Moshood Adebayo and Chinelo Obogo
After many months of squabbles between the executive and legislative arms of government, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has finally presented the 2019 budget totalling N852.317 billion
The budget is N187.68 billion less than last year’s budget, which was put at N1.04 trillion.
However, the ceremony which lasted about 25 minutes was devoid of the usual razzmatazz of budget presentation in the state.
Ambode, who had arrived the assembly complex at about 2.23p.m, was received by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and other principal officers of the House.
Thereafter, the governor had a group photograph with some members of the assembly, including the speaker, his deputy and few others.
The assembly had been embroiled in crisis with the governor since December 2018, over the non-presentation of the budget.
This led to the lawmakers threatening to impeach the governor if he failed to abide by the parliamentary tradition.
Though the governor insisted that he had sent the budget to the assembly on December 28, 2018, the lawmakers disputed it and insisted the budget was not before the House.
However, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other chieftains of the ruling party, on Sunday, saved the governor from the planned impeachment.
This followed a special meeting of the Governor’s Advisory Committee (GAC), of which Tinubu is the leader, which held at Lagos House, Marina, with Tinubu, Ambode and other APC chieftains in attendance.
In his speech, Ambode, who described the lawmakers as partners in the continuous work for the progress and development of the state, said he had come to the Hallowed chamber with the same enthusiasm.
“Each time I‘ve come here, we’ve been accorded a very warm and cordial reception by this honourable House, and for this, we are very grateful. This House has been a solid partner in progress and none of the achievements recorded in our state in the past three and half years could have been possible without the support and cooperation of this Eighth Assembly.”
Ambode said he was privileged to have worked with the House and “there is no bill we have brought forward that was not given favourable consideration.
“That is the secret of the success of Lagos State; the cooperation between the different arms of government and our unity of purpose to make life better for all our people.”
From the inception of this administration, we focused our attention on nine core functional groups, which are a reflection of our priorities and the needs assessments of the citizenry. These areas include Security, Transport/Traffic management, Economy, including Tourism and Agriculture, Housing, Education, Health, Infrastructure – Social and Physical, Water, Wealth Creation – Skill Acquisition/Microfinance, E-Governance and Enhanced Capacity Building, Sustainable Environment and Smart City projects.
He lamented that the state experienced a reduction in its revenue projections in the immediate past year.
This, he said, affected the projected performance and desired implementation of the Y2018 Budget.