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    Monday, December 21, 2015

    Ambode Presents Y2016 Budget Proposal Of N662.588bn To House Of Assembly …Urges FG To Speed Up Special Status For Lagos

    Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode last week Thursday presented the Year 2016 Budget proposal of N662.588billion to the House of Assembly, with a pledge that his administration will not only implement the budget faithfully, but also ensure that it works in the best interest of Lagosians.

    The Governor who christened the 2016 budget “The Peoples Budget” said it is an improvement of 26 percent over the budgets of 2014 and 2015 respectively which stood at N489.6 Billion individually.
    “The increase will enable our government to focus on the present challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural development which has thrown up new challenges quite different from what we used to experience and have always known”, he said.
    He said the 2016 budget which is the first full budget of the present administration will promote massive investment in Security, Transport and Traffic management, Physical and Social Infrastructural development and enhance job creation.

    He said the intention of his government is to use the 2016 budget to strategically build new infrastructure, as well as maintain existing ones, adding that wealth and employment creation will also receive adequate attention in the course of the year.

    Giving a breakdown of the budget figures, Governor Ambode put the Recurrent Expenditure at N278,909bn while Capital Expenditure stands at N383,678bn, explaining that the Capital to Recurrent ratio is 58:42 as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015.

    Governor Ambode also put the total revenue estimate for 2016 fiscal year at N542.873Billion saying the balance of N119.714billion will be funded through deficit financing constituting 0.41 percent of the state GDP based on 2016 budget alone and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about 3 percent.

    On the size of the budget, the Governor earmarked        N120,508,571,598 for General Public Services representing      18.19 percent, N28,559,021,841 to Public Order and Safety, representing 4.31 percent    while Economic Affairs received a lion share of      N211,043,408,183 representing 31.85 percent.

    In other sectors, Environment got 8.1 percent of the budget totally N53,043,599,505, Housing and Community Amenities, got N62,713,091,867 representing 9.46 percent, Health got N64,677,679,096 representing 9.76 percent while Recreation, Culture and Religion has N4,636,917,054 which is 0.70 percent of the budget.

    Education sector also received N113,379,337,664  representing 17.11 percent of the budget while Social Protection got N4,025,980,116, which is 0.61 of the budget.

    Governor Ambode said that due to the falling oil prices, the budget is pegged on $38 dollar per barrel saying it was in line to maintain a conservative approach in estimating the Federal allocation for 2016.

    “Fiscal Federalism and according Lagos a Special Status will benefit the State as we implore the Federal Government to look into this as soon as possible. As you are aware, the Federal Government still owes Lagos State over N50billion expended on federal roads in Lagos state.  We look forward to an early refund to enable us utilize the fund on other infrastructure that require attention”, the Governor said.

    Receiving the budget, Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Mudashiru Obasa commended the governor for procuring security equipment to combat insecurity in the state, just as he assured that the budget proposal would be meticulously looked into by the House.

    In his remarks, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa said, "we have all listened with rapt attention to how the wealth of our state will be utilized for our common good in year 2016.

    "The responsibility is now on the members of this Honourable House to do the needful; and I assure you that we will meticulously perform our constitutional duty.

    "We are all hopeful and expectant that this coming year will witness more of democracy dividends for betterment of Lagos and Lagosians."

    According to him, the 2016 Appropriation Bill is significant in that it is the first budget proposal to be presented by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as well as the first to be received by the Speaker of the House.

    Obasa, who noted that emphasis should be given to job creations and education, urged that residents would have more access to the dividends of democracy dividends. He added," I must confess, some of our people still live in abject poverty.

    "In treating this budget, we will not forget that we are trustees for the people. A lot has indeed been done in the area of job creation and economic empowerment of Lagosians. "But there is a dire need to create more opportunities for our people; more jobs will definitely lead to greater economic growth."

    The speaker urged the both the executive and the legislature to give priority to the well being of lagosians in the area of education, security among other things.

    He added, "You will all agree with me that the responsiveness and readiness of this honourable House to pass pro-people and pro-development legislations is rightly on the course in giving Mr. Governor the much needed enabling environment to perform creditably well to the admiration of our people.

    "This indeed is the confirmation that behind every performing governor there is a pro-active, pro-people and pro-development House of Assembly."

     According to him, the recent commissioning and handing over of patrol vehicles, motorcycles, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), gunboats and helicopters to the Nigerian Police and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), to combat crime in the state among other things is a confirmation.

    He said that procurement of security gadgets would attract more investors to the state.

    The Speaker commended the governor for being astute, courageous, insightful, forthright, thorough, and determined, stressing that Ambode had  during your few months in office, displayed capability to maintain a track record of resourceful consistency.

    Obasa said that he reordering of 2015 budget was a testimony of his desire to give the people necessary infrastructure which will engender socio-economic growth.
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