Lagos Assembly passes Sanwo-Olu’s N1.168 trillion budget

Lagos House of Assembly on Monday passed the 2020 budget of N1.168 trillion.

The passage followed the presentation of a report by the joint committee of the House on Appropriation and Finance by the Chairman of the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Gbolahan Yishawu.

The presentation took place during plenary when the House dissolved into Committee of Supply comprising all the lawmakers with Speaker Mudashiru Obasa as Chairman.

The approved budget contained 78 amendments as recommended by the joint committees and approved by the House through a voice vote conducted by Obasa.

With the amendments, the approved budget contained N451, 528, 914, 805 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund as the recurrent expenditure and N711, 032, 979, 185 billion from Development Fund as the total capital expenditure.

The total budget for the year ending 31st December, 2020 is now N1.168, 561, 893, 990 trillion as against N1.168, 562 proposed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The governor had presented a budget of N1.168 trillion for year 2020 on November 8, 2019 with education and health care as top priorities.

With a proposed fiscal plan of N115 billion for public infrastructure in Lagos State, the governor said that next year (2020), Lagos would be a massive construction site.

During the presentation, the governor unveiled his administration’s plan to accelerate the growth of the state’s economy by proposing aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities – physical infrastructure, environment, human capital and security.

Sanwo-Olu said the state would spend N1.168 trillion, which would be funded from a projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.071 trillion.

The budget deficit, put at N97.53billion, will be financed through internal and external loans, the governor said.

Besides, the fiscal proposal also included a provision for the new minimum wage.

Giving a breakdown of the budget tagged: “Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, Sanwo-Olu earmarked 62 per cent, representing N723.75 billion of total spending, for capital expenditure.

He said that recurrent expenditure, put at 38 per cent, would take N444.81 billion.

Sanwo-Olu had said that the proposed budget would help the state achieve a sustainable social investment and scale up private sector-led economic growth through investment in infrastructure and security.

He said it would also improve civic engagement in governance and foster partnership with the Federal Government and the civil society.

Explaining why his administration will be earmarking huge funds to the environment and public infrastructure, the governor said Lagos had been facing combined threats from population explosion and climate change.

He said: “Lagos faces an existential threat, arising from the interplay of demographic and climate change. Lagos will continue to be a magnet for multitudes within and outside Nigeria, in search of jobs and economic prosperity. These levels of migration put phenomenal strain on the physical and fiscal resources of the state.

“This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. As at September 2019, our capital expenditure on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion, which is less compared with N78 billion proposed in the current year. It is our intention to spend N115 billion on physical infrastructure in 2020.

“In response to the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have to triple the capital budget provision to tackle this observed problems from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020. We are embarking on massive desilting of major drain systems across the state next year.”

Sanwo-Olu plans to spend N48 billion on education and technology. This represents 60 per cent rise in capital allocation to the Ministry of Education.

On health care, the state plans to spend N33 billion on health care programmes, which include proposed revamping and re-equipping of over 350 Primary Health Centres.

Sanwo-Olu described the proposed budget as “unique”, noting that its details reflected the wishes of residents, following series of consultations and feedback from stakeholders across senatorial districts.

The governor assured residents of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the budget, saying there would be strict performance mechanism to drive compliance and measure the progress of the budget at the execution stage.

He said: “The 2020 Budget will be supported by a Performance Management System that will ensure that by December 2020, we shall achieve an optimal budget implementation when compared with previous years. This is in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of public finances.

“We have provided N11.8 billion as counterpart funds in preparation for social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1 billion this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programmes and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which are the engines for economic and employment growth.”

Sanwo-Olu observed that the approved re-ordering of the 2019 budget by the legislature gave the government the opportunity to raise N250 billion in addressing critical infrastructure needs, including rehabilitation of public schools, ongoing construction of Lagos–Badagry Expressway, Agege–Pen Cinema Overhead Bridge, Agric–Isawo Road, Bola Ahmed Tinubu–Igbogbo Road, and an ongoing road rehabilitation by Lagos Public Works.

He added that the loan will also enable his administration to start the desilting of drain systems, provision of security and emergency hardware, light rail infrastructure and construction of a General Hospital in Ojo, which is to be fitted with a Spinal and Neurology Unit.

Sanwo-Olu reiterated that his administration’s development agenda, known as Project T.H.E.M.E.S, was designed to address major challenges facing the state and create a city that would work for the citizens.

He said his administration was ready to transform Lagos by rethinking projects that will improve the well-being of the residents.

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