By Okunade Adekunle
The 2021 Appropriation bill has scaled through the Second Reading as members of the Lagos State House of Assembly during plenary on Monday debated the budget proposal.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the sitting, stated that the budget was still a proposal that must be couched in a manner that would pursue its target.
“The Budget of Rekindled Hope should be shaped as a palliative in order to put smiles on people’s faces.”
Obasa urged members to carefully look into the areas where the House could be of help.
“We must hear from the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs to give a critical analysis during the budget defense, said Obasa.
Deliberating on the proposal, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman, House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, highlighted a major sectoral analysis of the Y2021 budget, and observed that counterpart funding had been a free bill to access grants, adding that “external loans must reconcile with investment incomes”.
He also proposed that standing committees of the House must look into the MDAs under their purview in ensuring that the parastatals are efficiently operated in order to maximize the State revenue.
In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Chairman, House Committee on Finance, said the Budget of Rekindled Hope if well implemented would encompass and empower the youth as it includes a leadership scheme, vocational training, and creation of an employment trust fund.
Olowo noted, “So many MDAs deliberately increase their revenue base so that more funds will be accrued to their budget allocation but the problem remains that their revenue funds will go to overhead at the detriment of capital expenditure.”
“We need to juxtapose the Y2019 and Y2020 budget as the recent tribulations will still affect our revenue. The scientific approach must be taken to avert re-ordering as we must have a budget size that can be implemented.” He said.
Obasa thereafter committed the proposed budget to the Joint Committees on Finance and Economic Planning to report to the House after six weeks.
Recall that the Executive Governor of the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu last week Tuesday presented a budget of N1.155 trillion to the state House of Assembly for approval for the 2021 fiscal year.
The 2021 budget estimates titled: “Budget of Rekindled Hope,” is higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced to N920.5 billion due to challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget represents N234.5 billion higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced. But it is lesser than the initial 2020 budget of N1.68 trillion by N53.5 billion.
Sanwo-Olu said the 2021 budget has a total revenue of N962.528 billion and a total Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of N795,744 billion.
He explained that the budget has a Capital Expenditure of 703.272 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N451.750 billion, assuring that the 2021 budget would focus on youth employment, security, youth engagement, and social work, among others.