By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday said his administration plans to spend the sum of N1.168 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, with about N1.071 trillion of the estimates expected to be raised from the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Presenting the budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly today, the Governor said 62 percent of the total amount, representing N723.75 billion, would be used for capital expenditure, while 38 percent, representing N444.81 billion, would go for recurrent expenditure.
He said the 2020 budget, Awakening to a Greater Lagos, was designed to accelerate the growth of state’s economy by proposing aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities, physical infrastructure, environment, human capital and security.
According to him, the budget deficit, put at N97.53billion, would be financed through internal and external loans. He further said about N167.81 billion of the recurrent expenditure will go for personnel costs and other staff-related expenses, representing 22.02 percent of the total revenue. This, the Governor noted, is within the acceptable wage policy, which benchmarks 25 percent staff overheads in the budget.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said 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.
“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 these 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,” he informed the lawmakers, who listened to him with rapt attention.
Mr Sanwo-Olu told the parliament that his government plans to spend N48 billion on education and technology, representing 60 percent rise in capital allocation to the Ministry of Education.
On healthcare, he said the state plans to spend N33 billion on programmes, which include proposed revamping and re-equipping over 350 Primary Health Centres.
Mr 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, pointing out that there would be strict performance mechanism to drive compliance and measure the progress of the budget at the execution stage.
“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 various social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1 billion this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programs and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the engines for both economic and employment growth,” he said.
Reviewing the performance of 2019 Appropriation Bill, which he signed into law in June shortly after he assumed office, Mr Sanwo-Olu said his government embarked on strict implementation of the budget and achieved 69 percent efficiency at the end of September.
He said his administration completed critical projects that directly impacted residents, including two Maternal and Child Care Centers (MCCs) in Eti-Osa and Alimosho areas, and 492-flat Lateef Jakande Housing Estate in Igando.
The Governor said several other capital projects captured in the 2019 budget, including 31 arterial roads in Ojokoro/Ijaiye area, a High Court and Magistrates Court complex in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, and a Police Command Complex in Ojo Local Government Area, will be completed.
Mr Sanwo-Olu observed that the approved re-ordering of the 2019 budget by the legislature gave the government an 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.
Mr 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 wellbeing of the residents.
In his remarks, Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, praised Mr Sanwo-Olu for accepting the responsibility to tackle challenges faced the state.
He said the Governor’s activities since his assumption of office had re-assured Lagosians about his zeal to fix problems he inherited from the last administration.
“Mr Governor, your actions so far have shown the zeal, desire and passion in you to get things done, to fix what has been left undone and to move the state forward. Hence, we believe that the content of the budget will serve this purpose in making life worthy of living for our people in Lagos,” the Speaker said.
Mr Obasa promised the Assembly would ensure speedy passage of the budget and make it a “New Year” gift for people.
The Assembly chamber was filled to capacity, as a large crowd of Lagos residents, comprising leaders and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), State Executive Council members, traditional rulers, workers, traders, artisans, students and stakeholders in the private sector, witnessed the budget presentation.
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