Ambode presents N852bn 2019 budget to Lagos Assembly

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Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Tuesday presented the 2019 budget proposal of N852.316 billion to the state House of Assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2019 budget is N287.68 billion lesser than that of 2018 which stood at N1.04 trillion.

The budget has a Capital Expenditure of N462.757 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of 389.560 billion.

The capital to recurrent ratio of the budget stood at 54:46.

In his presentation to the House, Ambode said that the budget was projected to consolidate on the economic gains made so far by capitalising on realistic, budget friendly programmes and projects.

He said projected total revenue for year 2019 was ₦775.231 billion, of which ₦606.291 billion would be generated internally.

According to him, a total of ₦168.940 billion is expected from Federal Transfers while a total of ₦77.086 billion will be sourced through deficit financing within the state’s medium term expenditure framework.

“In the outgoing year, however, we experienced a reduction in our revenue projections, which affected our projected performance and our desired implementation of the year 2018 Budget.

“The overall budget performance as at Nov. 2018 stood at 60 per cent or ₦574.206 billion with actual cumulative total revenue of ₦530.192billion at 64 per cent.

“Capital Expenditure closed at ₦311.930billion or 49 per cent and Recurrent Expenditure performed at ₦262.276billion or 82 per cent.

“In preparing the year 2019 Budget therefore, we were very mindful of the outgoing year performance, the yearnings of our people and the fact that we are going into an election year,” Ambode said.

He said that in 2019, as was with previous budgets, economic affairs still dominated the sectoral allocation of the proposed budget.

“This is due to our continued focus on the completion of major ongoing projects including Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road; Agege Pen Cinema Flyover; Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, Oshodi Interchange Terminal; completion of JK Randle Complex, Onikan Stadium.

“Others are Imota Rice Mill; Renovation/Furnishing of Lagos Revenue House, among others in order to meet their specified deliverable outcomes without any bias or prejudice to others.

“We are confident that the revenues of the state will improve this year by consolidating on the already established public financial management and technology-driven revenue reforms; through data integration and use of multi-payment channels,” Ambode said.

He said the budget had been carefully planned to accommodate all and sundry; women, youth and physically challenged, young and old.

“We will continue to spread development to all part of our state even as we embark on effective transition knowing fully well that the implementation, failure or success of the Budget depend on all of us,” he said.

Ambode commended the lawmakers for their contributions, unalloyed support and cooperation accorded to his administration.

“Each time I have come here, we have been accorded a very warm and cordial reception by this Honourable House and for this, we are very grateful.

“This House has been a solid partner in progress and none of the achievements recorded in our state in the past three and half years could have been possible without the support and cooperation of this 8th Assembly.

“Mr Speaker, I have been very privileged to have worked with this House and there is no bill we have brought forward that has not been given favourable consideration.

“That is the secret of the success of Lagos State; the cooperation between the different arms of government and our unity of purpose to make life better for all our people,” he said.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, commended well-meaning Lagosians for ensuring peace reign supreme between the two arms of government over the impasse between the legislature and executive on the 2019 budget.

Obasa, who noted that the assembly would not delay in the passage of he budget, urged the governor never to relent in delivering dividends of democracy to the people.

“The role of budget in economy and its essence is key, as provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in Section 121.

“The constitution stipulates that the governor must prepare and lay the budget before the House, which now creates the avenue to incur expenditure.

“All the arms of government must work together to ensure economic growth and human development.

“We also need to know that infrastructure of the state is crucial, and the position of Lagos State is germane in Nigeria and its West African suburbs.

“ 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.

“This 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, derogate or smear this institution.

“Failure to do so will affect our democracy,’’ the speaker said.

According to him, some of the substantiated reports of financial misappropriation against him and the House are well-orchestrated campaign to disrepute his character and tarnish the integrity of the House.

Obasa called on Ambode to endeavour to attend to urgent needs of residents within the few months left in his administration.

He advised the executive to especially address the inner roads of the state as well as issue of environment.

The speaker said: “We should be cognizant of the fact that the essence of democratic governance is that people remain the object of development.

“With the remaining part of this tenure of ours, more can still be done to ease socio-economic problems, particularly on finishing all road projects and rehabilitation.

“More can still be done on provision of housing, making sure that our environment is clean and poverty alleviation programmes embarked upon, before the end of this administration.’’

The speaker, who expressed hope that the 2019 Budget would be of great benefit to the people of Lagos State, appealed to Ambode and Lagos residents for sufficient time to scrutinise the financial document.

Obasa said that the budget had great influence on the lives of the people and assured that the Assembly would not delay the passage of the budget.

“We will be interested in placing high premium on the need to ensure that the interests of people of Lagos are protected socioeconomically and politically.

The lawmaker, who urged Lagos residents to be law abiding during the upcoming general elections, advised them to vote All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates across all levels.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the House and the executive had been at loggerheads over the budget in the last one week, such that the lawmakers had threatened to commence impeachment procedure against the governor. (NAN)

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