Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday presented a 2016 budget proposal of N662.58 billion to the Lagos State House of Assembly for approval. Ambode, who tagged the budget “The People’s Budget”, said that it would promote massive investment in security, transport/traffic management, physical and social infrastructural development as well as enhance job creation.
The budget is made up of capital expenditure of N383.678 billion and a recurrent expenditure of N278.909 billion in the ratio of 58:42 respectively as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015. “This represents an improvement of 26 per cent over the budgets of 2014 and 2015 respectively, which stood at N489.69 billion,” Ambode said.
The N489.69 billion year 2015 budget was later reordered and signed into law on Sept. 23, 2015. The reordered budget comprised N19.7 billion capital expenditure and N5.7billion recurrent expenditure within the initial budget size. Ambode said that the total revenue estimate for 2016 fiscal year was N542.87billion.
He said that this showed that the balance of N119.71billion would be funded through deficit financing that would be 0.41 per cent of the state GDP based on 2016 budget alone and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about 3 per cent. The budget breakdown revealed that Economic Affairs had the highest allocation of N211,04 billion followed by General Public Services, N120,50 billion.
Education and Health had N113.37 billion and N64.67 billion respectively. Housing and Community Housing and Community Amenities got N62.71 billion while Environment got N53.04 billion and Public Order and Safety N28.55 billion. Others are Recreation, Culture and Religion, N4.63 billion and Social Protection N4.02 billion.
Ambode said that the 2016 budget would be used to strategically build new infrastructure, while existing ones would be maintained. “Wealth and employment creation will receive a lot of attention as we commence the implementation of the Employment Trust Scheme which will set aside N25 billion over a four-year period for job creation,” he said.
Ambode pointed out that the Federal Government still owed the state N50 billion expended on federal roads in the state. “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. “We look forward to an early refund to enable us utilise the fund on other infrastructure that require attention,” he said.
“To say that the dwindling oil revenues is affecting the revenues of the state and the nation is to state the obvious. “Our Internally Generated Revenue has been our saving grace in Lagos State, but that does not imply that we are immune to the crisis rocking other states,” Ambode said.
He, therefore, implored residents to make it a point of duty to pay their taxes appropriately as and when due. “On our part, we promise that this budget shall be implemented faithfully and in the best interest of Lagosians,” he said. Receiving the budget, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said the presentation was necessary to obtain legislative consent for the amount of money to be spent in the coming financial year.
“We have all listened with rapt attention to how the wealth of our state will be utilised 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.
The speaker, who commended the governor on road infrastructure and procurement of mass transit buses, urged him to do more to ensure traffic flow. The speaker handed over the demands of the residents collated from the town hall meetings held by the lawmakers across the 40 constituencies to the governor.
Source: Vanguard Nigeria