By Okunade Adekunle
Over N17b was slashed during the week by the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly from the N42.028b budget re-ordering request made by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
The key components of 2017 budget was recurrent expenditure of N300.535billion while N512.464billion was dedicated to capital expenditure representing a Capital/Recurrent ratio of 63 percent to 37 percent.
As it is now, the 2017 budget stands at N494.447bn for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure is N301.551bn while the N17bn remaining was stepped down.
The request to re-order the Paris Club refund loan of N17bn to address the challenge of transportation in the State was stepped down as members were not satisfied with the information provided by the MDAs.
Earlier, the Acting Chairman House Committee on Budget and Appropriation, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, had explained that there was need to pass the review of the budget as requested by the Governor in order to address the challenges of transportation, flooding and insecurity.
In her comment, Hon. Oluwafunmilayo Tejuoso, said there are some grey areas that need to be addressed before passing the budget, stressing further that there was no enough clarification.
“As Lagos State House of Assembly, we should be careful; we are concerned about transportation however if they could not give enough information on the issue, it should be thoroughly looked before passing it,” said Tejuosho.
Joining the debate, Hon. Saka Fafunmi, noted that the request to access funds meant for Lagos State University (LASU) for accreditation in 2016 and 2017 was not clear enough.
Fafunmi argued further that since 2016 budget estimate had lapsed, there is no way the fund could be accessed to take care of the previous accreditation.
While supporting his colleagues, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi stated that since the MDAs had promised to furnish the House with full details of information requested, “I think the 17 billion naira can be held back. The 2017 budget is gradually rounded up, it can be incorporated into the 2018 budget.
Also, Hon Bisi Yusuff , added his voice to say “Since details information were not provided, there is need to get the fundamentals correctly. It is not Mr. Governor but those who are saddled with responsibilities.”
In his comment, the Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said Governor Ambode should be commended for having the foresight to utilize the Paris fund judiciously, stressing that, “I think we should commend the Governor and his team for utilizing the Paris Fund for ease of Lagosians. We are all aware of what is happening in some States where the money is used to pay salaries and son other States they could not account for it”.
LASG Set to Establish Cancer Disease Control Centre as Lawmakers Pass ICDC Law
Lagos State Government is set to establish Institute for Cancer and Disease Control (ICDC) in the state as the state’s lawmakers passed into law a Bill to establish the control centre during the week.
The centre is majorly to conduct researches into cancer and other diseases.
The Bill is entitled: “A Bill for A Law to Establish the Lagos State Cancer Institute to Provide for the Promotion, Aids, and Co-ordination of Researches Relating to Cancer and Disease Control.”
The Bill, which was initiated by the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa few months ago, had earlier passed through first and second readings as well as public hearing before it was eventually passed into law after third reading on Tuesday.
In the process of passing the bill, the lawmakers took turns to amend its title to cater for the control of other diseases as it was initially meant to focus only on cancer.
Some of the lawmakers, who spoke argued that it was better it is made to capture other diseases apart from life threatening ailments.
Acting Chairman of the House on Health, Hon. Segun Olulade had moved a motion for the third reading of the Bill so that it could be passed into law at the sitting.
Speaking after a voice vote and approval by all the members of the House, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to send a clean copy of the Bill to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state for his assent.
With this law, the state hopes to assist the residents in preventing cancer and other diseases and providing information on issues relating to cancer and diseases.