2017 budget: Lagos Assembly embarks on mid-term review

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The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday moved to assess the mid-term performance of the state’s 2017 budget to ascertain how Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state were faring.

The House decided to take the step after the Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Rotimi Olowo, harped on the need for such review.

According to Olowo, reviewing the budget performance in the last six months will help give direction for the 2018 budget estimates, which he noted, could hit the N1trillion mark.

“The exercise will help scrutinise how the MDAs are doing in terms of the revenue generated as well as their level of compliance with their capital and recurrent expenditure,” he said.



Other lawmakers took turns to support the call for the mid-term review of the state’s budget.

The Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the exercise, when carried out, would help reveal whether the current budget estimates were working according to the House’s expectation.

Agunbiade added that the move would also help the lawmakers to serve members of the public better.

According to him, the outcome of the exercise will be made public to make taxpayers know how their taxes have been put into use in the past six months.



Also speaking, Mr Jude Idimogu, representing Oshodi Isolo Constituency II, described the step as apt and important.

Idimogu said that the review would help in scrutinising the activities of all the ministries, including those he deemed not to have really measured up to what was expected of them.

The lawmaker expressed reservation at the performance of the agencies in charge of road maintenance in the state.

He said said that many roads in the state had become unusable since the commencement of the rainy season.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, who also gave the call his nod, said that review of budgets should not be made an annual thing only.

Obasa said that emphasis should also be placed on periodic review of budgets so that any perceived loophole could be promptly plugged.

“This periodic review will help the parliament in ascertaining how the executive is performing as far as the 2017 budget estimates are concerned.

“This review will also help in giving direction to the 2018 budget estimates.

“Not only will it help us in knowing the performance of MDAs, it will also help us to have an insight into their needs and what they might be lacking.

“For example it will help us to know how much furniture public schools in the state need, or what the hospitals need,” said Obasa.

He, therefore, gave the committee four weeks to work on the review and report to the House.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Assembly, on Jan. 3, passed the state’s 2017 Appropriation bill of N812.998 billion, which Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode signed into law.

The House adjourned its plenary session until Tuesday. (NAN)

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