The Lagos State House of Assembly at Thursday’s plenary ordered all its standing committees to commence work on the budget estimates for 2017 by inviting ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of governments for the defence of the proposals.
Leading the charge was the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who while presiding over the plenary, directed the committees to report to the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning within two weeks.
The House resolved to go ahead with the invitation of the MDAs having read the first and second readings simultaneously of the budget proposal as presented by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
Ambode, it will be recalled, had on Tuesday, November 29, presented a budget proposal of N813 billion to the House of Assembly, assuring that the budget would 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 2017 budget 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 would get adequate attention.
Giving the key components of budget, Governor Ambode said recurrent expenditure would gulp N300.535 billion while N512.464 billion would be dedicated to capital expenditure, representing a capital/recurrent ratio of 63 per cent to 37 per cent.
The lawmakers who took turns to debate the components of the estimates, expressed satisfaction over the proposal, saying the readiness of the state government to spend more on capital expenditure indicated the sensitivity of government to the plight of the people.
Some of the lawmakers also allayed the fears of the public on the possibility of government to be able to generate 70 per cent of the internally generated revenue (IGR) as proposed by the governor.
In his comments, Chairman House committee on Public Account (local), Bisi Yusuff, stated that the budget proposal would address the challenges of unemployment.
While also lauding the proposal, Chairman, House Committee on Waterfront, Gbolahan Yishawu, however cautioned his colleagues to properly scrutinise it, especially some roads to be constructed which had been categorized under Public Private Partnership (PPP) road projects.
The Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru expressed reservation over the ability of the state government to generate the 70 percent IGR being proposed by the governor.