Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade

The N1.3tn proposed budget for 2018 presented by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River to the state House of Assembly is attainable, so says the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export and Import Bank, Mr. Abba Bello.

Bello stated this on Wednesday in Calabar at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and a financial service agreement between the bank and the state government.

While expressing delight at the ambition and aggression being shown by the state with regards to its industrialisation drive, he stated the commitment of NEXIM Bank to help the state get the funds to actualise its 2018 budget.

Bello stated, “This is the first time a state government in Nigeria will present a budget of N1.3tn. It, therefore, becomes very important that the state will be able to achieve the revenue that will support the expenditure.

“I was taught earlier in my career that to achieve dreams, you have to be audacious and I believe that you start with having a target, and for you, the target today is the budget. I must stand behind you sir to ensure that the budget is achieved.”

Bello said NEXIM Bank had gone ahead to start attracting investments into the state even before the signing of the financial service agreement with the government.

He added, “We have already contacted some investors in the garment industry and already, three Spanish companies have indicated interest in the Cross River State Garment Factory and I believe that we should be able to close that deal immediately.

“As we were coming, we brought one of our customers that is innovative, in the sense that it is an outsourcing company. We supported them and encouraged them to move part of their call centres to Cross River State and on that basis, we have visited the Tinapa Knowledge City and they have expressed willingness to start work that will create employment for 1,000 youths.”

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