an evacuation corridor for the deep sea port and will be split into 50 kilometres stretches to make it convenient for investors to construct selected units on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis,” the governor said.
He however, called on the Federal Government to allow the state explore and exploits its vast oil deposit found in different parts of the state to compensate it for the loss of 76 oil wells to help improve the finances of the state.