BE PRAYERFUL AND HOPEFUL FOR A BETTER LIFE IN NEW YEAR

The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has called on Lagosians to be prayerful and hopeful for a better life in the New Year.

Obasa also saluted Lagosians for their resourcefulness, courage, resilience and prayers which have seen them through the last two decades of our nascent democracy.

Rt. Hon Obasa made this statement in his New Year message via a press release on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Tolani Abati.

” I know you are very hardworking, resourceful, resilient and prayerful, all of which have seen you through the harsh economic realities of the last two decades of our democracy, ” he said.

He urged Lagosians not to relent in their hard work and resiliency since these are the sure bet of living the life of their dreams.

He said the State Government of which the Lagos House of Assembly is an integral part is doing everything within it’s power to make them achieve the best.

” We will continue to seek your support and prayers in this onerous task of providing you the necessary infrastructure and enabling environment.

“As we step into 2020, in a matter of hours, I pray that we shall have sweeter stories to tell in our personal lives and national life. Have a wonderful 2020.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY APPROVES ₦1.168.5 TRN FOR Y2020 BUDGET

Lagos Lawmakers have passed the Y2020 Budget estimates presented by Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu into Law.

The total Budget stood at ₦1, 168, 561, 893, 990 (One Trillion, One Hundred and Sixty Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Ninety Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Naira) only, making a breakdown of ₦457, 528, 918, 805 (Four Hundred and Fifty Seven Billion, Five Hundred and Twenty Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Five Naira) as Recurrent, and a Capital Expenditure of ₦711, 032, 979, 185, (Seven Hundred and Eleven Billion, Thirty Two Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Nine Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty Five Naira).

Works and Infrastructure got the highest sectoral allocation of ₦128 Billion, Education ₦47Billion, Environment ₦38Billion and Health Sector ₦33Billion.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, a co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance while presenting the report of the Committee emphasized that the cumulative Budget performance of the Y2019 Budget stood at 71%, while the total revenue performance stood at ₦524,774Billion representing 101% for the period under review.

Hon. Yishawu reminded Members at the presentation of the Y2020 Appropriation by Mr. Governor, which according to him highlighted the THEMES agenda of the Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration, which he said are critical vehicles in driving the Y2020 Budget; the agenda includes, Transport and Traffic Management, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos 21st Century City, Entertainment and Tourism and Security and Governance.

However, the three weeks period of engagement with the MDA’s according to him was revealing and tasking, with incisive discussions, explanations, between the Committee and Government agencies which hitherto led to observation and recommendations presented to the Lawmakers for consideration and approval.

The Lawmakers had intense debate over the presentation, which was consequently adopted as resolution of the House before the Speaker; Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa took the sectoral allocation after the third reading of the bill.

The Budget was thereafter passed into Law by the House, while the Speaker, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to send a clean copy to the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY MOVES TO ENSURE DUE DILIGENCE IN AWARDS OF CONTRACTS IN THE STATE

The Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have resolved to call on the Governor of the State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to direct the State Treasury Office (STO) to ensure that contractors are not paid mobilization fee without properly executing Contract Agreement and valid Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) at all stages of payment.

The House further resolved to call on the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure and the General Manager Public Procurement Agency (PPA) to ensure that only contractors with requisite expertise, equipment, man power and experience should be awarded road construction contracts and those who fail to meet up with project execution as contained in the contract agreement are sanctioned and blacklisted.

The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure and the General Mananger PPA is equally enjoined to ensure that Right of Way is secured and project sites are free from any encumbrance before money is released to contractors while also ensuring that identified companies such as Dangote Group of Companies whose vehicles are responsible for excessive pressure on roads meant for lighter freight in the state should be made to bring their Cooperate Social Responsibility on such roads and the Special Adviser of that Ministry should ensure that project engineers maintain quality supervision. Also, defaulting contractors will be l appropriately sanctioned henceforth.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun representing Epe Constituency I who moved the motion observed the negligence of some corporate entities whose trucks damage othe roads without any sign of concern by the companies as well as lack of Corporate Social Responsibilities – CSR “ government cannot do it alone”.

Hon. Bisi Yusuf opined that there must be quality, value for money. He reminded the Speaker Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa that one of the roads he commissioned, Kudirat Abiola Road, 14 years ago has no single pothole . He suggested that weigh bridges to measure weight of loaded articulated vehicles should be resuscitated.

Hon. Olowo who also contributed suggested that at every stage of mobilization and other payments, the Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) should be alive.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu also in his view observed that some contractors move to site without Contract Agreement. He suggested that the Ministry of Justice should ensure that contract agreement is in place before any work commences.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu Constituency I added that trailers with containers on Oba Sekuwole road in Ikorodu are still plying the hazardous road, “ it is a daily harrowing experience for people that pass through the area”.

The House therefore resolved to call on the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take necessary action by directing concerned government agencies on issues raised by the lawmakers.

LAGOS LAWMAKERS HONOUR FORMER MEMBER, HON. YAHAYA DOSUNMU AT 80.

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly celebrated Hon. Yahaya Adeniyi Atanda Dosunmu, a former Member, representing Victoria-Island/Eti-Osa Constituency in the 1st and 2nd Assembly on his approaching 80th Birthday celebration at the Plenary Session on Monday.

Hon. Noheem Adams, representing Eti-Osa Constituency 1, moved that “today serves as a day to commemorate Hon. Dosunmu for his achievements during his tenure as a Legislator in the 1st and 2nd Assembly.”

While running through the profile of the celebrant, Hon. Adams highlighted the various accomplishments of the former Lawmaker; He stated that, “He was born on December 25th, 1939 into Dosunmu and Shitta Oloyede Families of Adomu in Lagos State. He commenced his life journey by practical demonstration of the words of the 35th President of the United States of America (USA), John F Kennedy that, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”.

“Hon. Dosunmu also made his mark in the main stream South-West progressive politics, when he became the first elected Member from Eti-Osa Community representing Victoria Island and Eti-Osa in Lagos State House of Assembly between 1979 to 1983. His achievements earned him a re-election in 1983 for another 4 year term before the Military struck and became the beginning of the good things to happen to Eti-Osa Community”.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa Constituency 11, described the former Lawmaker as a sagacious political leader, who was a two-term Honourable Member in the House and chaired various Committees such as Committee on House Services, Sports, Works, Housing, and Home Affairs.

He added that, Hon. Yahaya moved major motions on “the need to stop landing rates for canoes; the need to introduce mobile health services programme in all rural areas; that Commissioner for Health direct Santos builders to complete the abandoned health clinic at Ogoyo in Eti-Osa; that the Commissioner for Trade establish small scale industries in the rural areas of the State.

In his submission, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, appreciated the leadership of the House for honouring the celebrant as it serve as the easiest way to celebrate former Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

He further said that the celebrant, who is a communist, moved the Law that set Land feuds to an end and was very active during debates on bill presentations, as he seconded many motions and also tabled many procedural motions.

Hon. Dosunmu, in his response, appreciated the Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the House, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, other Principal Officers and other Honourable Members of the Assembly.

While recognizing the presence of the invited dignitaries who were received into the hallowed chamber and those who facilitated the Special Parliamentary Session in his honour, Hon. Dosunmu expressed gratitude to his Creator for sparing his life to witness the occasion.

He described the Legislative Arm of Government as the most powerful, based on the functions in the Constitution and that those functions were not been well exploited by all the State Houses in Nigeria.

He added that the Legislative Houses are not following the welfare packages for Ex- Honourable Members as there should be an enabling Law for whoever passes through any parliament in Nigeria.

He implored the State House that this should be a birthday gift for him, “Lagos State should cater for the health care and basic needs of past Lawmakers; a monthly stipend should be allocated to their care. If Lagos moves this Law, other States would emulate” He said.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, who presided over the Plenary Session, celebrated the former Lawmaker, who has contributed to the development of Lagos State. “He has spent his entire life towards the attainment of success, and left indelible marks for all his successors to succeed with ease. The next generation would hear of an erudite pathfinder. We are proud to count his age by smiles and not by tears.”

Understanding Budget Process Is Necessary For Oversight Functions – Obasa

The Speaker of thr Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa has said that comprehending what budget process constitutes was necessary for the oversight functions of the lawmakers.

Obasa made this disclosure in his keynote address during the opening ceremony of a 3-Day Budget Retreat organised by the Assembly in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The retreat with the theme: “Imperative of Transformative Governance in Lagos State Through Effective Budgeting and Implementation,” was intended to refresh and equip the lawmakers with adequate knowledge for the discharge of their legislative functions with regards to budgeting and Implementation.

“Comprehending what budget process constitutes is germane to our daily oversight functions. While we may not be new to basic components of budget, it is a matter of importance that we refresh our understanding about budget implementation

“This need is as important as the need to apply all the components to the development, monitoring and implementation of the budget,” Obasa explained .

The Speaker who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, in his address, harped on the importance of budgeting and money management to living a debt -free life.

“One of the most difficult situations people face in life is financial difficulties.

“The main reason for this is poor budgeting. Often times, people are not taught how to budget early enough in life to understand how important good money management is to living a debt-free life,” he said.

The Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, earlier in his welcome address said that the retreat was organised to assess the financial position of the state and explore ways of achieving a realistic year 2020 Budget.

Sanni said that the retreat would be reviewing the extent of the implementation of the year 2019 Budget, and analysing the viability of the year 2020 Budget proposal.

The Clerk said that this would be achieved towards making informed position and exploring the best ways to implementing same to meet emerging challenges of the state.

“In line with the constitutional responsibilities of the House, the appropriation bill has gone through the second reading and stands committed to the relevant committees of the House for further legislative action.

“Considering the combined and determine vision, aspiration and commitment of both the House and executive of arm of government ensuring a rapid transformation of the state. This is the most particularly in the realistic fulfilment of campaign promises to the citizens,” he said.

Hon. Wasiu Sanni -Eshinlokun (rep Lagos Island I) who was also speaking in his own capacity as the Deputy Speaker of the House, explained the significance of the budget retreat, he said the retreat became necessary to focus on budget preparation, implementation and monitoring as the state government is moving from not just development but to tranformative leadership.

Concerning the challenges of budget implementation, Eshinlokun said this was not just a problem in Nigeria alone bot in both developed and developing nations because there were so many exigencies in government and circumstances that may hamper budget implementation.

“Do not forget budget is a proposal and a forecast which can be disrupted by so many factors, that is why it is necessary to diligently follow the implementation through continuous international and external control”, he said.

The Chairman House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Gbolahan Yishau (rep Eti-Osa II) responding to questions from journalists on whether there is need for the house to step up her game on oversight functions so that the public would not be seeing her actions as witch-hunt or after-thought, like in the case of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Chairman of Ifako-Ijaye Local Government, Apostles Toba Oke who was just suspended by the house on Friday for money misappropriated since year 2012.

The lawmaker explained that the house does not do anything in retrospect as the house always raise those issues as they occur.

“The Speaker have said it and I am sure you heard him, most of these issues we raised them as they occur and we ask for information, sometimes, the information does not come on time, maybe the executive was stalling, you know the bureaucracy of government, but we always raise them as they happen.

Demoncracy is an environment that gives fair hearing, proper investigation must be done. Sometimes you see Police even in other climes investigating a case for 10, 20 yeears, so if the executive is not cooperating it will drag things, nothing is done in retrospect here, that much I can asure you”,Yishau maintained.

On if there is a mechanism to measure effectiveness of such training programme so it does not become another episode in the litany of legislative rituals, Yishau said budget performance was the parameter to measure.

The best way to measure is performance, for instance, if we are able to ensure that this budget perform to maximun percentage using Key Performance Indicators KPI, then, the training is effective.

We had a lot of problems in the last administration as to staying within the budget and that has really derailed measuring performance indexes but I am sure we will get it right with this new administration “, he said.

In line with Hon. Yishau’s position, Hon. Bisi Yusuf (rep Alimosho I) also expressed optimism that the house may not likely have problem with the new administration regarding budget implementation.

“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu have started well, if he continues like this ,we may not have problem with him in the area of budget implementation and in delivering the dividend of democracy to the good people of Lagos state unlike in the last administration”. Hon. Yusuf said.

The Resource Person, Rev. Olusoga Badejo who spoke on the topic;”An Overview of Budgeting Process “‘, quoting from Section 121(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended, explained that a budget becomes a legal document upon preparation and approval and must be implemented as such.

He however, noted that an effective budget planning can never take the place of executive ability in terms of performance, therefore, good budgeting must be matched with good administrative ability for success to be achieved.

Badejo said government cannot afford to do things with impunity which is an advantage of budget. He explained that budget retreat helps to understand the effective control of the activities of every ministry and department.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY SUSPENDS COUNCIL BOSS

The Chairman, Ifako/Ijaiye Local Government, Mr. Oloruntoba Oke has been indefinitely suspended for financial misappropriation of funds and abuse of Office.

Mr. Oke was suspended on Friday by the Lagos Lawmakers sequel to the petition from concerned citizens of Ifako/Ijaiye alleging him of mismanagement and financial recklessness.

Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State had earlier set up a 5-Man Ad Hoc Committee on Local Government Administration and Community Affairs to investigate the allegations and report its finding.

The Ad Hoc Committee headed by Hon. Rotimi Olowo after series of meetings and assessment tour of the Local Government discovered that the suspended Council boss obtained a loan form Skye Bank in 2012 to execute five projects in the Council while the projects for which the loan was obtained have not been completed.

It was also observed that all conditions stipulated in the loan as approved by the Ministry were violated and the huge amount expended on the construction of the new secretariat complex did not commensurate with the work level.

Hon. Olowo in the report presented during the Plenary Session stated that the Council Chairman’s response to the Committee that upon his assumption of office in 2011, he had sought the approval of the State Government to obtain a soft loan from Skye Bank to execute thirteen (13) critical projects which included the construction of the Local Government Secretariat.

In his contribution, Hon. Wahab Jimoh said the Committee’s findings exposes errors created by the bureaucracy system of governance which does not exempt the Council Manager and the Treasurer. He further explained that the Local Government Council boss shouldn’t be sanctioned alone.

Agreeing with the resolution of the House, Hon. Tobun Abiodun stressed that the Local Government Chairman worked in total deviance of the procurement and the job executed is not in tandem to the money expended, therefore is a flagrant disobedience to order and the law.

“It is expected that the Local Government at the stage should do all humanly possible to support and collaborate with the effort of the State Government in making life more meaningful to our people. The Chairman who has gone against the conventions of the Law should be suspended and this should serve as deterrent to those who have intention of violating the administrative guideline”. He said.

Hon. Bisi Yusuff expressed support on the resolution of the House, noting that the Local Government Council is controlled by the trio of Council Chairman, Council Treasure and Council Engineer. He further opined that the Supervising Councilor and the Councilors are just an appending to the Local Government Chairman. He added that the resolution of the House will bring about discipline in governance.

Consequently, the Committee recommended that the Vice Chairman of the Council should take over the affairs of the council with immediate effect.

The Speaker then directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Sanni Azeez to forward the resolution to the appropriate offices for notification.

LAGOS LAWMAKERS TASK PUBLIC WORKS CORPORATION, CONTRACTORS ON SCHEDULED ROAD MAINTENANCE

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have urged the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), Contractors and other Transportation Agencies to embark on scheduled road maintenance to ease the traffic situation in the State particularly during peak hour.

The resolution was made following a motion moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Hon. Temitope Adewale representing Ifako/Ijaye Constituency I, on the need for contractors to amend the work hours on which the roads are to be repaired.

Hon. Temitope while commending the State Governor for the training of 1,000 Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and Police Officers solely to manage, control and regulate traffic related issues within Lagos and the 116 massive ongoing rehabilitation of roads called on the Ministry of Transportation and Lagos State Public Works Corporation to reach out to relevant traffic agencies to enlighten masses about road usage during ongoing constructions.

He further appealed to State residents to cooperate with all the agencies involved and implored security agencies to desist from extorting the masses at check points.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo, while commenting on the perennial traffic position in the State posited that contractors need to adjust the schedule for road maintenance especially during closing hours from work.

He therefore implored the Public Works Corporation to repair roads during work hours and on weekends, especially late hours between 11pm and 5am, and to request security agencies when needed to safeguard them at night.

The Finance Committee Chair added that they should not hesitate to call on the State Commissioner of Police to direct officers to their aid. He also advised that priority be given to areas with high risk of potholes and in desperate need of road maintenance.

In his contribution, Hon. Bisi Yusuff opined that the need for this motion is crucial, as this would show Lagosians that the House is aware of recent traffic development in the State, while appealing to residents to exercise patience in the course of maintenance.

Hon. Rotimi Makinde also remarked that though the Lagos road is synonymous with traffic invasion but the water ways can be used as alternative for the time being. He added that the yuletide also aid traffic congestion due to influx of people from various parts of the country with the sole purpose of buying and selling in Lagos.

While commending the government for being proactive when it comes to road construction and rehabilitation, Hon. Desmond Elliot maintained that the House should call on all agencies to fine-tune their modes of operation, and how it can be adjusted for the time being.

He added that contractors must be urged as well to perform effectively and provide Lagos with a long lasting road in order to avoid recurrence as experienced by the people.

“It is going to be hard at the beginning but it would ease up eventually.” He appealed to Lagosians.

In the same vein, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, the Speaker, opined that it is indeed painful to commute on roads, while appreciating the Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Lagos State Police Command officials for their efforts during this period.

Moreover, he enjoined the State Governor to direct the Ministry of Transportation, State Public Works Corporation and all other agencies involved to engage contractors especially the rail line contractors to agree on hours to suspend activities for road users to commute easily.

The House also asked all Security agencies to stop all check points that create untold hardship on commuters and enjoined Chairman, Lagos State Task Force to join in the operation in order to ease traffic gridlock in the State.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY APPROVES N250 BILLION LOAN

The Lagos State House of Assembly has approved the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira, through loan and bonds as requested by the Executive Arm.

The approval of the bond was for the State to address some of the Infrastructural gap in order to prepare the State for a Smart Mega City status which prompted the State to go Capital market for bond and loan to make the Y2019 budget performance 100 percent.

It would be recalled that the House at its Plenary on Tuesday, 19th November, 2019 granted the request of Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu for the bond.

Presenting the report, Chairman, Finance Committee, Hon. Rotimi Olowo said the House recommended the grant approval for the issuance of 100 Billion Naira bond and 50 Billion Naira syndicated loan facility to the State.

According to the Chairman, the projected financing had been factored into the debt profile analysis as at 31st December, 2019 which shows a total debt profile of ₦ 1.085 Trillion.

Hon. Olowo stated that debt service to revenue ratio is at 25% in 2019 which was below the required threshold of 30% required by Country policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) World Bank assessment.

The recommendation was adopted as the resolution of the House.

Boost Post

36 States Assembly Speakers Push for Executive Order on Legislative Autonomy

Speakers of the 36 State Houses of Assembly on Thursday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an executive order on the implementation of full autonomy for state legislatures.

The call was part of the agenda of a meeting between President Buhari and the speakers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The speakers were led by the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly and Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, Obasa noted that although the amended 1999 Constitution had incorporated the independence and financial autonomy for state legislatures, it was not being implemented in many states.

According to him, a presidential intervention by way of an executive order would fast-track the implementation across the Federation.

“So, we are urging Mr. President to intervene and speed up the implementation.

“We urged the President to come in by an executive order for this implementation to move faster,” he said.

The group also called for the devolution of powers to the states and local governments through a review of the Exclusive Legislative list.

PRESIDENT BUHARI SAYS CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRAINTS DELAYING AUTONOMY OF LEGISLATURE

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja urged lawmakers in the country to always place interest of the people first in all deliberations and negotiations, while pointing out that the autonomy of state legislatures has been constrained by the constitution.

Receiving the Conference of Speakers at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said the constitution upholds the standard for all public officers and institutional operations. He said it must be adhered to, or altered to reflect some dynamics and realities of the country.

“I try as much as I can to always be loyal and obedient to the constitution so long as it is humanly possible,’’ he said.

The President said his administration will keep pursuing the prosperity of all Nigerians by creating more jobs for the people, and plugging the weaknesses exploited by many to make quick money.

“The 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for seven months. And I had to call the Senate President and the Speaker then. I told them by delaying passage of the budget you are not hurting Buhari, but the people,’’ he added.

President Buhari said the delay persisted in spite of his efforts to seek more understanding.

The President said he will ensure equity and fairness that put the ordinary Nigerian on top priority, assuring that he will continue to focus on health, education, infrastructure and improving lives through social intervention programmes.

“We have in the last four years dedicated significant resources to key social services sectors especially in health, education as well as our massive social investment programs. We have also started restoring our infrastructure to levels that this country expects.

“I also want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring that equity and fairness prevail in governance. I will ensure that we consult your conference to further enhance the positive impact of our interventions across the country,’’ President Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers, who is also the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, commended the President for the fight against corruption and insurgency, and efforts to ensure financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary.

Obasa said the legislatures would be further pleased if the President issues an executive order directing the Accountant General of the Federation to separate funds for the state legislature and judiciary at source.

The Conference of Speakers chairman also urged the President to consider supporting the devolution of powers to states on some issues on the exclusive list like railway and the police for more effective governance.