By Lukman Olabiyi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday urged Commissioners for Economic Planning and Budget across the 36 states to be disciplined, fair, firm and prudent in their budget planning and implementation of sustainable national development goals as they support their principals in designing a pathway for the betterment of their states.
The governor said the commissioners’ action in discharging their duties can either make or mar their principals’ administration.
He also enjoined the commissioners to set up an independent monitoring mechanism to assess how well they have done in their Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs).
Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the advice while declaring open the 15th Community of Practice meeting, which is the gathering of all the Commissioners for Budget and Economic Planning of the 36 states of the Federation, themed: “Human Capital Development: A Panacea for Sustainable Development.”
The two-day conference held at Victoria Island, Lagos, was organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.
Sanwo-Olu encouraged the commissioners to put in place good action plans and draw up budgetary process that is real, implementable, actionable and impactful from the action plans, adding that they should be disciplined with the budget.
“We must discipline ourselves to work with the government plan. It is when you are disciplined that you can assess yourself to know whether you have done very well and know which areas you need to correct.
“You must have a disciplined budget. It is when you are disciplined with your budget that you can look at your citizens and tell them you have done what you promised based on your budget performance. With modesty, we in Lagos and more importantly in our government in the last three years, have not done below 85 percent budget performance.
“For your principals to do well, you need to do well. And for you to do well, you need to have a few qualities. You need to discipline yourself. You need to be very prudent yourself. You need to be fair, firm and courageous.
“You need to say to yourself that on this job, I will ensure that the greatest good is for the greatest numbers because that is the only way your principal will look good. That is the only way your governor will come out like a shining star,” Governor Sanwo-Olu advised.
In his address, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said sustainable economic growth and planning required timely action and that the conference would ensure further collaboration between the Federal Government and the states.
Agba, who commended the Lagos State’s Developmental Plan, said Governor Sanwo-Olu has displayed patriotism as Lagos remains an iconic centre for life events and economic opportunities with symbolic significance.
He said the theme of the conference is apt with the demands to take action to tackle existing problems to achieve national goals and objectives. He therefore, called on commissioners to have a development plan to work in harmony with the nation’s economic drive.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Community of Practice, Hon. Solomon Elisha, applauded Governor Sanwo-Olu for making Lagos a pointer in economic planning and sustainability by making the environment favourable for the State’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, which has informed the commissioners making the decision to converge in Lagos to get the requisite experience “to catch with the standard Lagos has set.”
He called for such support to be extended to the forum.
Elisha, who is the Taraba State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, said the conference provides an avenue for experience sharing and building capacity on planning and budget preparation, adding that it is a platform to discuss resolutions for implementation on economic planning.