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Ayade suspends 2020 Budget presentation due to technical challenges

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The much-expected 2020 budget presentation by the Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, which was scheduled to hold yesterday has been suspended.

Cross Riverians and journalists in anticipation had early yesterday morning arrived at the State House of Assembly awaiting the budget presentation ceremony when the news of the postponement emerged.

The Director-General of Budget Office, Mr Abeng Onoh, later disclosed to newsmen in his office in Calabar that the consultant could not finish preparing the budget proposal due to technical challenges, saying the cause of the delay was also that the consultant was working on converting the 35 digit code to 52 which the whole world is using now.

He explained that the state still uses the State Integrated Financial Management Information System rather than the recommended Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Onoh, who disclosed that all MDAs have submitted their budget estimate noted: “When the governor asked us, we told him we have not finished. I just finished speaking with the consultant.

“The problem why the budget was not finished is not from us, but from the consultant. The network was always fluctuating. Sometimes, he will come and sit down for the network to come up. It was not the governor’s fault. By Wednesday or Thursday (next week) the budget will be okay.

“What happened is that nearly all the states are operating 52 digits while we are still operating 35 digits mode of codification of projects in the budget. The whole world is using 52 digits. So, we are converting from 35 digits to 52 digits.

“If you look at the capital expenditure, the coding has geo-location. If you have a project in Obubra, any person who sees the code on the internet will know the location is Obubra. Likewise projects in other local governments.

In the Federal Government budget, it is the states that are used as codes. It is also operating the 52-digit code.

“Every state has a code. In the state, every local government area has a code. Any project you do in that local government has a code and can easily be traced as projects are codified according to local government. Cross River State uses State Integrated Financial Management Information System rather than Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) being used by the Federal Government and other states,” he stated.


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