The national president of a pro democracy group, Campaign for Dignity in Governance (CDG), Razaq Olokoba, has urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to give priority to the quick passage of the 2020 budget proposal presented last Friday by Governo Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Olokoba said that the quick passage of the budget would motivate the governor to hit the ground running by implementing all the earmarked projects for the state.
Governor Sanwo-Olu last week presented a N1.1 trillion budget proposal to the legislative house with a view to getting it passed to guarantee prompt implementation of the document’s content.
In view of the above, the CDG wants accelerated passage to forestall time wasting in the implementation, enthusing that, with the reported 62 per cent of the budget for capital spending as well as the proposed fiscal plan of N115 billion for public infrastructure, Lagos State, in 2020, would be a massive construction site.
Olokoba stated that, accelerated passage of the budget by the House would help Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s plan to accelerate the growth of state’s economy through aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities like physical infrastructure, environment, human capital and security to come to fruition.
Its quick passage, according to the youth leader, would give nobody unnecessary excuse for delayed implementation, enthusing that, the proposed budget would help the state in achieving the desired sustainable social investment and scale up private sector-led economic growth for the good of the citizenry.
Olokoba expressed confidence that, Sanwo-Olu, going by his antecedents, would implement the budget to the satisfaction of the people of the state, believing the governor’s assurance of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the budget.
He reminded that Sanwo-Olu was quoted to have said that, “the 2020 budget will be supported by a performance management system that will ensure that, by December 2020, we shall achieve an optimal budget implementation when compared with previous years.”
The group therefore enjoined the House of Assembly, under the leadership of Mudashiru Obasa to do the needful, saying, the people of the state are looking forward to hearing good news from them over the budget.
A budget estimate of 1.168 trillion naira to be funded through a projected total revenue of 1.071 trillion naira was present before the Lagos Assembly by Governor Sanwo-Olu last Friday.
The budget tagged “Budget of Awakening to a Greater Lagos” according to the governor, intends to attract private sector investments to the state by creating an enabling environment; aggressively develop, upgrade and maintain infrastructure; invest in human capital development, education and healthcare; facilitate sustainable social investment and enterprise; improve capacity to collect due revenues as efficiently as possible; improve civic participation in governance, and automate public services and engagement.
He further stated that the Y2020 budget would build impactful partnerships with the Federal Government, other states, development partners and civil society; and improve the quality of the environment and our public spaces generally.
While highlighting the components of the proposal Sanwo-Olu noted that in putting the budget together, several consultations were made across the three senatorial districts, in concurrence with memoranda and feedback from stakeholders’ meetings organised by the State House Of Assembly that were considered, and the support of a performance management system that would ensure an optimal implementation is achieved by December 2020, in comparison with previous years.
He also explained that the budget size is higher than the 2019 appropriation by 34 percent; capital expenditure amounts to 723.75 billion naira and the recurrent expenditure is 444.81 billion naira giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.
While giving his speech, Sanwo-Olu said: “We have placed an increased focus on wealth creation where we will take deliberate steps in courting a partnership between our people and various development institutions. In line with this, we have provided N11.8bn as counterpart funds in preparation for various social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1bn this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programs and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises which are the engines for both economic and employment growth.
“It is equally proposed that a total of 167.81 billion naira of the Recurrent Expenditure shall be applied towards personnel costs and other staff-related expenses. This represents 22.02% of the proposed Total Revenue, which is within the acceptable wage policy of 25% of Total Revenue, and includes a provision for the new minimum wage. The budget deficit of 97.53 Billion Naira will be financed by both internal and external loans.
“This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. Although our capital spend on works and similarly, in healthcare, we have provided for a capital expenditure of 33 Billion Naira, compared to the 2019 budget proposal of 21 billion naira.
“We will ensure that our primary health care institutions remain active and attractive to the primary health care needs of our people. Lagos belongs to us all; we will continue therefore to drive partnerships with the private sector in promoting health services within our institutions.
“Given the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have tripled the capital budget provision to tackle this from 3 Billion Naira in 2019 to nine billion naira in 2020. Infrastructure was just 31 billion naira as at September 2019, as against the 2019 budget proposal of 78 billion naira, it is our intention to spend 115 billion naira in 2020.
“Education will see a significantly increased capital budgetary allocation of 48 billion naira, an increase of 60 percent over the 2019 provision of 30 billion naira. We must improve the standard and relevance of our education outcomes to our industries. We will work together with our Local governments to strengthen early child education and teachers’ training/administration, leveraging technology.”