Sunday, 18 February 2018

Hon Eteng J. Williams throws light on thematic areas of N1. 3 Tr Budget passed by Assembly


Efio-Ita Nyok|18 February 2018 

For us in the state, we are moving from an economy such that you will think we are private sector driven. But now government is saying this is what we should do, it gives more employment, we focus more on employment. 

If you look at the committee report we emphasized on employment and also the projects that will give Cross Riverians value for their money. 

As part of the capital projects in the budget just passed, the House approved N20 billion for the repairs of the road from Tinapa junction to Odukpani road and we are aware that the contract has already been approved by the FG

—Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams, Chair, Cross River State House of Assembly Committee on Finance & Appropriation 

Thursday, 15th February 2018, the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N1.3trillion christened Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation into law. 

The Chair of the House of Assembly committee on Finance & Appropriation, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams, has responded to the press particularly in respect of the N50 billion deduction from the original bill submitted by the Executive Governor, the N20 billion for the dualisation of the Calabar-Odukpani road, etc. Excerpt :


NegroidHaven : Sir, we want to know from you, has the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly finally passed the 2018 budget, and at what cost? 

ETENG JONES WILLIAMS : Today which is a historic day marks a beginning of new financial year for Cross River State. The Cross River State House of Assembly has passed the budget of Cross River State christened Budget of Kinetic Crystallisation. 

The House having considered all the agencies involved which was about 212 MDAs, came up with budget size of N1.3 trillion, taking out over N50 billion from the initial budget presented by the His Excellency. 

Capital expenditures stands at about 79% and recurrent expenditures at about 21% because we're really focusing on capital projects. 


NegroidHaven : Can we know the exact figures? 

ETENG JONES  WILLIAMS  : I can't tell the exact figures now until I look at the documents. 

The intention of government is to move the state towards a new regime, which is, developing the infrastructure and economic base of Cross River State. 

For us in the state, we are moving from an economy such that you will think we are private sector driven. But now government is saying this is what we should do, it gives more employment, we focus more on employment. 

If you look at the committee report we emphasized on employment and also the projects that will give Cross Riverians value for their money. 

As part of the capital projects in the budget just passed, the House approved N20 billion for the repairs of the road from Tinapa junction to Odukpani road and we are aware that the contract has already been approved by the FG

From the explanation from the MDAs involved, that's the Ministry of Infrastructure and Ministry of Works,  
The State Government is investing in this; these are Federal roads but Cross Riverians ply it. 

We have suffered a lot, any little thing occurring there, but the state also has a window to apply to the Federal Government to get the money back.

But we can not wait for the FG to do it. We are aware that it is a federal road the suffering is for Cross River State, Cross Riverians suffer a lot. Though the contract is already approved by the FG, 
You know we have been waiting for two years. 

We've not seen and yet we are suffering, you and I know that, that road is an eyesore, a death trap any little thing especially from the filling station the whole Calabar is blocked. So, should we wait for them or should we just fold our arms and allow them? It is an eyesore! 

It is a window coming into Calabar, that is a gateway, so we must put our resources there and make Cross Riverians happy.

Then the rest of the Administration's job is in the second stage which is applying to the FG to see if they can get the money back. 

But for us as a state first, let us do the road and make Cross Riverians have access to their state capital. 

It is Cross Riverians that ply that road and not FG. 


NegroidHaven: But the amount at N20 billion for about 10 kilometers of a distance, is it not bloated? 

ETENG JONES WILLIAMS : It's more than that, it's much more than that, and we are doing about a six lane, we are not just doing repairs. 

It's is about six lanes, from the documents available to the committee, because we called for the relevant documents for the committee to look at it and why they quoted such amount. From the analysis they gave us, it was more than that but the committee in its wisdom has to cut it to accommodate only that. 

For us, like I keep emphasising, we will keep on doing over sight, if it is less than that or more than that, we will know. But the committee on works and that of finance and appropriation are to put an eye on them. And who ever is handling that job if he is not doing a good job or if he is sur-charging Cross Riverians, definitely the House will come back and reverse its decisions on that. 


Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 



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