Adsense Header

How Will Lagos ‘people’s budget’ deliver people’s expectations?

THE fanfare of the first working day of the Year 2016 at the Lagos House in Ikeja could easily have been mistaken for the New Year's Day celebration itself. One after the other, exotic automobiles of all kinds cruised into the premises. Politicians, State Executive Council members and civil servants were stepping out from chauffeur- driven cars and walked straight into the State Banquet Hall, the venue of the event. They were welcomed into the hall by traditional troupe that entertained arrivals with local musical instruments. The occasion turned out to be the signing of the year 2016 Appropriation bill into law.

It calls for a celebration," a state official whispered to a colleague in the hall. At a time when states such as Ekiti, Nassarawa, Enugu, Edo, Adamawa, Oyo and Ogun were presenting a sum of N67b, N77b, N96b, N115b, N120b, N160 and N200b, in that order, for the fiscal year, Lagos showcases a budget of plenty and the largest ever in the history of the state.  From N489.69b in 2015, the budget rose by 26 per cent in 2016 to N662.588b.

The budget tagged, "the peoples' budget 2016", aims to address infrastructure deficits in the area of security, traffic gridlocks and job creation among others, the government stated.

Shortly after signing a copy of the budget, Ambode reiterated that the new Appropriation Law was an article of faith with Lagosians and has been tailored towards the realisation of the mission of delivering on his promise of a Lagos that works for all irrespective age, gender, tribe or status.

The budget comprises of N386, 933b Capital Expenditure, percent and N275, 655b Recurrent Expenditure, representing 58 and 42 per cent respectively.

The project lineup in the "peoples' budget" includes construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads, including the 10-Lane Lagos-Badagry expressway and three flyover bridges in Ajah, Pen Cinema and Abule-Egba. The 27.5km Blue Rail Line project from Okokomaiko to Marina is to be completed; food security. In health, the state will commence Medical Health Insurance Scheme, e-Health programme and Omo-Eko Project at Massey Children Hospital among others.

Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, recently at a forum in Lagos said that most of the religious organisations are entangled with non-charity ventures that are taxable under the law.
"If you set up fee-paying schools, hospitals and the likes under a church, there is a high likelihood that you are engaging in non-charitable activities within charity. If you are doing that, then what stops Dangote from setting up a mosque and having all his bags of cement, rice and sugar under it?," Obazee said.

Analysts are unanimous that the foregoing concerns might be easily dispelled should the budget be well implemented and its promises fulfilled.
Saibu is of the opinion that the institutional framework of budget implementation in Lagos State is still bedeviled with a lot of inefficiencies and the current government must strengthen all agencies so that there could be improvement in budget delivery.
Share on Google Plus

About ExclusiveRaw Naija

Post a Comment