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Ayade presents N1.1 trillion 2020 budget to Assembly

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Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade yesterday presented the much-awaited 2020 budget of N1.1 trillion to the state House of Assembly in Calabar.

Ayade said the budget, christened “Olimpotic Meristemasis,” had a capital expenditure of N911 billion, representing 82.8 per cent and recurrent expenditure of N188 billion, representing 17.2 per cent of the budget.

He said that Meristemasis is the active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, which in the case of the budget, would catalyse into existence a great opportunity for all Cross Riverians.

He said the health sector would gulp N44 billion, Education N38 billion, N22 billion for agriculture and N85 billion to the New Cities Project.

On taxation, the governor said no nation taxes its people to prosperity and so, daily taxes would be abolished for low-income earners, including traders, and civil servants who earn below N100,000 per month would be exempted from taxes.

He said a flat monthly tax would rather be paid by low-income earners and government would continue to legalise hawking and create some hawking bases in the state to assist low-income earners.

Ayade, who stated that the tax regime in the state beginning from next year would be easier for low-income earners to boost the income while high income earners would pay more tax, added that a number of agro-based industries under construction in the state would be set up by next year and the government hopes to earn about N380 billion from the industries.

He said the budget looks unachievable but his administration would actualise it.

The governor, therefore, sought the co-operation of the legislature.

In his response, Speaker of the State Assembly, Jonas Eteng, assured the governor of their support and promised that the budget would be approved before the end of the year.


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