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We Will Scrutinize The 2018 Budget Estimate For Adequate Performance – Obasa

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has promised that the House would properly scrutinize the budge estimate of Year 2018, which figure was given as N1.046 Trillion.

In his speech during the presentation of the budget tagged “Budget of Progress and Development” by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state on Monday, Obasa assured the people of effective oversight by the lawmakers.

“This House will not rest on its oars of scrutinizing this Budget to deliver on its promises in meeting the aspirations of the people.

“As usual, we are duty-bound to painstakingly look at the nitty-gritty of the 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 2018 budget deliver on its promises to stimulate the economy of the state by focusing on infrastructure development, delivering inclusive growth and prioritizing the welfare of Lagosians towards making the budget spell out its theme to the letter,” he said.

Obasa used the opportunity to commend the Governor for the completion and commissioning of Abule-Egba and Ajah state-of-the-art flyovers.

The Speaker added that with the feat achieved by Governor Ambode merely two years in office, there is no doubting the responsiveness and readiness of “this noble House to continue to support the state through passage of people-oriented and development-focused legislations.

“We are poised to cooperate with the Executive to develop an economy that is sustainable, smart and knowledge-based, and whose commitment to law and order is unequivocal,” he stated.

The Speaker added that the Y2018 Budget is aimed at continuous infrastructural development to bridge infrastructural gap; transport, security and environmental reforms.

Others were given as capacity building for all civil and public servants, teachers and health workers; completion of housing estates; commencement of health insurance scheme among others.

He however, urged the Executive to see all the three arms of government as one, saying that it is obvious that working as a team will ensure prompt service delivery.

He said: “Working together, as we can see in the last two years, brings smooth effective administration. This is rightly put by Prof Ola Rotimi in his play Ovonramwen Nogbaisiand I quote: “the eyes and the nose are one; when one is hurt, the other shed tears.”

In his comment, the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Rotimi Olowo stated that the state government would focus more on blocking all loopholes in tax collection.

Olowo stressed that a lot of people have either been evading taxes or underpaying taxes unlike what obtains in civilised societies.

He added that efforts would be made by the state government in conjunction with the House of Assembly to give the people the dividends of democracy.

Also speaking, the Acting Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Local, Hon. Bisi Yusuff said that budget is not a guess work and that the Lagos State Government would realise the budget estimate for the year.

According to Yusuff, who is representing Alimosho Constituency 1, the state government has done well in 2017, adding that the government has been able to redefine governance in the state.

“Once you do something good, the people would comply with your directives. Budget is based on empirical research and I can tell you that N1 Trillion is not too much for the state government to achieve in a year.

“If people say that are not satisfied with the performance with the government in 2017, even God does not satisfy people, they would still have complaints. I want to say that the state government has been able to do its best to satisfy the people,” he said.

The lawmaker explained that the state government was not able to do some of the road projects promised to be done across the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state due to the constraints of rainfall.

On the focus for the 2018 Budget, Yusuff advised the state government to emphasise on road construction, healthcare and youth development as well as empowerment.

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Lagos Governor, Ambode Presents Year 2018 Budget of Progress And Development

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has just made an official presentation of the Y2018 budget estimate of 1.046 trillion naira,signalling a new fiscal policy with which the government will pilot the affairs of Lagos State next year.

The total approximate budget size of 1.05 trillion, with 699bn as capital expenditure, while 347bn was estimated as recurrent expenditure bringing the financial estimate projections to 28.6 percentage higher than that of 2017.

Considering what appears to be a breakaway from the norm and history of Lagos State budget presentation, the Governor made a late showing as he ranks about the tenth on list of states that have presented their budget estimates.

The development was tied to the lately resolved quagmire that nearly rocked the boat of the executive, over Council cabinet composition, to which Governor’s alleged interest was tampered with by political bigwigs in 16 local government areas.

But for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s intervention last Tuesday, the presentation would have dragged longer, an unprecedented happening.

The Governor stated that Lagos State contributes not less than 30 per cent to the total Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria within the space of three years, 2015-2017. He also boasted of not securing any new loans to finance governance.

Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa Lagos State House speaker in his response noted that, “this budget proposal marks another basic point of reference in the progressing radical transformations and change that we have been witnessing in Lagos State since the inception of this administration.

He also commended the Governor’s achievement so far, citing infrastructural development across the state as pointers to the success story recorded, which is clearly tied to the synergy enjoyed from the state legislature.

Obasa noted that, “with the feat achieved by Governor Ambode merely two years in office, there is no doubting the responsiveness and readiness of this noble House to continue to support the state through passage of people-oriented and development-focused legislations. We are poised to cooperate with the Executive to develop an economy that is sustainable, smart and knowledge-based and whose commitment to law and order is unequivocal.

“His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has just presented Year 2018 budget estimate for the consideration of your House. The projected budget size is One Trillion, Forty-six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty-one Million, One Hundred and Eighty-one Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty naira (N1,046,121,181,680).

“House will not rest on its oars in scrutinizing this Budget to deliver on its promises in meeting the aspirations of the people. As usual, we are duty bound to painstakingly look at the nitty-gritty of the budget for the purpose of transforming same for the benefits of all Lagosians.

The speaker however stated the resolve of the house to aid the smooth flow of governance, “I assure you that this House, through effective oversight, will ensure that the Year 2018 budget deliver on its promises to stimulate the economy of the state by focusing on infrastructure development, delivering inclusive growth and prioritizing the welfare of Lagosians towards making the budget spell out its theme to the letter.

“May I employ this opportunity then to call on the Executive to see all the three arms of government as one as it is obvious that working as a team will ensure prompt service delivery. Working together, as we can see in the last two years, brings smooth effective administration. This is rightly put by Prof Ola Rotimi in his play Ovonramwen Nogbaisi and I quote: “the eyes and the nose are one; when one is hurt, the other shed tears.”

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Adhoc Committee Investigates Demolition of Structures In Low Cost Housing Estates

The Lagos State House of Assembly Adhoc Committee on Housing has urged the residents of the low cost housing estates in the state to be calm about the recent demolition of kiosks and stalls in the estates by the Lagos State Building and Investment Company (LBIC).

According to the Committee, the matter would be properly investigated by the committee, which will soon come up with a report on the matter.

It will be recalled that residents of some of the estates, where the demolition exeecise was carried out had petitioned the assembly over the matter, alleging that the Managing Director of LBIC, Mrs. Folashade Folivi gave them short notices and carried out the exercise without caution.

The Assembly had invited Folivi to brief it on how the exercise was carried out, and a 7-man committee headed by the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Housing, Hon. Ibrahim Layode was subsequently set-up to look into the matter.

Speaking to journalists after visiting some of the estates in Amuwo Odofin, Isolo, Abesan and Agege, Layode said that what the committee discovered was that there were a lot of complaints by the residents.

“We have also seen that some residents have contravened the law by building kiosks and stalls in unapproved places within the estates. We have been asking them why they did this. But we want our people to be calm and be careful with what is happening.

“Also, we went ahead to see the original plans of the estates and we discovered that the LBIC too has changed the plan of the estate with some of the buildings.

“Our Governor does not tolerate nonsense and I don’t think he would ask the people to demolish the buildings anyhow. We are here and we can tell you that the Governor knows what is happening and we are going to take actions,” he said.

According to him, “We will work with the necessary agencies of government to ensure that the right thing is done.

“The people should be calm and we will ensure that the markets are situated, where they ought to be.

“There is sanity in the estates now, even abroad, people go far within estates to build stalls and malls.”

A member of the Committee, Hon. Abiodun Tobun said that with what the committee saw on ground it was obvious that the people did not follow the laid down rules, but that the Chairman of the LBIC was inhuman in her approach.

“We discovered that she demolished the shops without much notice and the people told us that they had been there for a long time.

“She ought to have informed them properly because we are in a democratic setting, so we need to carry our people along.

“The approach of our government is to involve the people as we believe in inclusive governance. The Governor would not ask her to do what she did,'” he said.

The lawmaker added that the Ministry of Physical Planning ought to have written to the government and get an approval to do such a job. He stated that the matter would be critically considered to see if LBIC is working within the confines of the law.

The President of Amuwo Odofin Housing Estates Residents Association, Chief Joseph Adewale said in an interview that their grievances emerged from the fact that in February, 2017, the management of LBIC gave them a notice that they would demolish the shops and kiosks in the estate.

Adewale stated that they held meeting with LBIC on the issue, and told them that it would not be good to destroy the kiosks because the residents developed the environment and went to them to seek for their support to build the structures and that they allowed them.

“They came for inspection and gave us a rate to be paid per structure and we had been paying.

“But Mrs. Folashade Folivi, the new MD of LBIC came to demolish the structures saying that such things could not be seen in London or America. I told her that even in Manchester there are such structures, cubicles with conveniences.

“I told her that we are not tenants, but owner occupiers and that we spent our money to provide structures. We said we needed places to relax and for our wards to sell items,” he stated.

He said further that the woman demolished the structures such that some residents were hospitalised and some even died due to shock arising from the matter, adding that this caused bitterness as they were given only three days notice.

“We are aggrieved that is why we have written petitions to the LBIC, Governor’s office and the state house of assembly.

“People now go far to buy items and they are usually attacked by armed robbers on motorcycles at night.

“We now live in hunger. I welcome the lawmakers with mixed feelings. We expected them to have come earlier to stop the demolition. We expected that people should be compensated for the demolition. People are aggrieved now,” he stated.

The same stories were related at the Abesan Housing Estate, where the President of the Estate, Pastor Kehinde Ogundimu pleaded with the lawmakers to come to their aid, and that not less than four people have died because of the aftermath of the demolition.

Ogundimu stressed that armed robbery, thuggery and hooliganism have increased in the area, adding that people’s bags are snatched, while they are going to work early in the morning in the estate.

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LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO REFORM THE ELECTRICITY SECTOR

Lagos State House of Assembly is set to reform the electricity sector.
This is made known after a bill for a law titled “the Lagos State
Electricity Reform Bill” was being read for the second time on the
floor of the House.
In the analytic review of the bill, Hon. Folajimi Mohammed, Acting
Chairman on Mineral Resources stated that the purpose of the bill is
to provide for the development and management of a sustainable power
supply in the State. Likewise, the bill aims at facilitating the
development and management of electricity infrastructure and
facilities in the State.
While pulling her weight behind the bill, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho,
the Acting Chairman, Committee on Judiciary, Public Petition, Human
Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC stated that “with electricity well
provided, it will help to make businesses in the State thrive”. She
added that virtually all sectors of the economy like education,
health, transportation will be positively affected.
Hon. Oladele Adekanye who commended the Executive arm of government
for this bill stated that “this is another giant stride by the
executive in terms of ensuring that dividends of democracy are
delivered to the populace”. It will also allow for better security
arrangement while also reducing the rural-urban drift.
Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade commented that the bane of the
Nigerian development is electricity, low supply of electricity which
has had its negative aftermath. He added that if the bill is passed,
it will give electricity sufficiency and the implication of this is an
accomplished Lagos economy. Also it will give an increase in
industrialization which will likewise provide job opportunities for
the youths.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa commended the bill and also
committed it to an adhoc committee to be chaired by Hon. Folajimi
Mohammed, Acting Chairman, Committee on Mineral Resources.

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LAGOS ASSEMBLY ADOPTS LAGOS STATE CUSTOMARY COURT AMENDMENT BILL 2017

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday have adopted
the report of the Lagos State Customary Court Amendment Bill 2017 as
the resolution of the House.
The Acting Chairman of Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public
Petitions and LASIEC, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso who presented the
report on the floor of the House stated that the oral presentation and
memoranda submitted by the stakeholders during the public hearing made
useful contribution towards the amendment of the Lagos State Customary
Court Law 2017.
She further stated that there were cautious pieces of advice from legal
practitioners on the practicability of criminal adjuration by
customary court headed by those who are not lawyers. Also the need to
review the qualification of the head of the customary court to be a
law graduate was considered.

Some of the recommendations made are: a customary court may order
community service in respect of any offence which shall not exceed
three weeks and that the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission is to
ensure that the Customary Court officials undergo periodic trainings
on criminal procedure rules to meet up with this new bill.
Also, the principal law which deals with the qualification of the
president and members should be reviewed upwards to graduate of law and the
creation of Customary Courts in all the Local Government across the
State.
Contributing, Hon. Abiodun Tobun stated that there was need for the
customary court to be empowered to prosecute criminals and also have
lawyers to head the customary court so as to hasten criminal cases at the
local level. There are some punishments that should be more severe to
offenders so as to serve as deterrent to others.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa expressed his approval to review
the qualification of head of customary court as a law graduate.
To this end, the recommendation has been adopted as the resolution of the House.

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Lagos Assembly Constitutes Committee on Bad State Of Government Owned Estates

The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a 7-man committee on the bad state of government-owned estates spread across the state.

According to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Committee is to be headed by the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Housing, Hon. Ibrahim Layode, Badagry 1 and they are to report back to the House in two weeks.

Members of the committee include Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Mushin 1, Hon. Idimogu Jude, Oshodi-Isolo 2, Hon. Noheem Adams, Eti-Osa1, Hon. Abiodun Tobun Epe 1, Hon. Oladipupo Olorunrinu, Amuwo Odofin 1 and Hon. Rasheed Makinde, Ifako-Ijaiye 2.

The committee was set up in reaction to a Motion moved by some lawmakers in the House with the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Ikorodu 1 as the prime mover.

The Motion had called the attention of the lawmakers to the alleged bad state of government estates spread across the state.

Agunbiade stated that most of the estates have become shadows of their old selves, adding that the occupants have changed the plans of the government for the estates.

“We noticed that the estates have become dilapidated as they lack maintainance, the premises are dirty, and people build all sorts of structures around the estate.

“If you go round the estates, you would observe that they have lost their beauty and they seems to have been abandoned over the years,” he said.

Supporting the Motion, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Agege 2 stated that it is meant to make life better for the residents of the estates, and that if the situation continues, the houses in the estates would keep collapsing.

Also speaking, Hon. Adebisi Yusuff, Alimosho 1 said that most of the estates in his area are in a bad state.

He added that some owners of the estates have even sold them, and that they are now living inside containers.

“There should be facility managers for the estates. For instance, Jakande Estate in Abesan should have a police station, but the whole land have been occupied illegally,” he said.

Hon. Omotayo Oduntan from Alimosho 2 also believed that most of the estates have become eyesores, and that they have become over-populated over the years.

She emphasized that people have even turned the estates to dumping sites.

According to Hon. Rasheed Makinde, the problem with the estate has to do with lack of lay out plans, while stressing that FESTAC 77 Estate in Amuwo Odofin has become a den of armed robbers.

Some of these observations were corroborated by other lawmakers including Hon. Olawale Olayiwola, Mushin 2, Hon. Noheem Adams and Hon. Saka Solaja, Ikorodu 2, but Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu denied the claim that hoodlums have taken over FESTAC 77 Estate.

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Mugabe’s Resignation: Legislators Urge African Leaders To Quit When Ovation Is Loudest

Some lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly have advised African leaders to quit the stage, when the ovation is loudest.

Commenting on the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe, who was forced to quit by the military, two lawmakers, who spoke in separate interviews said that this was a lesson to African leaders.

The lawmakers, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh from Apapa Constituency 2 and Hon. Bisi Yusuff from Alimosho Constituency 1 stressed that Mugabe overstretched his luck as the president of the country for 37 years.

Hon. Jimoh however, condemned the process through which Mugabe, was removed, while stating that he should have conducted a credible election rather than planning to install his wife in office.

He maintained that while Mugabe ought to have left the seat before now, military intervention should be condemned by all democrats.

“I am not saying Mugabe should look for his own successor, but I think we must be careful with the way the imperialists are handling the matter. I am sure an average Libyan is not happy with the way the late president Moamar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed.

“On the surface, it seems it is palatable, but the end might not be good. Nigerians jubilated, when former president Shehu Shagari was overthrown by the military government in 1983. But nothing came out of it.

“The constitution the military gave is that of the military and we are still battling with it. Even if the government of Shagari made mistakes, they should have been allowed to correct it overtime.

“Now, the people are making comparison between one political party and the other, one lawmaker and the other, one senator and the other and one governor and the other, and this is good,” he said.

The lawmaker compared what happened in Zimbabwe to what happened in Cuba, where he said the people insisted that Fidel Castro would die in office if the United States of America was bent on seeing to his removal.

According to him, a British Prime Minister served in the office on five occasions, adding that it was an error for Mugabe to have sacked his former vice.

He however, added that Zimbabwe is the most developed country in Southern Africa.

In his comment, Hon. Bisi Yusuff advised Zimbabweans to look for a person that would serve their interest as the next president, adding that Mugabe overspent his time as president.

Yusuff urged African leaders to put their houses in order, stressing that they should manage the resources of the people properly.

He then condemned the removal of Mugabe through a military junta.

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House Urges Ambode To Preserve Historical Centres

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday called on the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola to list all the historical centres and monuments in the state with a view to preserving its cultural heritage and promote tourist interests.

This was part of the resolutions of the members of the House after deliberating on a motion sponsored by some members led by the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade.

The motion specifically identified Epetedo in Lagos Island, where the presumed winner of the June 12 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola made his declaration as the President of Nigeria.

Members believe that centres such as the first storey building in the country, Carter Bridge including Epetedo and other similar sites should be listed and preserved for future generations and economic values.

While supporting the motion, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who presided over the plenary maintained that the preservations of those historical centres would enhance the state interest in attracting tourisms into the state.

According to the Speaker, “I quite agree with the sponsors of the motion. There is need for us to identify and list all these centres and have access to them. When you are encouraging people to come to our state, we should get them to know the historical centres, it does not necessarily have to be government edifice.”

The prime mover of the Motion, Hon Agunbiade had earlier listed the categories of the historical centres and monuments into three.

According to Agunbiade, Grade A will include all centres that the government will list and take over.

Grade B, he said, will include those centres that the state government will compensate the family of the owners and Grade C will be listed and marked without any compensation.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun berated a situation, where such centres are demolished, adding that the government should preserve those centres for future generations.

“If such monuments are listed and preserved, it will enhance our value; it will enhance economic benefits rather than demolishing them,” Tobun added.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh said, “If we don’t know our history, we won’t know where we are coming from. Just like CMS which is the first Secondary school in the country. Herbert Macaulay’s statue fell down, but people didn’t feel the sense in re-erecting it. If we don’t preserve our collective patrimony, it does not show we are human.”

On his part, Hon. Bisi Yusuff reiterated the need to preserve the Epetedo centre. He argued that Abiola paid the supreme sacrifice to defend democracy.

He believes that democracy being enjoyed in the country today was as a result of Abiola’s doggedness, who according to him, fought the military, saying such a centre should be preserved.

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Lagos Assembly Summons LBIC Managing Director Over Insubordination

The Managing Director of the Lagos State Building Investment Company, Mrs. Folasade Folivi has been ordered to appear before the House on Thursday 23rd November for disobeying its committee.

Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Urban and Physical Planning, Hon. Setonji David had said while presenting a report on a petition written by the residents of Ijaiye Low and Medium Housing Estate during plenary on Monday that the MD disregarded the order of the committee.

The residents of the estate had petitioned the House over a plan by LBIC to demolish the illegal structures in the estate.

Setonji added that the woman went ahead to demolish the alleged illegal structures within the estate, when the committee had ordered her to stay action on the demolition.

He said further that Folivi turned down the invitation of the committee for meetings on the matter and that she did not work with other agencies such as the Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning prior to the demolition.

The committee then recommended that the woman should be invited by the House to explain why she shunned the invitations of the committee and why she went ahead with the demolition.

All the lawmakers, who spoke on the matter agreed with the recommendations of the committee and described Folivi’s action as a disregard to the House.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo from Shomolu Constituency 1 stressed that Folivi ought to be removed immediately, while the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated that only the Governor had the right to order the demolition of any structure in the state.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that it was important for the woman to come to the House to explain the reason behind her action, adding that the House would hear from her before reaching conclusions on the recommendations of the committee.

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We Will Continue To Agitate For Special Status For Lagos – Obasa

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has assured Lagosians that the Assembly will continue to agitate for special status for the state and other amendments that are beneficial to the state in the on-going ammendment of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Obasa gave the assurance while answering questions at the opening of a-4 day retreat on the budget process and an overview of the 1999 constitution amendment organised by the Assembly for lawmakers and staff of the Assembly at the Park Inn by Radisson in Abeokuta yesterday.

He expressed optimism that the agitation will pull through, “I am sure the agitation for special status would be achieved because we deserve it; it is not just for political reasons or any other thing but because of the status of Lagos in this country and in West Africa.

“I am sure the current administration will see reasons behind this demand and agree with us that we deserve what we are asking for”, Obasa said.

According to the Speaker, other areas of amendment the Assembly is working on which are very crucial to the state apart from special status and devolution of power to states are “motor plate numbers, issuance of license, waterways and so many other areas that are crucial to us. These are sources of revenue for Lagos State,” Obasa said.

He further assured Lagosians that in 2018 the Assembly will continue to improve their standard of living through legislation, resolutions and other ways through cooperation with the executive “so as to raise the bar in Lagos State”.

He said the retreat is to creat a better understanding of the budget process among the lawmakers and staff especially as the governor will soon present the 2018 budget to the House.

“As supervisors of the executive and representatives of the people we want to be sure we understand their presentation to raise our own standard when it comes to oversight functions and budget passage. We are the people that can move Lagos forward as representatives of the people”, obasa said.

Earlier In his welcome address, the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni said that the retreat is to enhance understanding of participants, share ideas and discuss critical issues relating to budget passage “to ensure that they are well grounded n the budget process by sharpening their skills and exposing participants to the technique of budgeting to improve transparency and accountability in governance”, Sanni said.

Throwing more light, the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy, Hon. Tunde Braimoh said, “the exercise is to articulate and evaluate the position of Lagos State in the on-going constitution amendment process and also to develop or devise plans of how to engender the support and collaboration of other states in some areas so that we can influence the way the votes go”, Braimoh said.

Also speaking, the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Rotimi Olowo said that the state expects a better 2018 with improvement in the price of crude oil and increase in oil production as well as expected increase in revenue from taxes. All these, he said, will translate to more revenue for the state.

Adding that the shortage in revenue generation in 2017 as a result of the recession and downturn in economic activities globally resulted in shortfall in expenditure and consequently the execution of projects and plans in 2017.