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By: AMAWU, Cletus Albert Amawu.



The Cross River State Government through the Department of Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation, held a One-Day Consultative Forum for the 2024 Budget Preparation for Key Stakeholders on Thursday 7th September, 2023 at the College of Health Technology Auditorium, Calabar, which was declared opened by Governor Otu’s Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey.


According to Rt. Hon. Odey, the Governor, wanted to be present by himself but for want of other official engagements, he was directed to represent His Excellency.

He avers that the 2024 Budget will usher in the season of sweetness to be savour by Cross Riverians because it will be the “Peoples Budget”; because it’s the “People First” and for the people; and when passed, he averred that, the Budget will be implemented under transparent supervision and in line with best practices.

“We will ensure that this budget is implemented to the latter. If we do not implement it appropriately, then we stand the risk of not creating the right opportunity to reduce poverty and hunger or improve healthcare in the state.

“We are on track to having the right budget in 2024, a budget that will build Cross River to improve infrastructure, education, healthcare, the standard of living, and the transport sectors.

“We cannot create wealth as a Government if we do not budget adequately. We cannot even employ because we would not know the number of people to employ.

“We want to assure Cross Riverians that, 2024 Budget implementation will be a departure from the past because if we do not implement appropriately, we then stand a risk not to combat poverty, insecurity, provision of basic amenities in, improving HealthCare, Education, Transportation and many more,” Otu said.


Speaking earlier and setting the tune for the Consultative Forum of Stakeholders, Mr. Otu Otu-Ita Edet, Special Adviser on Budget to Governor Bassey Otu, welcome all and stated; “His Excellency is a strict and discipline Administrator who understands the workings of budgeting, its monitoring, evaluation and its successes if compliances are adhered to.

And as such, budget performance and its success starts with inputs from key stakeholders across the sectors, coming together to put together what is best for the generality of society and not what, Government might perceive. This noble approach is akin to our State!

“It’s the wish of Governor Bassey Otu, that governance is a collective venture and the people as custodians of an egalitarian society and therefore must participate in the government, as he urges all to be broad and whole in their contributions as you participate in the formulation of the 2024 “Peoples Budget,” he said.


In his keynote address, the State Commissioner of Finance, Hon. Mike Odere, who spoke through the Ministry, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Atim Ekpenyong, stated that since resources are scarce, the only way out of financial quagmire is to always ensure proper allocation and utilisation of earmarked resources’ as designated in management of both human and material resources, because it will ensure productivity, putting implementers on their toes to deliver on assigned and given task. It’s a sure way for oversight functions.


Similarly, Hon. Cyril Omini, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Cross River State House of Assembly, stressed that a true budget is that, which align with the needs of the majority of the people through a Consultative and Key Stakeholders approach like what His Excellency, Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu has started.


According to him, “Budgetary process affects each and every one of us, our well-being, personal goals and aspirations.


“Therefore, we must all take an active part in the budgetary process and work towards coming up with a budget that is focused on making a difference in the lives of our people,” Omini concluded.


The following Ministries through their Commissioners, presented their positions and what likely should be captured in the budget: Ministry of Crops and Irrigation Development. Power and Renewable Energy. Humanitarian and Disaster Management (Social Protection). International Development Coordination, and the Internal Revenue Service.



The highpoint of the 2024 Budget Consultative Forum was the break into Technical Session

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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