Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Sunday assured the state residents that the dwindling remittances from the Federation Account would not undermine the implementation of the 2015 budget put at N489.690 billion.
He said the State Executive Council “will consolidate and finish as many projects as possible we can. We will continue to render services. The truth is that the service demands do not stop.”
The governor stated this at the signing of 2015 appropriation law at Lagos House, Marina, witnessed by the state Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, a few members of the State Executive Council and some members of the state House of Assembly.
He acknowledged the financial challenges confronting the federation due to oil price slump when the budget was presented in November 2014, which, he said, ordinarily cast a pall on its effective implementation.
The governor, however, said the prevailing financial challenges would not affect undermine the budget execution, noting that the revenue of the state has largely been based on our common contribution as we know. “That is how we built our common wealth here. We need to be innovative, inventive and hard-working.
“That is what we have given in the last eight years. We will not give anything less and with the support of the people of Lagos. They are ownership of this government and all of its service delivery programmes. I think as challenging as the revenue issue may be, we will consolidate and finish as many possible project as we can.
“We will continue to render services. The truth is that the service demands do not stop. They continue on an incremental basis. That is why also we need experience hands to continue this work Budget is the article of faith of government. That determines how focused and serious government and how our state is governed.”
Consequently, he reiterated that it was important “not to attempt to experiment with the administration and governance of this very important state not only in Nigeria but also in the sub-region and on the African continent and indeed globally.”
The governor explained the rationale behind the signing of the budget yesterday Sunday, noting that it became imperative because the All Progressives Congress (APC) would attend a national meeting in Abuja today, which required his presence.
According to him, today, our party has called a national meeting in Abuja. That should not delay the signing of the budget. It will have been easier for us to move it forward. But we moved the signing back so that the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) can continue with the government business while I am in Abuja.
At the budget presentation, Fashola pointed out diverse challenges, which he said, might undermine its implementation, thereby blaming the state’s fiscal constraints on lack of transparency by the federal government and its oil agencies.
Fashola said the budget capital expenditure “is 51 per cent while recurrent expenditure is pegged at 49 per cent” compared with the 2014 budget, which was 52 per cent for recurrent expenditure and 48 per cent for capital expenditure.
He reeled out the breakdown of the budget, which earmarked N146.305 billion for economic affairs; N107.69 billion for general service; N49.033 billion for housing and community amenities; N82.14 billion for education; N44.619 billion for health and N34.953 billion for environmental protection.
He put public safety and order at N15.547 billion; recreation, culture and religion at N3.118 billion; social protection at N1.589 billion, planning reserve at N2.26 billion and contingency at N2.448 billion.