Cross River’s reserve fund hits N5.3bn

Cross River State reserve fund which commenced in 2005 during the former Governor Donald Duke administration with N50 million contributions every month has hit N5.32 billion, Mr. Etim Caifas, state Commissioner for Finance has said.

The Commissioner who disclosed this Monday at a media briefing at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press Centre, Calabar said that state’s contribution of N50 million to the fund and the N18 million monthly contributions from the 18 Local government Areas of the state made it N68 million a month.

According to him, “The fund as at June 2012 stood at N5.32 billion while the market value stood at N6.49 billion.”

He said that the state had tried to maintain a public sector finance structure that emphasized capital expenditure over recurrent and that as a deliberate principle, “We have been driven by capital/recurrent budget ratio of 60%/40% which virtually is maintained by the 2012 draft budget at a ratio of 58% for capital expenditure and 42% for recurrent.”

Etim also disclosed that the ministries, departments and agencies had been clustered for the medium term sector strategy which he explained was deployed as revenue performance enhancement structure, adding that the MDAs were assigned revenue targets which were monitored to avoid diversion and abuse.

“A performance monitoring and management tool has been designed to capture revenue from income generating MDAs and rank them for performance.

Trhis has lifted the contribution of ministerial revenue to total IGR (Internally Generated Revenue). The ministry is monitoring the monthly performance of the MDAs.”

The Commissioner said that the government has direct equity investments in about 19 enterprises operating in both the economic and social sectors and that some of them had not achieved the critical mass and had not started yielding returns.