Lagos Assembly probes debt profile of state

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LAGOS — LAGOS State House of Assembly, LSHA, yesterday, directed its Committee on Economic Planning and Budget to probe the debt profile of the state and report its findings to the House in September.

The House which gave the directive  during the plenary where it approved the request by the executive for re-ordering of the 2013 budget on internal loans to support the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, also asked the committees to carry out the mid-year appraisal of all ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, in the state.

The committees had told the House that they were unable to ascertain the true debt position of the state and recommended that the Committee on Economic Planning and Budget be mandated to probe the debt profile of the state and report its findings to the House in September 2013.

LSHA gave the approval for re-ordering of the budget after adopting the recommendations of the joint Committees on Economic Plenary and Budget and Lands and Housing which were mandated to look into the request last week.

The joint committees, among others, stressed that the state government would not be able to realise its target on the capital receipts which was to support the capital development in the budget and that the initial N10billion Capital Expenditure of the Ministry of Housing had been increased to N17 billion.

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, last week, requested for the re-ordering of the budget, noting that “budget deficit will be increase” to the tune of N7billion to address the problem of considerable housing” in the state.

He added that it would not lead to increment as it would be sourced through loans to build 600 units of houses.

The amendment did not increase the 2013 budget size as it remains at N499,605 million.

However, the breakdown of the new capital receipts is now N15. 912billion, while the new Capital Expenditure remains at N269.876 billion, recurrent expenditure also remains at N229.729 billion.

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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