2024 budget: Rt Hon. Bassey prays it renews hope of Bakassi people

…Says no light in Bakassi since 2008



As reactions continue to trail the N27.5trillion, 2024 budget proposal presented to the joint session of the national assembly by President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, the lawmaker representing Akpabuyo/Bakassi/ Calabar South Federal Constituency, Rt Hon. Joseph Bassey has prayed that the budget proposal which was tagged “Budget of Renewed Hope” renew the hope of Bakassi people of Cross River State.

The former deputy speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly has said that the Bakassi people are clearly neglected by the Nigerian government, adding that over the years, despite the huge amount in budget, they (Bakassi) have never benefited from the budget since they were ceded to Cameroon in 2008 for peace to reign.

He lamented that for close to two decades since Bakassi was ceded to Cameroon, the people of Bakassi have been without electricity, a situation he said is worrisome to a people that once have the highest oil wells in the country, (Bakassi Peninsula) known all over the world.

Recall that in July, 2012 the Supreme court ruled that the ownership of the disputed 76 offshore oil wells belong to Akwa Ibom.

By that judgement Cross River lost her status as a littoral state after the Federal Government ceded the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in 2008.

“We had the highest oil wells in Bakassi Peninsula that the whole world was aware of, but we were ceded to Cameroon in 2008 for peace to reign between Nigeria and Cameroon and a double jeopardy occured in 2012 when the supreme court collected our oil wells from Akwa Ibom and since then, Nigeria government has neglected us completely.

“The government don’t care about us, whether we exist or not, despite that we refused to join Cameroon and were relocated to a place without farmland to even farm.

However, Rt. Hon. Bassey believes that the budget of renewed hope will indeed renew the hope of Bakassi people, saying that Bakassi people need special attention and President Bola Tinubu led government has what it takes to turn around the fortune of his people.

On Insecurity in the country and the ability of the current government through the budgetary provision to tackle it, Bassey said insecurity was as a result of the failure in the third tier of government.

He opined that unless, the Local Government Areas are giving autonomy there is no how insecurity could be tackle headlong. He said that poverty is the root caused of insecurity, therefore, he said, as long as the state governors continue to decide what goes to the chairmen and counselors and even state house members, there is no way they (Chairmen) can have control over their people and insecurity will continue to thrive.

Though, the 2024 budget proposal prioritize SECURITY, JOB CREATION AND POVERTY REDUCTION, Bassey doubt if much can be achieve without the reformed of local government areas.

He wonders if the state government is paying salary to states lawmakers, would they (Lawmakers) have the powers to talk on issues that will favour the masses as against the governor’s will?

The House Committee Chairman on Emergency management and disaster preparedness said, the 10th assembly will be ready to carry out their oversight functions effectively to make sure the budget if passed to law is implemented to the later.
He noted, “that’s the only way the the common man on the street would benefit from it.”

“ I believe this Government, president Tinubu led Government will tackles the issue of implementation of the budget seriously and we as legislature will also take our oversight more seriously this time around to see that the budget is implemented to the later so that the common man on the street of Bakassi will positively be affected with the budget.” he said