At Last, Ambode presents 2019 budget of N852.317Bn
Ambode of Lagos State, yesterday, presented the much awaited proposed 2019 Appropriation Bill of N852.317 billion before members of the state House of Assembly for consideration and passage, putting to rest the face-off between the executive and the legislature over the matter.
The N852.317 billion budget was N193.683 billion less than the 2018 budget of N1.04 Trillion. There had been claims and counter claims between the two arms of government over alleged over the budget. Elections countdown: Oki’s Lagos APC group in door-to-door campaign, canvases vote for PMB re-election Lawmakers led by the Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, had threatened to impeach Governor Ambode to appear over claims that he had spent unbudgeted funds in the Appropriation Bill.
In his presentation to the House, Ambode said that the budget was projected to consolidate on the economic gains made so far by capitalising on realistic, budget friendly programmes and projects, saying the projected total revenue for year 2019 was ₦775.231 billion, of which ₦606.291 billion would be generated internally., a total of ₦168.940 billion is expected from Federal Transfers while a total of ₦77.086 billion will be sourced through deficit financing within the state’s medium term expenditure framework.
He however added that the outgoing year experienced a reduction in the revenue projections, which affected the projected performance and desired implementation of the year 2018 Budget. The overall budget performance as at Nov. 2018 stood at 60 per cent or ₦574.206 billion with actual cumulative total revenue of ₦530.192billion at 64 per cent. Capital Expenditure closed at ₦311.930billion or 49 per cent and Recurrent Expenditure performed at ₦262.276billion or 82 per cent.
He further said that in 2019, as was with previous budgets, economic affairs still dominated the sectoral allocation of the proposed budget as a result of continued focus on the completion of major ongoing projects including Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road; Agege Pen Cinema Flyover; Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, Oshodi Interchange Terminal; completion of JK Randle Complex, Onikan Stadium. Others are Imota Rice Mill; Renovation/Furnishing of Lagos Revenue House, among others in order to meet their specified deliverable outcomes without any bias or prejudice to others.
He assured the house that the revenues of the state will improve this year by consolidating on the already established public financial management and technology-driven revenue reforms; through data integration and use of multi-payment channels as a result of the budget carefully planned budget which will accommodate all and sundry; women, youth and physically challenged, young and old.
“We will continue to spread development to all part of our state even as we embark on effective transition knowing fully well that the implementation, failure or success of the Budget depend on all of us,” he said.
Ambode commended the lawmakers for their contributions, unalloyed support and cooperation accorded to his administration which has contibuted imensely to the success of Lagos State; the cooperation between the different arms of government and the unity of purpose to make life better for all our people.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, commended well-meaning Lagosians for ensuring peace reign supreme between the two arms of government over the impasse between the legislature and executive on the 2019 budget.
Obasa, who noted that the assembly would not delay in the passage of the budget, urged the governor never to relent in delivering dividends of democracy to the people as the role of budget in economy and its essence is key, as provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in Section 121.
According to him, the constitution stipulates that the governor must prepare and lay the budget before the House, which now creates the avenue to incur expenditure. All the arms of government must work together to ensure economic growth and human development. Some of the substantiated reports of financial misappropriation against him and the House are well-orchestrated campaign to disrepute his character and tarnish the integrity of the House.
Obasa called on Ambode to endeavour to attend to urgent needs of residents within the few months left in his administration, and also advised the executive to especially address the inner roads of the state as well as issue of environment.
The speaker, who expressed hope that the 2019 Budget would be of great benefit to the people of Lagos State, appealed to Ambode and Lagos residents for sufficient time to scrutinise the financial document.