Y2019 Budget: Ambode lays N852.3bn estimate

February 5, 2019

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode officially lays Year 2019 budget estimate, totalling N852,316bn before the Lagos State House Assembly, citing his readiness to complete all outstanding road projects as well as to ensure smooth electoral transition process.

The 2019 budget was 17.6 percent lesser than the previous 1.046trn budgeted in 2018, the capital to recurrent ratio is 54 to 46 percent.

It captures a recurrent expenditure of N385.6bn and capital allocation of N462.7bn, the budget is however anchored on N77bn deficit financing.

Ambode promised to consolidate on all the past achievements, the remaining months of his administration,citing the fact that economic affairs dominates the sectoral breakdown.
“I am presenting this year’s budget with the same enthusiasm,I had presenting it the previous three years.

“We have been accorded the recognition by this house right from time,none of the achievements could be possible without this house, the cooperation and unity of purpose enjoyed by the Executive from the legislature had remain the secret of our success.
“Our government is anchored on 9 core section group, the need assessment arrangement which covers;security,transport,health,education,water,wealth creation and others.

“We would continue to spread development through out the state,we are confident that the revenue of the house will improve this year.

The budget presentation was however, void of any funfair as it was unusual that the white cap chiefs of Oba Ridwan Akiolu,council chairmen, civil society and other stakeholders were largely absent.

Present at the budget presentation;were Governing Advisory Council, Professor Tunde Samuel,Dr. Abayomi Finni,Prince Olusi,M. A Taiwo,Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Bashorun,Olumuyiwa Shosanya, Deputy Governor Dr.Idiat Adebule and others.

The Speaker Rt.Hon.Mudashiru Obasa,while responding to the budget presentation,cited the fact that but for the intervention of party’s stalwarts the impasse between the legislative and executive arms would have dragged longer than expected.

“I will like to appreciate the following people who made frantic efforts to intervene in this issue such as Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Alhaji Musiliu Adeola Kunbi Smith, members of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.
“All members of Governing Advisory Council (GAC), the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Oshinbajo and particularly our party national leader, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for their concerted
efforts towards ensuring that peace reign supreme among all the three arms of government in Lagos State.

Obasa also appraised the rift between the two arms of government, saying it is just a constitutional matter of procedure and process .

“However, fallout of the budget brawl has led to series of negative
publications both on social media and in the print media, which are
being sponsored by a faceless group calling themselves the Legislative Probity and Accountability (LPA) led by one Olu Fajana with its pseudonym.

“This started immediately the misunderstanding between the
Executive and Legislative came up in respect of the Y2019 budget;
which means that such could not be ruled out to have emanated from the Executive.

“Unfortunately, no one from the Executive has risen to refute the
baseless allegations. Since no one has come up to address this, it is
incumbent on us then to come forward and debunk the allegations.

” I use this medium to challenge the governor, the Finance Commissioner and the Accountant General of the state to prove that we have been collecting N800 million per month since the onset of this administration.

” In the same vein, this is also an opportunity to shed more light on
unsubstantiated allegations regarding financial misappropriation,which is a clearly well-orchestrated campaign to disrepute my character and integrity as the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and by implication tarnish the image of the legislative arm
of the state government.

” It must be known that the monthly running cost of the Lagos State House of Assembly covers the entire expenditure of the House
comprising the 40 elected legislators and the administration of over 700 staff.
“It includes sundry items such as travels, training (both
local and overseas) office running and maintenance, vehicles, entertainment, publicity, security, protocols, logistics and
administrative costs among others.

“Dear Lagosians, as an arm of government, we are not at odds with the Governor over anything. Rather, we are diligently playing our roles in contributing to the transparent and accountable governance that has made Lagos the envy of all and a model frame of reference in terms of development in this political dispensation.

“We need to remind ourselves that democracy is about institution and we must all learn to protect this. We must not, in whatever circumstance, derrogate or smear this institution. Failure to do so will affect our democracy.

“Nevertheless, may I call on the governor that with the few months
to go, he should endeavour to attend to urgent needs of Lagosians especially by addressing the inner roads of the state as well as issue of environment.
“We should be cognizant of the fact that the essence of democratic governance is that people remain the object of development.

“With the remaining parts of this tenure of ours, more can still be
done to ease socio – economic problems, particularly on finishing all road projects and rehabilitations, provision of housing, making sure
that our environment is clean and poverty alleviation programmes
embarked upon, before the end of this administration.

“As we hope that the Y2019 Budget will be of great benefit to the people of Lagos State, we however appeal to His Excellency and Lagosians to give us sufficient time to enable the House do a thorough job on a financial document that has great influence on the lives of the people. “The Assembly would not delay the passage of the budget, but we will be interested in placing high premium on the need to ensure that the interests of Lagosian are protected socio-economically and politically.
“We are your representatives here at the House of assembly and we are duty bound to do justice to every sector of the state’s economy.

“May I use this medium, however, to appeal to everyone, especially
Lagosians to be law abiding as we prepare for the general elections.

“I urge us all to come out en masse to support the continuation of the
good jobs our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has embarked on since the beginning of our administration by voting for all our candidates at all levels in the forthcoming elections as we move on to the Next Level”. Obasa said.

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