Lagos Assembly Passes 2017 Budget Into Law

By: Okunade Adekunle

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the 2017 Budget proposal of N812. 99 billion presented by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the state into law.

The House passed the sum of N305, 28 billion as total Recurrent Expenditure and N507.82 billion as the total Capital Expenditure for the Year ending Dec. 31, 2017.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on Nov. 29, 2016 presented an Appropriation Bill of N812.99 billion to the lawmakers for approval.

The House had on Dec. 1, 2016 after receiving the budget directed all its standing committees to invite all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to defend their budgets.

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The passage followed the House’s adoption of the report and recommendations by its Committee on Budget and Economic Planning presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Rotimi Olowo.

Olowo said that the state was able to achieve 71 percent budget performance in spite of the economic recession in the country.

The lawmaker said that the state would embark on progressive taxation which would bring more people into the tax net and make the rich pay more.

As parts of the recommendations of the  committee, the lawmaker said there was a need to comply with the Appropriation (Amendment) (Re-ordering) Law, 2016 to release funds to relevant MDAs.

The lawmaker added that there was a need for the Ministry of Economic Planning and budget to carry out budget review of 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) of MDAs before allocating envelopes for Y2018 proposed budget estimate.

He said that this would guide against duplication of expenditures (Capital and Recurrent) by MDAs.

The House approved a sum of N650 million for education, N350 million for Agriculture, N360 million for LASIEC, while the Capital Expenditure of LASIEC was increased from N2.5 billion to N3 billion to cater for election matters.

Meanwhile, overhead for Security/Emergency Interventions was reduced from N500 million to N400 million and N1 billion was allocated as capital expenditure for the ministry of Special Duties and Inter governmental Relations.

The Assembly approved a sum of N20.43 billion for LAMATA, N2 billion for Ferry Services, N4 billion for  maintenance/Repair of roads (Recurrent) while the capital vote head for Road Maintenance rose from N790.10 million to N1.79 billion.

Meanwhile, overhead cost of Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission was increased from N210 million to N252 million while the capital expenditure .

The House also approved N10 billion for the State Infrastructure Intervention Fund, while it approved N159.55 million for state Electricity Board.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, after taking voice vote on each  sectoral allocation of the Appropriation Bills and approval given to each, the House passed the budge.

Ambode had assured that the budget will be judiciously implemented to continue the massive infrastructural renewal and the enhancement of Lagos as one of the foremost tourism and investment destinations in Africa.

The governor, who christened the budget as “The Golden Jubilee Budget” as it coincides with the State’s 50th Anniversary, said it would focus on physical infrastructure, while social sectors especially health, education, youth and social development will be given adequate attention.

Giving the key components of budget, Governor Ambode said recurrent expenditure will gulp N300.535 billion while N512.464 billion will be dedicated to capital expenditure, representing a Capital/Recurrent ratio of 63 percent to 37 percent.

According to the Governor, road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance will be key focuses of the budget, with efforts be geared towards roads that will open up the hinterlands, improve connectivity in the State and reduce travel time.

He listed some of the road projects to include Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road from Oshodi, Agric-Isawo-Owotu-Arepo Road in Ikorodu, Igbe-Igbogbo Phase II- Bola Tinubu Way in Ikorodu, Ijegun Imore Phase II Amuwo in Ojo axis, Oke-Oso-Araga-Poka in Epe, Epe-Poka-Mojoda in the Epe axis and the completion of the Abule-Egba, Ajah and Pen Cinema flyovers.

The governor also said that within the course of the budget implementation, his administration will engage in Public Private Partnership (PPP) to execute some road projects including Oke Oso-Itoikin dualisation Project in the Epe axis, Okokomaiko-Seme Road Project in Badagry axis and Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itoikin-Ijebu Ode Road Project in Ikorodu axis, just as he disclosed that the Phase II of the 114 Local Government Roads project as well as the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge will also kick off in 2017.

“In the course of the 2017 Financial Year, we shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation – Roads, Water and the Walkways. In this wise, a Public Transport Infrastructure Bond will be issued in the course of the year.

“The State Government will embark on the Urbanisation of the Marina axis, Waterways Channelization, establishment of more Parks and Gardens as well as the Community Sports Centres and Stadiums in different locations across the State.

“We will fully implement the Medical Health Insurance Scheme and deploy e-health/ e-insurance Health Service solutions; and complete the on-going upgrading and extension work in the State General Hospitals and Ayinke House in Ikeja. Work will commence on our Medical Park in the 2017 fiscal year,” Ambode said.

On the revenue expected from federal allocation, the Governor said a conservative approach will be adopted owing to the falling oil prices, which according to him, was about $41.98 per barrel at the time of finalising the budget.

He however expressed optimism that the state’s federal allocation will increase through the 13 percent derivation from Oil & Gas in 2017.

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