COVID-19 caused 2020 budget cut from N1.1tr to N147bn – Cross River Govt

Cross River State Government has slashed its 2020 budget of N1.1 trillion to N147.1 billion.

The proposal has been sent to the legislature.

Commissioner for Finance, Asuquo Ekpeyong, told newsmen in Calabar that the review was due to COVID-19.

“We are affected economically and decided to review the 2020 appropriation to tally with the present economic realities. We have forwarded a reviewed budget of N147,130,166,966 to the State Assembly for deliberations,” he said.

He said the government had taken some measures to cushion the effects of the pandemic on residents.

The official warned extortionist agents illegally collecting taxes from those exempted from paying.

Ekpenyong added that such persons would be prosecuted.

Chairman, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Okpanke Ogar, announced tax exemption for individuals in the public sector who earn less than N100,000 monthly salary.

Others are the self-employed, including artisans, hawkers, commercial motorcycle riders, taxi drivers, barbers/hairdressers and restaurant owners.

Ogar disclosed that tourism revenue, sale of tickets by various agencies and Local Governments have also been put on rebate till November.

“In 2019, we generated N22 billion, but all these taxes abating, it will surely affect our IGR for this year”, Ogar predicted.

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