LSHA CHARGES LASPARK TO BUCKLE UP OVER BUDGET TARGET

The Lagos House of Assembly Committee on Parastatals (Environment) has charged the State’s Parks and Garden Agency, LASPARK, to intensify efforts in their budget performance in a bid to meet up with the Y2021 target.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Desmond Elliot, stated that the quarterly budget review exercise became necessary to ensure that financial challenges are tackled in Ministries, Departments and Agencies that accrue funds to the State through Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.

Hon. Elliot, who gave the charge during an oversight function of the Committee, added that there was need to ensure that the State allocation to various MDAs are judiciously expended to further ensure that tax payers get value for their money.

Addressing the low budget performance of the agency, the General Manager of LASPARK, Mrs. Adetoun Popoola, explained that they have 10 public parks out of which only three are in operation due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Although, LASPARK charges for every event in the parks, we still cannot generate as much as we should despite having maximum capacity,” she said.

Mrs. Popoola further explained that the agency has five mini-zoos out of which one was vandalised during the End-SARS hijacked protest. She lamented that all the animals in the zoo were taken away and some got killed in the process.

“The affected parks are: Ndubusi Kanu Park, Muri Okunola Park, Ikorodu Park, Japogo Park and Jibowu Park. However, Oregun Park is undergoing rehabilitation,” she said.

In his contribution, a member of the Committee, Hon. Ajani Owolabi, advised the agency to be more explicit when preparing its budget document in subsequent years.

Hon. Elliot promised that the Committee would visit the sites to verify contracts by the agency.

He also urged all the stakeholders to be committed to achieving accountability for the development and progress of Lagos State.

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Lagos Assembly considers bill to establish Legislative, research institute

The Lagos House of Assembly is currently considering a bill to establish the state’s Legislative and Research Institute.

The bill scaled second reading on Tuesday with members of the House speaking glowingly about its advantages.

The private-member bill sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, aims at building legislative capacity and sharing of knowledge as well as attracting both local and international stakeholders to related areas of research and academic works.

According to Obasa, the bill is hatched for the sustenance of efficient and effective legislative activities in the State.

“This bill is viable and also for other legislatures in service of the parliament.

“Other States can share in it since the centre will be a learning space for councilors and Local Government chairmen, promoting and deepening democracy in our State and beyond.

“The institute will also engage international legislative bodies like the African Parliamentary Union where we can acquire more knowledge,” he explained.

Commending the Speaker for the bill, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2), noted the benefits of the proposed law to include the induction and training of new legislative members and refresher courses for existing members; training of legislative staff of the House; and fiscal training in the area of lawmaking.

He added that the laws of the House will also be beneficial in terms of research from the Institute.

Yishawu said the bill would help to ensure laws made are continually backed with scientific data while appraising existing laws or repealing old ones.

“Education is a lifelong learning process, medium of transfer of knowledge from one generation to another and to have an institution to formalise the sharing of knowledge across the entire scope is a welcome and noble idea and we must do everything amongst ourselves to improve the capacity of lawmakers,” he said.

Contributing, the Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, maintained that the bill has so many merits that would promote performance in the State.

Agunbiade argued that other State Houses of Assembly would benefit from the bill when it is passed.

On his part, Hon. Desmond Elliot commended the Speaker saying that the House is known for its pro activeness in coming up with laws that are beneficial to the State and the country.

He recalled how the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps had helped the State.

Elliot noted that the establishment of the institute would add to the great repute of the State.

He, however, recommended that the bill should include the collaboration of some institutes so it would have the capacity to cover Diploma and Masters degree programmes.

Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu adopted the position of his colleagues on the bill adding that the establishment of the Institute would serve as a recognition from international legislative bodies.

Hon. Lukman Saad Olumoh said the bill would help grow knowledge especially with the creation of a standard library.

Contributing on the bill, Hon. Victor Akande, said: “Mr. Speaker, you have always facilitated vigorous bills that have translated into laws and I am sure you will do better at the upper chamber in the Senate.

“I believe we should call the bill, the Lagos State Institute of Advance Legislative Studies to have a connotation with PhD certification.”

Hon. Femi Saheed described the bills always passed by the House as a total reflection of the situation in the country.

“With the population of 25 million people, if we want democracy to be enhanced in Nigeria, we need an institution that will uphold it and this bill will add quality to lawmaking and enhance democratic tenets, saving cost for the State in terms of educational tourism and increase the know-how of the lawmakers elected into office,” he said.

The Speaker directed the Committees on Education and Tertiary Institution to expedite action on the bill and report to the House in three weeks.

Breaking: Lagos Assembly suspends 3 council chairmen over alleged disobedience

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday suspended three local government council chairmen over alleged disregard for the guidelines governing their activities.

The House said it can no longer continue to watch while the council chairmen stubbornly flout the state’s local government guidelines.

The affected chairmen were named as Ogidan Mukandasi Olaitan of the Lekki LCDA, Suleiman Jelili of Alimosho local government area and Tajudeen Ajide of the Surulere local government area.

Their suspension was unanimously approved by members of the House in a voice vote with no opposition shortly after Hon. Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) raised a complaint against Olaitan.

Yusuff who is the chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Industry narrated to his colleague how allegedly rude Olaitan had been.

He complained that Olaitan even accused the lawmakers carrying out an oversight function on a memorandum of understanding in relation to the issue that arose from a resettlement programme in Lekki of being ignorant of their jobs.

He further said the council chairman had total disregard for those in his domain who he was elected to govern.

According to him, his action, even as a lawyer, was an insult to true governance and respect for the authority.

Supporting Yusuff, another lawmaker, Hon. Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju-Lekki 1), named Jelili and Ajide as having issues against them that are being investigated.

He urged his colleagues to suspend the chairmen pending the outcome of the investigations and to serve as deterrent to others.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, while speaking on the issue, noted that the House had received petitions from many councillors in the state against sitting chairmen.

Speaker Obasa said the House cannot continue to watch while council chairmen flout the laws they were supposed to uphold.

“Total disregard for the local government guideline is something that should not be tolerated.

“We cannot continue like this. We can’t be breeding monsters in our local government councils,” Obasa said.

The Speaker added that it would not be ideal to gloss over the issue as it would be creating a precedence of disobedience to the law by council chairmen especially at a time the state is planning elections for new council chairmen.

“This will also serve as a deterrent. We have received many petitions from councillors,” Obasa lamented.

The Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko to write to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and others concerned about the decision of the House.

May Day: Your Sacrifices Have Kept Nigeria Going, Obasa Hails Workers

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has thanked Nigerian workers for keeping faith in the country’s progress and helping to keep it strong.

The Speaker, a former chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, gave the commendation in a message to celebrate May Day with Nigerian workers.

According to the Speaker, the workers in the country have shown, overtime, that they believe in the country and what it can offer despite its current challenges.

In a statement released in Lagos on Friday by his media office, Speaker Obasa urged the workers to continue to keep hope alive that the Nigeria of everybody’s dream would be achieved.

“It is not a mistake that May 1 is dedicated to workers. In Nigeria, everyone understands the sacrifices made by the country’s workers for the day-to-day existence of the population.

“These sacrifices come in different ways including in the form of hopes, dreams and prayers for a better country. To say these hopes have helped us positively in our journey so far is to say the least.

“I sincerely want to thank our workers at the Lagos State House of Assembly, workers in the state’s civil service and across Nigeria for their individual and collective contributions to the success of the legislative arm of government and progress of the country.

“Today in Lagos, we are rated above the common standards of excellence but this is because of the efforts and contributions of our workers, not just to sustain the tempo, but to add that extra to their jobs.

“While I congratulate our workers both in Lagos State and in Nigeria, I urge them to continue to keep being optimistic that the future of our expectations will happen in our lifetime,” Obasa said in the statement.

Rising insecurity: Lawmakers send message to Buhari, tells FG what to do

With the rising cases of insecurity in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari must take some bold steps including proper rejigging of the country’s security architecture as well as a consideration for state police, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have said.

The lawmakers made their positions known on Tuesday when the majority leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, raised the issue under ‘matter of urgent public importance’ at plenary.

They also urged the federal government to get assistance from international organisations if that could help curtail the increased violence, kidnappings and attacks on communities across the country.

Though, they commended the Lagos government for sustaining the security and peace in the state, they urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to provide Close Circuit Television (CCTV) across the state.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, noted that there was an urgent need for President Buhari to address the security challenges facing the country with policies that should be friendly enough to attract foreign investments which would help create more employment for the youths of the country.

“We should start developing policies that have human face. The situation that the country’s youth are passing through should be of concern. We have men and women roaming the streets without jobs or anything to keep them going.

“We should do something substantial beyond giving out N10,000 to youths,” the Speaker said adding that the country must not be run in a way that would make any of its component part feel alienated as this would make the people feel like true stakeholders and reduce secessionist thoughts.

The Speaker said the challenge is huge and necessitates a further call for devolution of power.

Obasa commended the National Assembly for speaking out but added that talking alone would not solve the current situation.

He further suggested that the Lagos government should look at the commercial motorcycle operations in the state in view of recent violent clashes and the fact that some of the riders are foreigners whose identities are not known.

“We should increase the number of our security outfits in Lagos State. We should have CCTV around us to prevent what we don’t want in the state. We must be ahead of every situation in our state,” Speaker Obasa said.

Also speaking on the issue, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said security challenge was multi-dimensional, adding that there was need for massive recruitment into the security agencies.

“We need security summits which should start from states and then national. We also need massive recruitments into our security agencies. This will reduce the number of people the hoodlums are recruiting and also provide employment for the youths.

“We can purchase arms and weapons from foreign countries and let them give us security intelligence reports,” he suggested.

Earlier, Hon. Agunbiade had lamented the recent rise in violence saying that no zone of the country was free.

“The level of insecurity and violence in our country is deepening. Road travels have become nightmarish, students and academic institutions have become target and are attacked with impunity. Even, our military formations are under attack. Villages and towns have been sacked. Community heads are being kidnapped unabated. It’s as if Nigeria is at war with itself.

“As a House, we have to condemn this rising level of insecurity in its entirety. We commiserate with all the states already affected by these attacks.

“We should call on President Mohammed Buhari, Commander in Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, to show more concern by overhauling the security apparatus in a manner that will bring us together as a nation,” he said.

Contributing, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1), said the county was in a troubled state. He added that Boko Haram insurgency has spread beyond Maiduguri where it started from.

According to Olowo, it would be difficult to attract foreign investors to the country with this high rate of insecurity. He suggested that the security architecture of the country should be rejigged without sentiments.

“Boko Haram started from Maiduguri and now they have moved to Kaure in Niger State. Several women were kidnapped in a place some kilometres from Abuja. It started in the north, it is now in the South East, South South and South West,” he lamented.

He also noted the violence that occurred in Lekki and Ojo areas of Lagos on Monday recalling that one of President Buhari’s promises was to tackle insecurity.

“Mr. President is experienced as a military man. We need to rejig our security infrastructure. Also, our neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad and Cameroun are porous,” he said.

On his part, Hon. Lukman Olumoh( Ajeromi Ifelodun 1) lamented the proliferation of firearms into the country.

“Section 14 (B) of the constitution talks about security and welfare. We should look at the roles of West Africa and African Union in all of these.

“There is insecurity in Chad, Niger and other countries. I want to call on African Union, ECOWAS, United Nations to look into these,” he suggested.

Hon. Femi Saheed ( Kosofe 1) said that the country is in a precarious situation.

“There is crisis everywhere. I used to travel from Lagos to Kaduna by road as a student many years back and the people there welcomed me,” Saheed recalled adding that the situation is no longer the same.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2), on his part, said: “Insecurity is everywhere, North, South, West, East. No place is safe. LASU/Iyana-Iba and Lekki were boiling yesterday. The Nigeria police is overwhelmed; they have also become victims. Even the Nigerian Army cannot cope.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria must find new ways, we cannot continue like this. Security and welfare of the people are the primary duties of the government. We are trying in Lagos State, but we need to do more. We need to increase the manpower of LNSC, we must give them more equipment.

“The private sector should donate to our security trust fund. We must motivate the security officers. We need to improve our registration agency. We should also have CCTV in strategic places,” he said.

Hon. Rauf Age-Sulaimon (Amuwo-Odofin 2) said to address the security challenges, government must redefine the national interest. He added that there was need to increase police personnel.

“The national interest must be redefined. The government ought to secure lives and properties. The interest of the state and national interest must be paramount.

“If we have enough police and the security institutions are empowered, it would be better. Security is the most important subject in Nigeria now,” he said.

PASAN/JUSUN Strike: Lagos Assembly urges governors to ensure full scale autonomy for Judiciary, Legislature

– Obasa Commends successive governors of Lagos for autonomy
– Encourages state speakers to remain firm on demand for autonomy
– Says without legislature, there is no democracy

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the Nigerian Governors Forum to recognise and activate the Executive Order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2020 granting full-scale autonomy to state legislatures and judiciary.

The House also commended the striking members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) for remaining resolute on ensuring that the two arms of government enjoy autonomy.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the day’s plenary, appreciated the lawmakers for contributing to the debate raised under ‘matter of urgent public importance’ by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2).

 

“I commend PASAN at the Lagos State House of Assembly for permitting us have our own sittings in this hallowed chamber. I sincerely commend the boldness and sincerity of purpose of both PASAN and JUSUN.

“Looking back, I thank and commend the 2003 legislators of this Assembly for initiating the bill that granted us autonomy. I also commend the Governors of Lagos State from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for sustaining the autonomy for the legislature in the State.

“Lagos is not the only State enjoying autonomy for legislature currently, Delta State has been granted autonomy.

“We want to use this medium to call on all state governors through the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to speed up their considerations and implement the full scale financial autonomy.

‘We also call on the State Houses of Assembly through the Speakers Conference to be bold and do what is right and in the eye of the constitution.

“We are talking about restructuring and devolution of power, but these should start from the states.

“Devolution of power and restructuring should start from home. If that is not done it would be wrong to start telling the Federal Government to share power to states. We appeal to the Governors Forum to start working on the autonomy for the legislature and the judiciary,” Speaker Obasa said noting that without the legislature there is no democracy.

Raising the motion earlier, Hon. Yishawu urged his colleagues to call on the Conference of Speakers to have the political will to defend their autonomy.

While praising Lagos for ensuring autonomy for the legislature, Yishawu described the action of JUSUN and PASAN as geared towards strengthening democracy.

He said the governors had nothing to fear about the autonomy being demanded.

Contributing, Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere 1) noted that the industrial actions embarked upon by JUSUN and PASAN are in order as lack of autonomy would weaken the other arms of government.

On his part, Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo 1) said
it was appalling to subject any arm of government to ridicule or to the whims and caprices of another arm like it is with the legislature and executive of some states.

He recalled President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that funds should be deducted from source for states that failed to implement it.

Hon. Femi Saheed (Kosofe 2) argued that the legislature and the judiciary have rights to be independent of the executive as it would make them work with effectively.

Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1), noted that the budget of a state includes what should go to the other arms of government aside the executive. He, therefore, wondered why the legislature and the judiciary would be denied financial autonomy.

He lamented the impact of the strike actions in the affected states.

Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako/Ijaiye 2) described autonomy as a constitutional matter that is not even supposed to be debated.

He said that it was wrong for anybody to deny the arms of government what they deserved.

For Hon. Setonji David (Badagry 2), “the former American President, Donald Trump did not want to leave office, but the country has strong institutions. The governors should free the legislature and the judiciary.”

 

Also speaking, Hon. Abdulsobur Olayiwola Olawale (Mushin 2) recalled how the autonomy for the two arms of government was influenced by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa while he was the Chairman of Conference of Speakers.

He noted that separation of power could only come when the three arms of government are independent.

Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh (Apapa 2) said what the other arms currently suffer was initiated by the military.

“The military has really destroyed the system, which is why the people think that it is only the executive arm of government that is important. Even the proclamation of the legislature by the executive arm of government is something that should be looked into,” he said.

HOUSING: LAGOS LAWMAKERS ADVOCATE PRIORITY FOR CIVIL SERVANTS IN SCHEMES

Lawmakers at the Lagos State House of Assembly have urged the Ministry of Housing and the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, LAGOSHOMS, to give more priority to civil servants in the State.

The Chairman, House Committee on Housing, Hon. Rasheed Makinde, made this call at a familiarisation visit with other members of the committee to the Ministry of Housing and LAGOSHOMS recently.

Hon. Makinde advised that the Housing scheme which is the government’s initiative to create home owners in Lagos through sustained mortgage schemes by LAGOSHOMS and the Ministry of Housing should give more consideration to Lagos State workforce by ensuring that 70% of the homes are allocated to civil servants.

“The fear of many civil servants is life after retirement and the government can ease some of that fear by ensuring that they are home owners before their retirement; then we need to look into advocating that some of their struggles in life after service are limited,” he said.

In his remark, the General Manager of LAGOSHOMS, Mr. Bayowa Forsythe, reiterated that the mandate of the agency is to reduce housing deficit in the State and to energise investment in home ownership by increasing the supply of homes.

“The agency was created in 2014 and since its creation, it has started with various schemes such as that of Ilupeju with 120 units, 96 units in Ogba mortgage scheme and 336 units in Epe while the agency is currently on Igbogbo scheme in Ikorodu.

“These units are accessible to qualified Lagos residents and they can apply without the need to lobby anyone,” he emphasised.

Mr. Forsythe also disclosed that the agency is in need of support in the area of supply which is low, to further reduce the housing deficit of about four million.

“The Ministry of Housing is in charge of building the homes and we allocate based on debt-to-income ratio by carrying out an affordability test as any person filling an application for LAGOSHOMS must not spend beyond 30% of their income,” he explained.

He further suggested that the Rent-to-Own scheme should be given more priority than people buying outrightly as the homes have no value if it is bought outrightly.

“Payment in installment will help bridge the property deficit ladder and ensure that the Lagos State Government lives up to its social obligation to provide affordable shelter to its citizens,” he maintained.

Commending the agency for its good work, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, a member of the Committee, said that though the agency does not have the right to build, it can, however, influence individuals to apply and enlighten them on the best scheme to choose from.

He also urged that advantage should be taken of the influx of application database to influence the building of more homes.

Hon. Makinde maintained at the Ministry of Housing that the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, through the committee, is passionate about the level of housing deficit in the State; hence, the visitation by the members to acquaint themselves with the ministry’s performing mandate given to it by the State Government as well as its challenges in expending its pbudget to bridge the gap on housing in the State.

The Commissioner for the Ministry of Housing, Hon. Akinderu Fatai, conformed that the ministry has been able to commission seven housing schemes within the State in areas such as Igando, Lekki, Iponri, Idale and Igbogbo and most of them have already been allocated.

The committee, however, showed displeasure over some of the abandoned housing schemes, explaining that some of the abandoned homes have become hideouts for miscreants.

It charged the ministry to take action on such abandoned sites.

Other members of the committee on the visitation tour are: Hon. Nureni Akinsaya and Hon. Desmond Elliot.

Nigeria needs Tinubu – Obasa, Lagos lawmakers eulogise ex-governor

– Lawmakers APC National Leader capable to steer Nigeria’s ship of progress
– Congratulate Oba Elegushi at 45 for role in peaceful coexistence
– Celebrate ex-IGP, Musiliu Smith, who recently clocked 75

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday described the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a man for whom Nigeria as a country currently yearns.

Members of the House said this at plenary as they took time to eulogise the former governor of Lagos, who recently celebrated his 69th birthday.

Speaking after Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo 1) urged his colleagues to join him wish Tinubu a happy birthday, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, noted that it had always been customary of the House to celebrate the Jagaban of Borgu on his birthday, but that this year’s celebration happened at a time the House was on recess.

The Speaker who said Tinubu had earlier been honoured by attendees at a colloquium organised in his honour, added that the comments by the lawmakers during the day’s plenary showed how the APC National Leader had impacted in the lives of individuals.

He agreed with the members of the House that Tinubu remains one man that can effectively steer the Nigerian ship to make the country attain greater success in the coming years.

“We all congratulate him and wish him all the good things of life.

“We believe strongly in him and we have the conviction that he is a worthy man that can steer the ship of this nation. It is not about religion or ethnicity, but it is about wisdom, knowledge, experience and the capacity to lead,” Speaker Obasa said.

Earlier, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) described Tinubu as a man who understands the country and has the needed experience.

Olowo said Tinubu is a man that no one can love to hate because of his role in the advancement of the country.

For Hon. Tobun Abiodun (Epe 1), Asiwaju Tinubu is “a father figure to most of us and we will continue to celebrate him for a long time to come.

“He is adjudged one of the most active politicians. As a father to us, we appreciate him. He recognises those who are loyal and brilliant. He is the only man that can lead this country to meet its goals.”

Supporting his colleagues, Hon. Rasheed Makinde called Asiwaju Tinubu a man of the moment who believes in hunting talents and keeping them to prosper.

He said even though Tinubu has not held office for a long time, he still remains relevant because of his large heart and spirit of forgiveness.

He urged Asiwaju to help lead the country in 2023.

Hon. Richard Kasunmu (Ikeja 2), said he was delighted to share the same birthday with Tinubu who he called an inspirational figure.

“The Asiwaju that I know is a builder of people, a stabiliser and one who loves selflessly. He is a man who loves other people’s progress. I can only wish him many more fruitful years, first as father and the National Leader of the APC,” he said.

In a related development, the House also celebrated Oba Saheed Elegushi, who was described as a monarch that has brought advancement to his Ikate land while preserving the culture and traditions of his domain.

Hon. Temitope Adewale, while moving that the traditional ruler, who recently clocked 45, be celebrated, said Oba Elegushi had kept the state proud.

The lawmaker was supported by his colleague, Hon. Desmond Elliot, who described the monarch as a 21st century Oba.

In his contribution, Speaker Obasa said the young monarch had endeared himself to the people because he has shown a strong passion for the peace and progress of the state.

While praying for the traditional ruler, Obasa added that Oba Elegushi was being praised for ensuring peace in the state.

He said the commendation should be a challenge to other traditional rulers in the state to play positive roles for its growth and progress.

The House further eulogised Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a former Inspector-General of Police, IGP, who recently clocked 75.

The House affirmed Smith’s importance noting that he has continued to serve the country as the chairman of the Police Service Commission.

Speaker Obasa described him as a man of peace, a quintessential Lagosian and one who often expresses his views and suggestions about the effective running of the state.

He thereafter directed the acting Clerk of the House, Barrister Olalekan Onafeko, to write a letter congratulating each of the celebrants on behalf of the Assembly.

Y2021 BUDGET APPRAISAL: LAGOS ASSEMBLY TASKS MINISTRIES ON REVENUE GENERATION

The Lagos State House of Assembly, through its Committee on Finance, has commenced an assessment of the 2021 Budget performance of Ministries and Parastatals for the first quarter.

Speaking during the Committee’s first sitting, its Chairman, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, said the exercise was important to ensure that targets were met as expected.

“The exercise became necessary to ensure that tax payers’ money is judiciously utilised by assessing the progress or default in the budget and to advise where necessary as well as to meet up the target revenue for the year,” Olowo said.

He added that the scrutiny is intended to juxtapose the performance of the first quarter of 2020 with that of 2021 so as to see the possibility of harnessing additional opportunities or addressing any distress.

Hon. Olowo enjoined the MDAs that appeared before the Committee to intensify efforts and avoid virement by all means.

In the course of the scrutiny, the Committee advised the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue to cast their nets towards the informal sector in other to raise more revenue.

To that effect, Hon. Olowo further suggested that tax clearance be imposed as a requirement from parents in relation to educational admissions and use of health care facilities.

Some of the ministries/parastatals were, however, commended for performing beyond half of their target for the period under review.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies that appeared before the Committee include: the Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, MVAA, the Ministry of Transportation, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service and the Lagos State Lotteries Board.

The one week exercise will be ending on the April 21, 2021.

Lawmakers who graced the sitting are Hon. Nurudeen Sholaja, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Hon. Lukman Olumoh and Hon. Rasheed Makinde.

Y2021 BUDGET: REVERT TO E-PROCUREMENT – LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO MINISTRIES

Lagos State House of Assembly through its Committee on Science and Technology has held its quarterly budget review for Ministry, Departments and Agencies and advocated for more usage of E-procurement to speed up the internal process of procurement in releasing funds for recurrent and capital projects to the State’s MDAs.

This was one of the issues discussed with the Ministry of Science and Technology which is the pilot ministry for the commencement and advancement of E-procurement to further the transformation of the State in line with the 21st Century.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Olanrewaju Afinni, disclosed that one of the mandates of the Ministry of Science and Technology is to ensure that all MDAs make use of the E-procurement application in order to ensure a hastened process of procurement applications.

Hon. Afinni attributed this to the bottleneck procedures which delay the accountability of funds expended in each quarter of the fiscal year.

“The whole reason for approval of funds is to be able to spend as at when due. We should do away with bottleneck procedures.

“We want to see that funds received for projects are spent judiciously and this can only be achieved if internal procurement processes are fast-tracked,” Hon. Afinni advised.

Speaking on the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the State, the Committee noted that the Digital Village which is meant to generate revenue for Lagos through the Ministry is presently not meeting expectations.

Looking through the budget performance of the Lagos State Resident Registration Agency, LASRRA, the Committee proposed a meeting with the Agency’s contractors for the appraisal of their contractual agreement to determine the status of their projects and the need for further funding.

In addition, the Committee requested for all the Ministry’s documented vouchers to juxtapose their spending in the first quarter.

Hon. Members present at the meeting include: Hon. Solaja-Saka Nurudeen and Hon. Ajani Owolabi.