Lagos 2022 Budget Scales Second Reading As Committees Begin Work

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Tuesday committed the 2022 Appropriation Bill of the State to a joint committee on Finance and Economic Planning and Budget after deliberations by members.

Recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last Wednesday presented to the Assembly a budget size of ₦1,388,285,459,990.51 for the year 2022.

As the lawmakers read the bill for a second time, many of them commended the Governor for allocating 59 percent of the proposed budget to capital expenditure with some saying it would further bring the dividends of democracy to the residents of the State.

Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said the allocation to capital expenditure proposes that more hands would be engaged within the year as the government develops more infrastructure.

“If this budget is well funded and monitored properly, democratic dividends would be felt more,” he said.

In his contribution, Hon. Temitope Adewale urged that the revenue generation net of the state should be widened with lesser emphasis on borrowing.

On his part, Hon. Fatai Mojeed, urged that while considering the budget, there should be consideration for the microeconomic indices of the State like its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He commended the Governor for allocating 23 percent of the budget to education but raised concerns over what he called an overbloated personnel cost in the Ministry of Establishment.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, noted that some of the MDAs performed woefully in 2021 adding that there was need for some of the revenue-generating institutions of the government to be rejigged.

He also suggested that the government create more vocational centres for the youth while advising against excessive borrowing.

Speaking on the budget, the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, suggested that the House approves only what is feasible and that if the state needs more, it could make a recourse to the Assembly.

Others who spoke included Hon. Setonji David, who wants the fiscal instruments of the budget to be spelt out properly at the committee stages of defence, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, who advocated for a realistic budget, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, and Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, who urged the government to consider vulnerable women and children.

Meanwhile, the House, at the sitting, passed the bills to amend the Lagos State pension reforms law and that which amends the public office holders (payment of pensions) law.

2022 Budget: Work On Projects To Alleviate Poverty, Empower Lagosians, Obasa Urges Sanwo-Olu

– Speaker calls on Buhari to rejig economy to boost employment
– Says interference of executive in state legislature should be criminalised

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has urged the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to work more on policies to bring more dividends of democracy to the people of the State.

Obasa gave the advice when the governor visited the Assembly on Wednesday to present the 2022 Budget Of Consolidation put at ₦1,388,285,459,990.51.

Speaking after the presentation by the Governor, Obasa who passed a vote of confidence on Mr. Sanwo-Olu for the achievements of the current administration, said the dividends still need to get to the grassroots.

The Speaker also called on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the economy of Nigeria to reduce unemployment, insecurity and poverty.

He praised the House of Assembly for its pro-people orientation and for constantly supporting the Governor to meet the yearnings of the people of the State.

He said the support the Governor enjoys from the Assembly had reflected in the successes so far achieved by the government

While commending the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry into cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by operatives of the disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) in the state, for completing its task, the Speaker urged Lagosians to remain patient and not stoke controversies while a white paper on the report is being expected.

2022 Budget: Lagos Assembly Set To Receive Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State House of Assembly will on Wednesday 24th November 2021, receive Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as he visits to present the 2022 budget.

The date was announced by the Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, at a sitting presided over by the Speaker, Dr. Mudashiru Obasa.

A letter from the Governor to the lawmakers announcing his plan to present the budget was read by the acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko.

In the letter, the Governor thanked the lawmakers for their constant support and the timely approval of the 2021 budget.

He added that the presentation of the 2022 budget was to allow for continuity of the gains recorded by the government over the years.

Meanwhile, at the sitting, the lawmakers also passed the bill for a law to establish Lagos State fire and rescue service and for connected purposes as well as the bill creating the Lagos State University of Science and Technology.

Lagos Assembly Invites Ministries, Others 2020 Over Auditor-General’s Report

A committee on Public Accounts (State) of the Lagos House of Assembly on Wednesday commenced the consideration of the Auditor-General’s report on the accounts of the State for the year 2020 with its chairman, Hon. Saka Solaja, promising that it is not a witch-hunt exercise.

Solaja, however, said the committee would invite indicted Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for questioning in relation to its oversight function concerning the report.

Speaking just before the committee questioned the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency led by Engr. Bisoye Coker Odusote, Solaja noted that the exercise was empowered by Section 125(2) and Section 129(1c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The aim of the committee is to invite all heads of the indicted MDAs and to seek
clarifications regarding the queries raised in the Auditor-General’s report to
enhance service delivery in the State.

“The exercise will also ascertain the completion, accuracy and reliability of the
financial transactions within the sectors and confirm the level of compliance with
financial regulations, relevant legislations and accounting standards and reflect on
each sector’s financial performance and position.

“In addition, the committee
would confirm the revenue and budget performances of all MDAs, reconciliation of the financial records with the Oracle
System of the of MDAs and ascertain the project management and control systems of MDAs in Lagos State.

“I urge you to bear in mind that public expectation is high on this administration, as we have been acknowledged as the reference point in probity and accountability in governance by other States in the Federation.

“The House of Assembly under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi
Obasa cannot afford to disappoint the electorate as the present administration is
positioned to build and improve on previous foundations laid for the development
of the State.

“This exercise is not to witch-hunt any MDAs but to ensure that the committee’s
statutory oversight is used as antidote for financial recklessness by Ministries,
Departments and Agencies in the State.

“Let me assure you that reports of findings
and recommendations would be compiled and forwarded to the House for
deliberations after the exercise,” Solaja said.

Speaker Obasa Gets Double Honours From A Nigerian Institute

It was double honour for the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly on his 49th birthday as he got a Special Fellowship induction and Platinum award from the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration of Nigeria.

Top officials of the institute arrived the Assembly just before the resumption of plenary activities on Thursday after which the twin honours were bestowed on the Speaker, a statement by Eromosele Ebhomele, his Chief Press Secretary, said.

Speaking on behalf of the institute during the investiture, Dr. Uche Okereke, its Registrar, said the professional body had taken enough time to study Obasa and his successes as a legislator and administrator.

According to Okereke, Obasa had shown over time that he has a serious grasp of governance with his focus on pro-people legislations that had helped to grow Lagos and impacted positively on Nigeria.

He added that the Institute was satisfied with the way the Speaker had led the Assembly, his efforts to sustain democracy in Nigeria as well as his understanding that the people are the focus of governance.

He said the Speaker was the first to be honoured with the Platinum award of the Institute in Lagos and the second beneficiary in the Southwest.

“We congratulate you and we wish to be associated with you in your desire to ensure that the Lagos State House of Assembly provides that needed leadership in a democracy.

“The council of the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration of Nigeria has resolved that the Fellowship of the Institute, FCPA, be conferred on Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, and equally conferred on him the prestigious Platinum award of the institute.

“He is the first recipient of the award in Lagos State and the second in the entire Southwest.

“On behalf of the management of the council and members, I hereby congratulate you on this occasion,” he said.

Part of Obasa’s citation shows that the annual constituency stakeholders’ meeting he initiated as Speaker had resulted in major policies and infrastructural developments across Lagos State.

“Very passionate about the delivery of good governance, Obasa has personally initiated a number of private-member bills which have been passed into law.

“Among these are the Neighborhood Safety Corps bill, the Anti-Kidnapping bill and the Cancer Research Institute bill,” it stated.

Ikoyi Collapsed Building: Lagos Assembly Wants Compensation For Bereaved Families

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to compensate the families of the victims that died in the 21-storey building that collapsed at Gerard Road, Ikoyi on Monday, November 1, 2021.

The House, in a motion, also called on the Governor to direct the relevant agencies of government to ensure that all requirements for buildings as stipulated in extant laws of the State are strictly adhered to.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the sitting, said that it was an unfortunate development given the loss of lives that occurred following the incident.

“We should exercise patience before passing comments concerning the incident until the findings of the committees looking into it unravels the cause,” he said adding that it was obvious that the agencies saddled with the responsibility of monitoring buildings and their construction have not done much.

He urged his colleagues to sympathise with the families of those that lost their lives.

“The government should compensate their families. If the agencies had done the needful we would not have this sad occurrence,” he said.

The prime mover of the motion, Hon. Nureni Akinsanya (Mushin 1) earlier expressed worry over the collapse of the building in the state.

In the motion he moved on the floor, Akinsanya said: “The House expressed worry over the wide speculation that the building was raised to 21 floors contrary to the 15 floors approved by the Lagos State Physical planning permit authority (LASPPPA) for the owner.”

The motion added that the House was worried that over time, the State had recorded series of building collapse like the one that happened at in November 2006 and a 3-storey building that collapsed in Ita Faaji in 2016, among others.

“The House is disturbed about the constant collapse of buildings in the state and the manner in which agencies set up to inspect building work, give certification at various stages of construction and keep records for ease of reference, and realise that these frequent cases of building collapse can be attributed to unqualified or unskilled builders, use of sub-standard building materials, illegal conversion or alterations to existing structures and lack of maintenance to mention a few,” the motion said.

The House then mandated its Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development to invite the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development as well as other agencies saddled with the responsibilities of issuing approval, monitoring of construction and project development with a view to ascertaining the level of compliance with the extant laws and regulations relating to buildings in the state.

In his submission, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1), implored others to support the motion noting that it was well couched.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu (Agege 2) said that the motion was all encompassing as the second part of it had given the committee the power to go into details all in the interest of the public.

Hon. Setonji David, Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Publicity and Strategy, opined that many factors might be responsible for the incident.

The lawmakers, thereafter, observed a minute silence for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives.

Plateau Assembly Crisis: Lagos Lawmakers Want Buhari, Others To Defend Democracy

*Ask Speakers Conference not to recognise newly elected Speaker

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday condemned the crises in the Plateau and Imo Houses of Assembly calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up in defence of the country’s democracy.

The lawmakers, who spoke during plenary, condemned the alleged interference of the executive arm of the Plateau state government in the legislature.

They also called on the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and others to ensure that the crises are resolved and all those who took part in the impeachment of the Plateau Speaker brought to book.

The lawmakers further urged the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria to stop recognising any lawmaker who emerges Speaker from such illegalities like it happened in Plateau where only six members supposedly impeached the Speaker, Nuhu Ayuba Abok.

Speaker of the Lagos Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the sitting, said every well-meaning Nigerian must speak against the impeachment of the Plateau Speaker, which has led to the Assembly being under lock and keys.

According to him, the manner he was impeached leaves more to be desired.

“The parliament is the eyes and ears of the people. The impeachment is something we all have to rise up against. It happened in Edo and it has not been resolved as we speak. The roof of the Assembly was removed. The majority members are now residing in Abuja while the minority members are in charge.

“Now we have Plateau and we are talking about Imo state. Where is our democracy?

“It shows that it is not a fluke that the Lagos Assembly is above the common standard of excellence. If we don’t criminalise this across the country, it will continue,” he said.

Obasa also commended the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, for removing the police commissioner in Plateau after allegations that the latter played a role in the crisis.

He called for the opening of the House for plenary activities, because, according to him, no state can be without a parliament in a democracy.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo, who moved the motion under ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ said he was worried that in Plateau, the legislature which is the bastion of democracy is under attack.

According to Olowo, a situation where the executive tried to trample on the legislative arm is not good enough.

He noted that the Speaker of the state was impeached because he and others raised issues about insecurity in Plateau.

“Everyone is now pointing fingers at the governor of the state who was also impeached as Speaker and who is supposed to know more about the sanctity of the parliament,” he said.

“With the concurrence of my colleagues, I want to say we condemn the invasion of the House and we also condemn the purported impeachment of the Speaker,” he said.

Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokuni-Sanni, also condemned the impeachment of the Plateau Speaker noting that the position of Lagos Assembly when the constitutional review committee visited Lagos was that undue interference of the executive in the legislature should be criminalised.

He said even the policemen who took part in the whole issue should be prosecuted adding that the judiciary can also help hasten related matters brought to the courts.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said impunity is developed anywhere illegality is condoned.

He said he expects the Speakers Conference to dissociate itself from what he said should be treated like a coup with the beneficiaries prosecuted.

In his contribution, Hon. Adewale Temitope said after over two decades of democracy, it was shameful what happened in Plateau state.

“It goes to show that we are not ready to uphold the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” he said adding that what happened was condemnable and saddening.

Hon. Setonji David argued that where there is no legislature, there is no democracy.

He said it was illegal for six people to conduct the business of the day.

“We must not ridicule our democracy. We must not truncate democracy. How can we degenerate to this level?” He asked.

Others who condemned the crisis in the Plateau Assembly include Hons Lukemon Olumo, Owolabi Ajani, Richard Kasunmu
Kasunmu, Victor Akande and Femi Saheed.

Building collapse: Lagos Assembly makes move, may summon officials

There are indications that the Lagos State House of Assembly may summon government officials to answer questions in relation to the recent collapse of a multi-storey building in the Ikoyi area of the State.

This follows a visit to the site of the tragedy by a team of lawmakers led by the Chairman of the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development.

Akinsanya, who said the team was at the site on the instruction of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, told journalists that the delegation would present a report on its findings to the House and those concerned could be invited.

While commending rescue efforts being carried out by agencies of the State government in collaboration with security bodies and private partners, Akinsanya sympathised with families of victims of the incident.

“I sympathise with the families of those affected and I want them to take heart and look unto God for the strength to bear the tragic incident,” he said just as he prayed that the the tragedy would be the last the State would record.

“We have been on the ground for hours and we have seen what has happened. When we get back, we will write our report.

“Mr. Governor has also spoken and given update. On our part, the House will carry out its own function. I am sure the leadership of the House led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa will set up a committee or panel to look into the report, invite those to be invited and if we have to amend our laws, we will,” he said.

Earlier, the delegation met with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, the head of the Lagos State Emergency Management, LASEMA, Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu and other government officials at the site of the rescue operation.

Members of the delegation include Hon. Rasheed Makinde, Hon. Rasheed Makinde, Hon. Fatai Oluwa and Hon Femi Saheed.