Lagos Governor, Ambode Budgets N813 Billion For 2017

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has presented a 2017 budget proposal of N812. 99 billion to the Lagos State House of Assembly for approval.

Governor Ambode, who tagged the budget, “Golden Jubilee Budget”, said that it would promote massive investment in security, transport, road construction physical and social infrastructural development.

The Governor said that the recurrent expenditure stood at N300 billion while the capital expenditures stood at N512.46 billion.

“The People’s Budget of 2016 has positively impacted the lives of Lagosians. I am confident that Year 2017 budget will consolidate on our modest achievements and propel our state to enviable heights.

“Year 2017 budget will be at an auspicious time when our state will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary. “This will continue the massive renewal of our infrastructures and enhancement of Lagos as one of the foremost tourism and investments destination in Africa.

“While we focus on physical infrastructures, we shall continue to pay due attention to social infrastructures, especially health, education, youth and social development in 2017,” the governor said.

According to him, total revenue stood at N350 billion which is 77.5 per cent of the budget while capital expenditure stood at N200 billion which is the 62 per cent of the budget.

Ambode said that the recurrent expenditure performed at N180 billion which is 82 per cent of the budget. According to him, the state has maintained the conservative approach in estimating federal allocation due to fallen oil prices.

The Governor, however, said that the state expected an increase in federal allocation through the 13 per cent derivation from oil and gas in 2017 budget, adding that the income would be paid from December.

He said that the state would enhance revenue growth on several initiatives including automation and efficient revenue administration.

Ambode added that the state would ensure more collaborations with local and international investors, especially in the areas of road network expansions, transports, housing and environments.

The Governor added that the state government would continue to render its performance to the residents of the state through the Town Hall Meetings.

“It is my strong belief that by the end of this Year, there would have been more improvements in the performance indices due to our strong investments in infrastructures,” he said.

He commended the House for its strides in growing and developing the economy of the state.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, while responding to the budget presentation, commended the Governor for his determination to develop the state despite dwindling revenue.

The Speaker, in his appraisal of the governor on road infrastructure and transportation themed, “Light Up Lagos Project” said the House would continue to support the executives to bring more development to Lagosians.

“Almost all projections in the 2016 budgets have been carried out despite the economic situation. I commend the Governor for a number of life-changing projects introduced,” the speaker said.

Mr. Speaker, while reiterating on the House  commitment on enacting laws that would improve socio-economic development of the state, added that the Assembly had passed lots of laws to better the life of residents.

He said that the House would ensure that the 2017 delivers on inclusive growth and prioritise the welfare of the residents. He called on heads of Ministry, Departments and Agencies to cooperate with the House while on oversight functions.

SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT. HON MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA AT THE YEAR 2017 BUDGET PRESENTATION

PROTOCOL
His Excellency, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State; our highly esteemed royal fathers here present, distinguished members of the National Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, Captains of industry, leaders of our pace-setting party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Community leaders, Sole Administrators of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas; members of Diplomatic Corps; market men and women; our energetic youths; members of the 4th Estate of the Realm; all Lagosians; ladies and gentlemen.

1. It is with a lot of pleasure and pride in my heart that I welcome you all to the presentation of the Y2017 Budget themed BUDGET OF GOLDEN JUBILEE by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State. No doubt, this presentation marks another critical milestone in the ongoing radical renewal and transformation of Lagos State.

2. First, let me give great thanks to the Almighty Allah for seeing us this far during the year 2016.

3. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that around this time last year, His Excellency, Mr Ambode, was here to present the Y2016 Budget, where he revealed to us all his projections for this year. A year after, however, almost everything that was mentioned in the budget has been carried out to the letter.

4. Eminent Lagosians, ladies and gentlemen, despite the very turbulent economic environment we found ourselves during the year under review such as depreciating trend of the value of the Naira against our reserve currency, the United States Dollar, the high cost of funds represented by growing interest and borrowing rates, economic recession that bedevilled us as a nation, increases to the pump prices of petrol, inflation and the likes, it is gratifying to note that this administration has endeavoured to remain realistic, unperturbed and responsive to the dynamics that suddenly changed without affecting all the plans for the year.

5. A number of life changing projects such as the Light up Lagos Project, constructions and rehabilitations of roads in all the LGs and LCDAs in the state, Marina-Ikoyi-Lekki Monorail, Lagos Medical Park, 8-lane Ikorodu-Epe road, and the ongoing construction of the state-of-the-art Flyovers at Abule Egba, Berger and Ajah as well as that of the Pen Cinema in Agege, which will soon take off, among others, are pointers to the success story of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, which were all properly spelt out in the Y2016 budget that this House appropriated.

6. Ladies and gentlemen, when I assumed the speakership of this House about eighteen months ago, I promised to lead an Assembly that would make and sustain positive impacts on the lives of Lagosians. As a team, we promised to live up to the expectations of the teeming Lagosians by enacting Laws that would aid socio-economic development and growth of the state.

7. In this regards, fellow Lagosians, since the inception of the 8th Legislative Assembly, your House of Assembly has made immense contributions through legislations and resolutions that are geared towards legal backing for policies, programmes and other activities of the Government as well as to aid development in all the 57 Councils of the state.

8. With the feat achieved by Governor Ambode in the last one year, there is no doubting the responsiveness and readiness of this noble House to pass pro-people and pro-development legislations. The supportive role played by this honourable House has contributed in no small measure to the creditable performance of Mr. Governor in the outgoing year, much to the admiration of Lagosians.

9. Among the laws passed by this Assembly over the course of this year, which are in line with the Y2016 Budget, are the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law (2016), and the much-touted Lagos State Properties Protection Law (2016). While the Neighbourhood law is a direct response to the security challenges in the state such as kidnappings and the likes, which culminated in the inauguration of the Board of Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, the Properties Law is meant to drive investment in the state. More so, this House is equally considering a bill on criminalising kidnapping in the state; the bill is at the committee stage.

10. May I further add that this Assembly has also approved two regulations which are Stamp Duties Regulations (2016) and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Operating Regulations (2016).

11. Fellow Lagosians, my dear colleagues, His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has just presented Year 2017 budget estimate for the consideration of your House. The projected budget size is Eight Hundred and Twelve Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million Naira (N812, 998,000,000).

12. It is crystal clear that the Y2017 Budget is aimed at massive investments in Security, Transport/traffic management, Tourism, Education, Health and Infrastructure (social and physical), to consolidate and improve on the Y2016 Budget and ensure delivery of democratic dividends to the citizenry at a time of recession.

13. I will like to add here too that the reports of our last stakeholders’ meetings have been submitted to the Governor. It is expected that the outcome of the constituency meetings has been factored in this budget and will be implemented accordingly.

14. As usual, we shall not fail in our duties to painstakingly look at the nitty-gritty of this budget for the purpose of transforming same for the benefits of all Lagosians. I assure you that this House, through effective oversight, will ensure that the Year 2017 budget delivers on its promises to stimulate the economy of the state by focusing on infrastructure development, delivering inclusive growth and prioritizing the welfare of Lagosians.

15. Therefore, I enjoin all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to furnish the committees of the House necessary documents that will aid speedy and fruitful passage of the budget. And may I further remind us that our duty to perform oversight function on MDAs is enshrined in Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended). As such, the cooperation, without any reservation, of all the MDAs is highly needed while we are at work.

16. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, our state Lagos, the Centre of Excellence, has continued to be seen both within and outside our country as the very place where good governance is the norm, which readily explains why our state is home to all Nigerians, having attained the enviable status of a mega city. It is on this note, therefore, that I urge the National Assembly to reconsider the special status we demand.

17. In view of the importance and significance of Nigeria and its population in African economy and that of Lagos State in Nigerian economy, coupled with the fact that the state is recognised as the fifth largest economy in Africa, there is no doubt that Lagos State alone can bring about the economic recovery of this nation, thereby pulling us out of the present economic recession we find ourselves. Hence, I cannot but appeal to the Senate to reconsider their stance on our issue of special status.

18. Dear Lagosians, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as we struggle to bring an end to the challenges of recessions and the likes, may I let us know that it is our duty to see to the welfare of our neighbours by reaching out to the less privileged in our society. We can do this by making it a habit of providing a meal per day to the needy around us. This is an initiative of mine that I plan to do in my community. I likewise encourage us to emulate same.

Once again, I thank you all for coming and wish us a fruitful Y2017.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, loje walogun.

Rt. Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

Assembly Urges Ambode To Secure Lagos Against Kidnapping

Lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly have advised Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to properly secure the state against kidnapping and other criminal activities.

This became a resolution of the House through the Lagos State House of Assembly Motion No. 43 initiated by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade and others and read during plenary on Monday 28, November.

It was resolved through the Motion that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode should take all necessary steps aimed at involving the Nigeria Air Force, Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Army to checkmate kidnapping in the state.

Mr. Ambode was directed to arrange with the state Commissioner of Police and heads of other security agents in the state to increase security patrol and to station Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and other security equipment in Maya, Epe and other strategic areas of the state.

The Governor was also enjoined to ensure the prosecution of those arrested in connection with gang wars in the state.

Contributing to the motion, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu said that it is apt and that it has captured the mood of the state.

He stated that criminals in the state come up with a lot of strategies despite the huge amount of money the state government has spent on security.

The lawmaker however, advised that the security men should be equipped with gun boats and other devices to fight crime on water.

Also, Hon. Tobun Abiodun emphasised that the government should do its best to drive the criminals from the state as he said that they have now moved to places such as Epe, Ikorodu and Badagry.

Tobun further advised the state government to consider aerial surveillance as he said that the criminals now operate in the creeks.

However, Hon. Tunde Braimoh observed that the security challenge is not peculiar to Lagos State and that it is a common phenomenon in a metropolitan state like Lagos.

In his comments, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh advised that the state should attach importance to having more marine policemen as he said that the state’s waterways are porous.

Lagos Assembly Orders Safety Commission DG To Step Aside

The Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Hakeem Olaogun Dickson, has been ordered to stop occupying the office until he is cleared by the State House of Assembly.

This was sequel to the observation of the Chairman of the House Committee on Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Hon. Akeem Shokunle.

Shokunle had informed the House that Dickson is occupying the office without an approval from the House of Assembly against the law which established the commission and the normal practice.

He added that this is a wrong step that should be urgently addressed by the House.

This was supported by Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho,who said that the people are watching what is happening and that whoever would occupy such an office ought to be cleared by the House.

Also commenting on the matter, the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru and Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi emphasised that the Governor of the state should be directed to ask the Director General to report to the Assembly for screening.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, subsequently ordered that Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni should write a letter to the Commission asking Dickson to step aside and stop parading himself as the DG until he is cleared by the House of Assembly.

He said further that an inquiry should be made to know if the commission has a legal department, which ought to have advised the management on the right step to take before someone would occupy the office of the DG.

Dickson was appointed into the office after the exit of its former DG, Mr. Fuad Oki.

Photo News: ECOWAS Parliament Delegates Visit Obasa

L-R: Member, Lagos State House of Assembly(LAHA), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu; member, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Sen. Prince Yormie Johnson (Liberia); Speaker LAHA, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; and acting clerk LAHA, Mr Azeez Sanni during ECOWAS parliamentarian visit to the Speaker in Lagos on Thursday.

Obasa Gets ECOWAS Parliament’s Nod To Integrate State Lawmakers

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa on Thursday, November 17, 2016 sought and got the approval of the ECOWAS Parliament to integrate state lawmakers into their programmes with a view to developing the socio-economy of the various states and regions of the ECOWAS member countries.

The Lagos Speaker stated this in his speech when a delegation of the ECOWAS Parliament visited the state House of Assembly after participating in a programme on maritime security in Lagos.

“I want to urge the leadership of the ECOWAS Parliament to look at ways of integrating members of the state Houses of Assemblies. This will avail us the opportunity to interact on various development programmes for the states and regions of the ECOWAS member countries,” Rt. Hon. Obasa said.

He stated further that there is need for collaboration with the ECOWAS Parliament with a bid to promote trade legislations aimed at improving and.developing the economy of the Member states. “Here in Lagos, there are robust trade and.commerce structures, and we are always ready to collaborate with other states and.countries for mutual benefits for all of us,” Obasa said.

Dr Nelson O Magbagbeola, Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament assured the Lagos Assembly Speaker  that the Parliament was already putting measures in place to integrate state lawmakers in the activities of the Parliament.

Speaking earlier, a member of the Parliament and Chairman of its Committee on Gender Rights, Honourable Kaboubie Reine Bertille Benao Sakande from Burkina Faso who spoke on behalf of other parliamentarians on the entourage, told the Lagos Assembly Speaker that they were on a programme in Lagos and deemed it fit to visit the state Assembly.

“We are aware of the good job you are doing here and we decided to visit you,” she said. Rt. Hon. Obasa later took the visiting parliamentarians on a tour of facilities in the House.

There were 30 parliamentarians spread across Nigeria, Togo, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Liberia and Sierra Leone on the entourage while the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon Oluyinka Ogundimu; and his counterpart in the Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, Hon Tunde Buraimo as well as the acting Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni joined the Speaker in playing host to members of the delegation.

Lagos Assembly Sets -Up Committee To Investigate Killings In Otodo-Gbame Community

The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a committee to investigate alleged killings and destruction of property in Otodo-Gbame Community in Ikate Elegushi Local Council Development Area of the state.

According to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the committee is to be headed by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade.

Members of the committee, as announced during plenary on Tuesday, include Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, and Hon. Mosunmola Sangodar; and they are to submit their report within one week.

Some residents of Otodo-Gbame Community had staged a protest to the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday alleging destruction of their property by agents of the state government.

The protesters, who included women and children, chanted several solidarity songs and blocked vehicles from passing through the frontage of the assembly until they were dispersed by security men.

They later submitted a letter dated 14 November and addressed to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, where they alleged that they were being harassed and intimidated by officers from Jakande Police Station.

According to them, those harassing them included one Mrs. Adebayo, a daughter of one General Adebayo, Anofi Elegushi and Oba Saheed Elegushi via thugs and officers of the Nigerian Police Force and soldiers.

A spokesman for the protesters, Comrade Bokoh Oluwole, who is a leader in the community, alleged that they were being treated like animals and slaves in Lagos State in Otodo-Gbame Community in Ikate Elegushi Local Council Development Area.

Oluwole stated in an interview with journalists that suspected hoodlums went to the community with the police last week Tuesday and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.

He added that they set properties ablaze, and that many people ran inside the water and that he heard that the state Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni was also there that to maintain peace in the area.

“Shortly after the commissioner left, policemen from Jakande Police Station came into the community to protect the hoodlums again.

“Not less than 400 houses were burnt and we were told that policemen are in the community again today destroying properties. We have since recovered about three bodies from the water.

“We are still looking for five more people. They did not give us a single notice; we just saw them claiming ownership of the land and there is no court judgment on the matter. They see us as fishermen; we built our houses on water just like Ilaje people,” he said.

The Speaker stated that the reports of the protest were in the newspapers and that the Assembly would not condone extra judicial killings in the state by security men, which he said was why the committee was set-up to investigate the matter.

Lagos Assembly Passes Regulation on State Employment Trust Fund

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed Regulation on the Administration of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund with an interest rate of 5 percent annually for every qualified applicant.

The Regulation was passed by the House following a report, which was presented by the Chairman of the House committee on Wealth Creation and Employment, Hon. Sola Giwa.

Speaking with journalists after plenary, Giwa stated that the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode is poised to fulfil his promises to the people, saying that this necessitated the passage of the Regulation for the guidelines on the running of the loans to be disbursed.

The lawmaker explained that “the Fund is a pool of resources from tax payers’ money. It is done so that the current challenges of not having white collar jobs will be addressed.”

He further stated that the disbursement would be done on the basis of merit, adding that it would be fund made available to genuine residents in the state irrespective of political or tribal inclinations.

Section 12 of the regulation states that “conditions for granting of loan include interest rate of 5 percent per annum; repayment period of 36 months; personal life protection policy, comprehensive insurance cover; moratorium period of six months; 10 percent equity contribution by the beneficiary of the loan and evidence of clean credit record issued by the Fund’s bank.’

In section 6, the Regulation stipulated that the loan limit is a maximum of N500,000.00 per person or household.

In section 13, an applicant also must fulfill some conditions for the loan to be granted.

The security for the loan included personal guarantee of the principal promoters; two guarantors that must be resident in Lagos State and they must submit a copy of the Lagos Stats Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) among others.

It was also noted in Section 5 that an applicant shall fill out the prescribed form and shall submit same to the Executive Secretary of the Fund with evidence of Lagos residency, valid bank verification number and tax card of the directors or owner.

Under section 9, eligible beneficiaries shall be businesses operating within the state.

It was however, stated that the loan may be sourced from micro-businesses in groups or clusters across the various local governments and local council development areas.

Those eligible for the loan include trade associations, registered cooperative groups or societies and referral from council areas.

PAC (STATE) DECRIES ABANDONED PROJECTS IN HEALTH SECTOR, INSPECTS MULTI-BILLION NAIRA ADIYAN WATER PROJECT

The Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, (State), Hon. Moshood Lanre Oshun, representing Mainland Constituency II, has expressed the sadness of the State Assembly over abandoned projects spread across hospitals and health institutions in the state.

Hon. Oshun made the remarks at a meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Health, led by the Commissioner, Dr. Jide Idris and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public health, Dr. Onanuga as well as official from Ministry of Justice, Works, and Health Service Commission alongside contractors handling projects for the agency.

It would be recalled that the Public Account Committee (state) recently considered the Y2015 Audit report where issues relating to abandonment of project by some contractors were keenly observed. Hon. Moshood Oshun, at the meeting, expressed the displeasure of the Assembly over the neglect of projects by some contractors having collected substantial amount from government.

He therefore admonished all the contractors handling various projects for government in the state to rededicate themselves and deliver their projects according to specification and time frame, explaining that the Public Account Committee (State) as mandated by the leadership of the Assembly would ensure proper accountability, probity and transparency to bring the ugly trend under permanent check.

In a related development, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts Committee (State), Hon. Moshood Oshun recently led other members of the Committee on inspection of the on-going Adiyan water project.

The visit was in furtherance to unraveling issue emanating from the consideration of the Y2015 Audit report.

According to the Chairman, his Committee was enthusiastic to ascertain the level of work and conformity with the principle of probity and accountability at the water project site to ensure that tax payer’s money is judiciously spent and accounted for.

It would be recalled that Hon. Moshood Oshun had assured Lagosians that his Committee would be very stringent and thorough with observation raised by the office of the Auditor-General in the Y2015 report on MDA’s.

Receiving the Committee at the project site, the Project Manager, Mr. Paolo Campanella explained that the water treatment plant would bring succor to Lagosians in the provision of portable water.

The Chairman, Hon. Moshood Oshun, however, questioned the slow pace of work on the project despite huge amount committed to the project. He frowned at the excuse on the delay in the release of fund put forward by the contractor, but asked whether the levels of work tally with the funds collected by the contractor.

The contractor is expected to appear before the committee for further briefing.