Calabar Festival/carnival activities in Cross River State is to gulp over four billion Naira while hiring of helicopter to cover the event was allocated N500 million.
Similarly, N500 million was allocated for the payment of the five bands and another N500 million for other cost associated with the celebration. Consequently, the total budget for the sector according to the reports was N4, 065, 504, 643.
Presenting the reports, the Chairman of the finance and appropriation committee of the Cross River State House of Assembly on the proposed budget and appropriation bill 2018, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams said, “Calabar carnival remains the pivot of tourism development in Cross River Sate.
“This explains why Carnival Commission is allocated N4, 065, 504, 643 in the 2018 proposed budget to enable the commission organise the annual international carnival and approve on the standard set.
“Similarly, N500 million each is provided for hiring of helicopter to cover the event, paid as grants to the 5 bands and settle other cost associated with the celebration.”
To compliment the entire carnival, Hon Williams said N100, 000, 000 is set aside for street Party/Youth carnival. “The status of the carnival has changed in structure, sponsorship and organization over the years.
“While it is the wish of government to gradually disengage and allow private sponsorship take over there is still need to support the commotion and bands pending when this desired objective will be achieved”
Consequently, the committee recommends that the State Government through the carnival commission should continue to source for sponsors while also ensuring that the carnival remains a viable, attractive tourist cultural and commercial enterprise.