Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday commenced the consideration of the 2022 budget presented by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu last week.
The consideration began as the Appropriation Bill was read for the second time by the Clerk, Olalekan Onafeko for deliberation by the lawmakers.
It would be recalled that Sanwo-Olu presented a budget estimate of ₦1.3trillion for the year 2022.
The lawmakers who took turn to debate the Bill, commended the governor for allocating 59 percent of the proposed budget to capital expenditure with some saying it would further bring the dividends of democracy to the residents of the state.
Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade, said the allocation to capital expenditure proposes that more hands would be engaged within the year as the government develops more infrastructure.
“If this budget is well funded and monitored properly, democratic dividends would be more felt,” he said.
In his contribution, Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako/Ijaiye 1) urged that the revenue generation net of the state should be widened with lesser emphasis on borrowing.
On his part, Hon. Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju-Lekki 2), urged that while debating the budget, there should be consideration for the microeconomic indices of the state like its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He commended the governor for allocating 23 percent of the budget to education but raised concerns over what he called an over bloated personnel cost in the Ministry of Establishment.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1), noted that some of the MDAs performed woefully in 2021, adding that there was need for some of the revenue-generating institutions of the government to be rejigged.
Olowo also suggested that the government create more vocational centres for the youth while advising against excessive borrowing.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu ( Eti-Osa 2) suggested that the House approves only what is feasible and that if the state needs more, it could make a recourse to it.
In his contributions, Hon Femi Saheed ( Kosofe 2), said the budget size was in consonant with the huge population of the state, adding that the budget would address the challenges of infrastructure destroyed aftermath of EndSARS.
Saheed said the House should look critically on the funding of the budget when scrutinizing the proposal.
Others who spoke were; Hon. Setonji David, who wants the fiscal instruments of the budget to be spelt out properly at the committee stages of defence, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, who advocated for a realistic budget, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, and Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, who urged the government to consider vulnerable women and children.
Meanwhile, the House, at the sitting, passed the bill to amend the Lagos State pension reforms law and also a bill on public office holders (payment of pensions) law.
Speaking with journalists on the bills passed after plenary session, the Chairman House Committee On Establishment, Training and Pensions, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, explained that the pension reforms law would make easy for pensioners to receive their pensions as at when due, saying that within the 21 days before retirement pensioners would have finished with the processing.
On public office holders pensions law, Ogundimu said the law was to cut down drastically the benefits of former public office holders, saying that their benefits were cut down by 50%.
The lawmaker said the law would only accommodate a former public office holder who does not hold any public office anymore, anywhere.