9th Lagos Assembly: Obasa Reelected Speaker

The Lagos State House of Assembly has reelected Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa as the Speaker of the Assembly.

Obasa, representing Agege Constituency 1 was nominated for the position by the lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland Constituency 2, Hon. Moshood Oshun and seconded by Hon. Yinka Ogundimu from Agege Constituency 2. Also elected during the proclamation and inauguration of the 9th Assembly on Friday 7th June at the Assembly premises was the Deputy Speaker of the 9th Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who was nominated by Hon. Tunde Braimoh and seconded by Hon. Desmond Elliot.
Also elected were the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Chief Whip, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh and Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara.

While proclaiming the Assembly, Governor Babatunde Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, stated that he would be inaugurating the 9th Assembly in line with the constitution.

The Governor, who appreciated the people Lagos State for their support at the polls, urged the lawmakers to live up to the expectations of the people. “As you commence the legislative duties it is important to remind ourselves that we are all accountable to the people of the state. “The essence of democracy is checks and balances and seperattion of power. Lagos State has always been a pacesetter and it will continue to remain one. “As progressive partners in this dispensation, we have a responsibility to raise the bar and it is important to uphold this. “We should activate the process to develop the state that is home to over 20 million people,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu added that the responsibility for oversight functions and the accuracy with which it deserved was very important for the lawmakers.
The Governor stressed that he was committed to the full implementation of the 2019 budget, which he said was important to the progress of the people of the state.

“I will be seeking your support for the quick passage of some bills that will be useful for the progress of the state. “I must congratulate all of us for the victory at the polls. We must honour our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinunu that has worked hard to sustain our democracy. I wish you a successful tenure in the 9th Assembly,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni
stated that the Assembly comprises 40 seats for 40 members and that all the members elect were from the All Progressives Congress

Photo News

Caption: Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and his wife, Olusola; at the swearing-in of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo0Olu; and his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Wednesday, 26th of May, 2019.

Caption: His Royal Majesty, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, His royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and Madam Speaker, Mrs. Olusola Obasa at the swearing-in of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo0Olu; and his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Wednesday, 26th of May, 2019.

THE ROLE OF THE LEGISLATURE IN ENHANCING FINANCIAL AUTONOMY FOR STATE LEGISLATURE AND STATE JUDICIARY A PAPER DELIVERED BY RT HON. MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA, SPEAKER, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AT THE 2-DAY CONFERENCE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AUTONOMY OF STATE LEGISLATURE AND STATE JUDICIARY HELD AT CONGRESS HALL, TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA ON THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019

INTRODUCTION
Democracy is all about ensuring popular participation and control of the process of government. Since all the people cannot participate and individually control their government at the same time, they entrust these rights and duties to an elected few among them known as legislators.
The legislature is one of the basic structures of any political system. It is known by a variety of names in different countries. Some states identify their legislature as Congress, Parliament, Duma or Knesset. Others label it as Soviet, Diet, Assembly, etc.
The legislature is omnipresent in every system of government to perform legislative functions. The legislative process is an interesting chain of activities, which involves passing of motions into resolutions and bills into laws which depending on certain circumstances contribute in one way or the other to national development.
In every nation, the legislature, as the accredited representatives of the people, has the duty of promoting national development through its chain of activities. In Nigeria, legislature has the mandate and is under obligation to initiate debate and show concern on matters affecting the generality of people in the country. Expectedly such activities should be directed toward reversing declining economy, stabilizing the polity and integrating society with overall aim of enhancing national development.
Since power belongs to the people in a democratic system, those elected to exercise such authority should do so to the benefit of the people. The legislature, as the closest arm of government to the people, must be seen to be independent enough to exercise the powers bestowed on it by the constitution. Any attempt to abridge this constitutionally guaranteed right, therefore, must be seen as an aberration. It is, therefore, laudable that the government is making moves to correct this lapse in our democracy.
SEPARATION OF POWERS
Any system of Government based on the Rule of Law and Democracy must consist of three great arms: the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. This division of labour is a condition precedent for the supremacy of the Rule of Law in any society. The doctrine of Separation of Powers advocates the independent exercise of these three governmental or constitutional functions, by different bodies of persons, without interference or control or domination, by one on the other or others.
This theory globally gained momentum following the work of Baron De Montesquieu who formally conceptualised it for the first time. On that occasion, he stated in his “the Spirit of the Laws” as follows:
“When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner. Again, there is no liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive. Were it joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control; for the judge would be then the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression. There would be an end of everything, were the same man, or the same body, whether of the nobles or of the people, to exercise those three powers, that of enacting laws, that of executing the public resolutions, and of trying the causes of individuals.”
Our grundnorm, which is the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011, provides vivid roles for the three arms of government. These constitutional provisions are succinctly stated clearly to guide against any breach by any arm of Government in the discharge of its functions.
The principle of separation of powers, which Nigeria’s previous and present democratic arrangement is anchored on, suggests that governance of the State should not fall solely under one organ of the State which could be identified as the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The idea behind this is that if liberty and freedom were to be, the three branches of government (i.e. The Legislature, Executive and Judiciary) must be separated and entrusted in different people.
In recognition of the principle of separation of powers in Nigeria, matters pertaining to the operation of each branch of government are accorded treatment in the Constitution in a separate clause of part II of the Constitution dealing with powers of the Federal Government. For instance, Chapter V of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, deals with matters pertaining to the operations of the legislature, while chapters VI and VII are concerned with matters relating to the executive and the judicature respectively.
The entire concept of the separation of powers is to ensure that no one arm of government exercises power to the detriment of the society. That the constitution allocates distinct functions and powers among the Legislatures, Executive and Judiciary is a straightforward concept in principle. In practice, however, the scheme can produce conflicts, confusion, and discordance and a comparably messy jurisprudence.
Like the historian and moralist, Lord Acton said in his letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
This scenario best describes the power of the Executive, cutting across the 36 states of the federation. State Houses of Assembly are under the beck and call of state governors. Clearly, the independence of state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria has remained quite doubtful even as some state House of Assemblies continue to play the ostrich over their not being tied to the apron string of their state governors as it is widely believed.
The culprit in this matter is none other than the failure to spell out the power of the purse expressly in our Constitution regarding state Houses of Assembly as well as its counterpart, the Judiciary. Rather, the concentration has been much more on the ‘powers’.
Contrary to this practice, at the federal level, the National Assembly has for some time now, been able to exercise some level of check and balance on the executive. With this strong sense of autonomy, the National Assembly has continued to perform its oversight functions and assert its right to control the finances of the Federation as constitutionally required.
This has been the basis for the intense debate that has, not until recently, remained on the front burner of several national discourses in the last few years to have similar power at the National Assembly replicated at state level.
THE CONCEPT OF FINANCIAL AUTONOMY
Before now, the Legislature and the Judiciary at the Federal level had been largely independent of undue executive control. The Executive from their alpha positions have been depriving the legislatures the capacity to control the purse, carrying out effective oversight or generally holding the governors to account. It is the main reason state Houses of Assembly in some states are seen as mere rubber stamps to state governors, which does not augur well for the nation’s democracy.
Several examples have been cited by political watchers and one of such is the inability of state assemblies to question governors on the alleged misuse of the Paris Club Bailout Fund released to them by the federal government on three occasions with about ten states not able to pay workers’ salaries.
The seeming lack of financial independence for the Houses of Assembly and Judiciaries had been quite precarious for them, subjecting them to the whims and caprices of the Executive in some states, thereby limiting their capacity to carry out their functions in a more effective manner. At some points in the discharge of their functions, the prevailing situation had them trapped in compromising positions, unfortunately.
At the national level, the practice of financial autonomy among the three arms of government had enjoyed fair implementation. But at the state levels, the Legislature and Judiciary were firmly tied to the apron strings of the Governors who called the shots on crucial issues such as the emergence of the leadership and political comportment of their members. State legislatures were unable to exercise their constitutional powers of independent oversight of the activities of the Executive, especially their financial dealings. They could not investigate issues or sanction errant governors. The Judiciaries were largely crippled, and some governors even had the guts to lock up the courts.
However, the states waited patiently for the day the principle would be extended to them. While they endured, agitations for financial independence for the legislature and judiciary did not cease. The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN), for instance, had been at the fore front of the campaign to realize financial autonomy for the Judiciary and, by extension, the Legislature.
The lack of financial independence largely resulted in the inability of the Legislatures and Judiciaries to curb the massive corruption for which many governors are standing trial and being jailed. Instead, elements in all arms of the state governments became partners in the corruption, and service delivery suffered in most states.
But the above has been recently addressed as henceforth, the statutory allocation to state legislatures and judiciary in Nigeria is to be a first line charge of the consolidated revenue of the federation. In other words, the allocation to these arms of government at the sub-national level would be paid to them directly instead of being routed through the executive arm.
The development is courtesy of the Fourth Alteration Bill signed into law recently by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Fourth Alteration Act grants financial autonomy to both the State Houses of Assembly and Judiciaries, which empowers them to receive their allocations straight from the Federation Account (FA).
Expectedly, the law restores and gives practical affirmation to the globally acclaimed and centuries entrenched principle of separation of powers, which is the hallmark of democratic governance. The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria duly recognizes the concept but its practice, especially among the federating units, has been quite problematic. Financial autonomy, which is a key element guiding the revered democratic principle, had lacked true implementation in the states where the legislative and judicial arms depended on the executive for their allocations.
The move is a step further to boost the country’s democratic development. This is not only going to enable state Legislatures have freedom to access their budgetary allocations directly without the current trend of depending on the good graces of the Executive in states, but also to create more channels for effective democratic practice, institutional and state building, an opinion leader had averred.
The granting of financial autonomy to the State Houses of Assembly would go a long way to deepen democracy and enhance good governance across the country.With this financial autonomy, which is a new milestone for our democracy, the State Houses of Assembly and Judiciaries are now challenged to wake up to their constitutional responsibilities. The concept of checks and balances, which has been more effective at the Federal level can now come into play at the lower levels. The people will be more effectively represented and good governance strengthened.
THE ROLE OF THE LEGISLATURES IN ENHANCING FINANCIAL AUTONOMY
Proper constitutional roles of the legislature in the promotion of democratic governance in Nigeria remain paramount in legislative discourse; as democratic culture cannot be sustained without qualitative legislation for good governance.
We are all aware that Nigeria practices constitutional democracy. This, in other words, means that all the three organs of government derive their powers from the constitution. The Legislative Powers of the Federation are to be found in section 4, chapter 5, and the legislative lists contained in the second schedule of the Nigeria 1999 constitution as amended.
The roles and powers of the legislature are contained in the Section 4(1). Section 4(2) of the constitution, in part, specifically says that “the National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the federation, or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative list”.
Similarly, Section 4(7) confers the same power on the State Houses of Assembly with regard to any matter in the prescribed column of the concurrent legislative list and any matter not listed in the constitution, i.e. the residual lists:
Section 4(7) The House of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State or any part thereof with respect to the following matters, that is to say:-
(a) any matter not included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.
(b) any matter included in the Concurrent Legislative List set out in the first column of Part II of the Second Schedule to this Constitution to the extent prescribed in the second column opposite thereto; and
(c) any other matter with respect to which it is empowered to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
Meanwhile, Section 120 to 129 expressly highlight the Powers and Control over Public Funds vested in the state legislature. For instance, Section 120 subsections (3) and (4) state it clearly that the power of the purse is vested in the state’s legislature:
120. (3)No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the State, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by a Law of the House of Assembly of the State.
(4) No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State or any other public fund of the State except in the manner prescribed by the House of Assembly.
Section 129 gives the Legislature the sole constitutional power to conduct investigations into any agency of government with a view to exposing corruption and correcting any lapses in the conduct of public policy. This is otherwise referred to as Oversight Function. Legislative oversight is defined as “the review, monitoring and supervision of government and public agencies, including the implementation of policy and legislation.” Thus, from the wording of the Constitution, the State Assembly has independent powers to inquire into the workings of the government because with or without the cooperation of the executive arm of government because of the prominence given to the oversight responsibility of the State Assembly.
This means that it has the general power to cause an investigation or enquiry into any of the 68 subject in part 1 of the second Schedule, i.e., the Executive Legislative List. In addition to this general power, it can investigate the conduct of any person, authority, ministry, or government department, charged or intended to be charged with the duty or responsibility for (i) executing or administering laws enacted by the National Assembly and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.
The first part of this power of investigation, the general part, involving an investigation into any of the 68 subjects in the Exclusive List is unqualified. However, with regard to the second part in which the investigation is targeted at the conduct of public officers and institutions, such an officer or institution must be one (i) charged with or intended to be charged with the duty of executing or administering laws enacted by the National Assembly and (ii) in the process must have or will disburse moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly. In other words, with regard to the investigation of public officers and institutions, the critical factor, triggering the exercise of legislative investigative powers is disbursement of funds, appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.
The import of the foregoing is that the constitutional mandate of the legislature is primarily to ensure, in any democratic setting, quality economic growth, poverty reduction, high level of employment, first grade infrastructure and general improvement in quality of lifestyle of the citizens through its vested powers. In other words, when we talk of the role of the legislature in enhancing financial autonomy, all the powers given to it can be utilised in ensuring that the Executive comply with the constitutional provisions towards the full implementation of the the financial autonomy.
To enhance financial autonomy for the state Houses of Assembly and Judiciary for instance, the legislature, having been saddled with the power of making law, is expected to come up with an enabling law, like financial management law that will state how to go about the state financial autonomy without fear or favour. For instance in Lagos State, we have Assembly Service Commission and Lagos State Judiciary Self Accounting Law that ensure the independence of the Legislature to a large extent.
Meanwhile, it has been observed that despite the lofty and painstaking laws usually made in Nigeria, little or no tangible outcomes have been achieved as they always tend to fall by the wayside. This is because the critical elements in both the internal and external environments and the implementation process account for the gap between goals and achievements. Nigeria has never lacked in planning, but the problem has always been achieving results.
It is an established fact that it is difficult to create a conceptual distinction between law making and law implementation. This is not far from the fact that law making basically takes place throughout its entire drafting process. It has been observed that law implementation is a very tedious process that requires a careful and critical analysis before it is embarked upon. Therefore, a critical evaluation of all the elements of impending law should be studied for proper implementation.
It must be on the record too that with all the powers confered on the legislature, it can use every means possible to make the Executive comply with the implementation of this financial autonomy. For instance, the power to make law, which is addressed by the Section 4 (7) (a), (b) and (c), dictates what the policy of the Executive is. In a situation where the executive fails to make the autonomy work, the legislature can withold its powers in supporting the Executive, all to ascertain that its agitation regarding financial autonomy is achieved.
POLITICAL WILL
It worthy of note to state here that the Judiciary in most cases do not help in decision making as far as matters of adjudication are concerned. Most of their pronouncements in some cases have not helped the legislature to establish its authority. There have been cases of the Judiciary creating conundrum through their collusion with the Executive by granting court injunctions that flouted the legislature’s authority. Evidence of this is seen in Kogi and Kano States recently. Same thing applies to situations where the Speakers of state Houses of Assembly have been removed illegally by the Executive through the cooperation of the Judiciary. Such does not give enough room for the Legislature to be independent in carrying out their functions effectively.
At the same time, state Houses of Assembly should come together and be one in their actions to make the implementation of financial autonomy a success. I remember that during the 3rd alteration in the 7th Assembly, state assemblies themselves voted against legislative autonomy. That alone tells you the naivety of that arm of government to sever the umbilical cord that has ensured that it is but the apron string of the executive.
Legislators must shun ethnic prejudice, intolerance, and struggle for the democratic work ability in their representative capacity. They owe Nigerians the fundamental duty to insist on good governance through qualitative legislation that can lead to socio-economic progress and prosperity of the country.
CONCLUSION
In the long term, the most important function of the legislature is the enactment of enlightened laws for the benefit of the populace and the general function of criticism, and scrutiny of executive policies and decisions. The openness of parliamentary proceedings, the transparency of all its processes, the availability of its records and debates to researchers and members of the public, all help to establish a healthy culture of democratic governance.
The greatest authority which a legislature wields in a democratic society is not its legal powers as contained in the Constitution, but its moral authority, as the conscience of the nation and protector of the sovereignty of the people. Thus members of the legislature must be men and women of high moral authority and integrity.
While commending both the National Assembly and the President for the enactment of the Fourth Alteration Act, it is worthy of note that this move is a very healthy development in the nation’s politics and governance. Insulated from their former attitude of subservience to a strong Executive, the two weaker arms, as it were, would now be incredibly strengthened. The overall impact would be the emergence of much stronger institutions of government, greater mutual respect for one another among the three arms of government, and the deepening of the nation’s democratic culture.
However, with the law come huge responsibilities for the Houses of Assembly and the Courts. Being in a self-accounting mode now, they are to be held fully accountable for their actions. In fact,they are to be accountable to the people with their activities, more transparent and not shrouded in secrecy. As they can now draw their funds directly to carry out their statutory functions, there should be no excuse for less than desirable performance.
The two arms of government should also note that there are extant rules, regulations and laws governing their operations that must be observed. Care should be taken in such issues as tenders, contracts, procurement, etc, which deserve transparency. Federal anti-corruption agencies as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC)would now focus more attention on them on account of their financial independence.
As the nation glows in the euphoria of the historic moment, which is perceived to significantly enrich the nation’s governance experience and set a standard for other African countries, may I use this avenue to implore the appropriate authorities to set in motion the machinery for the immediate implementation of the financial independence granted the legislature and judiciary in the 36 states of the Nigerian federation.
At the same time, one of the challenges of our current democratic experiment is that the executive arm of government, whether at federal or state level, wields so much power. Granting financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary will, to a large extent, address this problem. But, devolution of powers from the central government to the federating units, which the proponents of restructuring are calling for, will largely address this problem better. I believe that the principle of separation of powers, which is vital to the success of any democratic system of government, should be allowed to prevail.
The executive arm of the government should never work to the detriment of any other arm. In fact, the three arms of government should work together to the benefit of those that elected them into office. The legislature and the judiciary are, indeed, indispensable to the sustenance of any democratic government.
Largely, having identified the constitutional provisions that support the financial autonomy of the legislature and judiciary, the concern, however, is how willing and strong-minded both the Legislature and Judiciary are to make the implementation work. Well, now that they are autonomous, I hope that the various arms of government pursuant to sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution would maximise their full powers to the utmost benefit of the Nigerian people.

Lagos Speaker Obasa Congratulates Sanwoolu, Hamzat, Lawmakers; Says Victory Confirmation Of Lagosians’ Love For APC

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has sent a message of congratulation to the state Governor-elect, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat on their victory at the just concluded governorship election in the state.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker also felicitated with returning and new members-elect of the state House of Assembly for what he described as “hard-earned but well deseved victory at the polls”.

Rt. Hon. Obasa’s message was contained in a press statement released from his Media Office signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak on Sunday.

“It was tough for us all but at the end of the day, a well deserved victory for all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a confirmation of the love Lagosians have for our great party and the giant strides we have been achieving in the state,” he said.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker expressed appreciation to Nigerians particularly Lagosians for reposing and renewing their confidence in the APC not only in Lagos State but also at the federal level, assuring that the APC administration at all levels will not disappoint Nigerians.

“We are grateful to Nigerians, Lagosians in particular for reposing and renewing their confidence in our great party at the state and federal levels.

“We have absolute confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Kadri Obafemi Hamzat to deliver the goods and take Nigeria and Lagos State to greater heights.

“Therefore, I want to assure Nigerians, particularly Lagosians that the APC administration at all levels will continue to put in place programmes and projects that will enhance your welfare and improve your standard of living,” he said.

Breaking News! Lagos Speaker Obasa Wins; Ogundimu Returned

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has been re-elected to represent Agege State Constituency 1 in the state Assembly.

Equally, colleague from Agege Constituency 2, Hon Oluyinka Ogundimu was returned to the House to represent the constituency. Both Obasa and Ogundimu were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Annoucing the result at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Agege, the Returning Officer for Agege Constituency 1, Professor Saibu Olufemi Muibi of the University of Lagos stated that Rt. Hon Obasa scored 17,665 votes to beat his closest rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Auwalu Taure Maude who scored 4,743 votes.

The Returning Officer for Agege Constituency 2, an Associate Professor also from the University of Lagos, Anthony Kayode Adebayo declared Ogundimu the winner of the election in the constituency having polled a total of 19,489 votes to beat his closest rival from the PDP who scored 3,479 votes

Ambode Presents N852.3bn 2019 Budget Estimate To Lagos Assembly


After weeks of waiting and suspense, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday presented a budget size of N852.3bn to the state House of Assembly.The Governor who arrived the hallowed chamber at 2:33 p.m. explained that there was reduction in projected revenue of the state which according to him affected the implementation of the 2018 budget estimates.In December 2017, Ambode had presented budget size of N1.046 Trillion for 2018 as opposed to 2019 which is less than a trillion.According to the Governor, the Recurrent Expenditure stood at ₦ 389.560bn while the Capital Expenditure ₦ 462.757bn which represented Capital/Recurrent Ratio of 54:46.Ambode disclosed further “the projected total revenue for Year 2019 is ₦775.231billion, of which ₦606.291billion is expected to be generated internally, ₦168.940billion is expected from Federal Transfers while a total of  ₦77.086billion will be sourced through deficit financing within our medium term expenditure framework. The breakdown of the allocations is as follows will be rendered by the Ministry of Budget and Planning and Finance subsequently.”In the outgoing year however, we experienced a reduction in our revenue projections, which affected our projected performance and our desired implementation of the Y2018 Budget. “The overall Budget performance as at November 2018 stood at 60%/₦574,206billion with actual cumulative total revenue of ₦530,192billion/64%, Capital Expenditure closed at ₦311,930billion/49% and Recurrent Expenditure performed at ₦262,276billion/82%.”In preparing the Year 2019 Budget therefore, we were very mindful of the out-going year performance, the yearnings of our people and the fact that we are going into an election year. Consequently, we are today presenting a Budget that will be all-encompassing, reflect the level of resources that will be available and with special consideration to the completion of major on-going projects in the State.  He added, ”Our priority on completion of major infrastructure projects and smooth transition to the next administration, we are are happy to propose a Year 2019 budget of ₦852,316,936,483, (852.317billion) including a deficit financing of N77.086bn which is expected to be sourced from internal loans and other sources. “Consequently, the 2019 Budget is projected to consolidate on the economic gains made so far by capitalising on realistic, budget friendly programmes and projects.”In 2019, as was with our previous budgets, Economic Affairs still dominates the sectoral allocation of the proposed budget. This is due to our continued focus on the completion of major on-going projects such as: Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road; Agege Pen Cinema Flyover; Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, Oshodi Interchange Terminal; completion of JK Randle Complex, Onikan Stadium; Imota Rice Mill; Renovation/Furnishing of Lagos Revenue House, amongst others in order to meet their specified deliverable outcomes without any bias or prejudice to others,” the Governor said.Earlier, “the last three years I have had the honour of presenting the budget of our State to this Hallowed Chamber and each time, I have come with the enthusiasm and energy to meet our partners in the continuous work for the progress and development of our State. It is with the same enthusiasm that I am here again today to present the year 2019 Budget.”Each time I have come here, we have been accorded a very warm and cordial reception by this Honourable House and for this, we are very grateful. This House has been a solid partner in progress and none of the achievements recorded in our State in the past Three and Half years could have been possible without the support and cooperation of this Eighth Assembly. “Rt. Hon. Speaker, I have been very privileged to have worked with this House and there is no bill we have brought forward that has not been given favourable consideration.”That is the secret of the success of Lagos State; the cooperation between the different arms of government and our unity of purpose to make life better for all our people.”From the inception of this administration, we focused our attention on Nine core Function Groups which are a reflection of our priorities and the needs assessments of the Citizenry. These areas include Security, Transport / Traffic management, Economy – including Tourism and Agriculture, Housing, Education, Health, Infrastructure – Social and Physical, Water, Wealth Creation – Skill Acquisition/Microfinance, E-Governance and Enhanced Capacity Building, Sustainable Environment and Smart City projects,” he said.In his comments, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa said that the fallout of the presentation of the 2019 Budget by the state government has led to several insinuations in some quarters.Obasa, who was reacting to the presentation of the 2019 Budget by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday, stated that the fallout of the budget brawl has led to series of negative publications both on social media and in the print media.The Speaker stressed that the publication was being sponsored by “a faceless group calling themselves the Legislative Probity and Accountability (LPA) led by one Olu Fajana with its pseudonym.”He added that this started immediately the misunderstanding between the Executive and Legislative in respect of the Y2019 budget; which he said meant that such could not be ruled out to have emanated from the Executive.”A section of the media has even been mischievously misled into sensationally writing all manners of write-ups against this assembly.”Some of our friends in the media are personalizing the issue thereby misinforming the public. “The fact of the matter is that the issue is between one arm of government and another. What was at stake then was nothing but the matter of appropriation,” Obasa said.

Impeachment Saga: We Invited Ambode To Explain Why Budget Was Being Implemented Without Approval-Lagos Lawmakers

Lagos State House Assembly insisted on Wednesday that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and some of his commissioner it invited to explain infractions on the state budget must appear before it.They said that it is only, where the infractions continues that the House would apply the constitutional provision of impeachment on the Governor.Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated this, while briefing House correspondents after an emergency parliamentary meeting by the lawmakers on Wednesday night.He said that nobody was witch-hunting the governor as it was being insinuated in some quarters, but that the infractions were serious issues the House can not overlook.Agunbiade said that the House decided to correct some wrong information and misconception being bandied around by the House resolutions on Ambode on Monday. As a fall out of the massive protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday by concerned Lagosians against the planned impeachment of Governor Akinwunmi by the Assembly, members went into an emergency parliamentary meeting immediately.Referring to the earlier protest, Agunbiade said that the House was not saying that Ambode should end his tenure. but that because of issues surrounding the 2019 budget he was summoned by the House.According to him, the major contention was that he had started spending from the 2019 budget which had not been laid before the House which is against constitutional provisions.”The budget is supposed to have been laid before the commencement of another fiscal year, which has always been the practice in the state, and unless it is laid you can not spend from it but the governor has gone ahead to make expenditure from the budget.”There are also some infractions the House observed about the 2018 budget, expenditures made outside the budget, which necessitated the invitation the House extended to him and some commissioners to come and explain things.”It is not witch-hunting as people believe, to make expenditure from the budget you must have laid it before the House, for now we don’t have the budget so you can’t spend. As legislators we must do things properly”, he said.Agunbiade also corrected some misconceptions which he said are being tied to the Ambode issue, that it was not true that the lawmakers are after Ambode because he refused to fund their campaign.”We want Lagos to flourish but we cannot compromise the regulations or constitutional provisions concerning appropriation.”If we wanted war we would not have written to him to come and explain, what we said was that where the infractions continue we would apply the constitutional provisions which is impeachment”.He assured that there was no crisis or problem, but that because majority of the people didn’t understand the workings of the legislature they misinterpreted the its actionsThe Assembly had adjourned sitting till Monday 4th February. but suddenly summoned members for an emergency meeting on Wednesday after the massive protest by pro-Ambode supporters appealing to the Assembly not to impeach the governor.The Assembly had accused Ambode of alleged gross misconduct and spending money from the 2019 budget that had not yet been laid or approved by the House and spending outside the 2018 budget.Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa had told members, who wished that Ambode should be impeached to start collecting signatures in readiness for the impeachment. Earlier today, hundreds of supporters loyal to Ambode stormed the Assembly to protest the planned impeachment.The protesters marched into the Assembly and caused traffic gridlock.The protesters carried placards, saying that any move to impeach Governor Ambode would disrupt the forthcoming election, adding that the Governor should be allowed to complete his tenure.The protesters said that the Governor did not deserve the treatment he was getting from the party, saying that they should leave the governor alone.The State House of Assembly had moved to impeach Ambode over what they called gross misconduct and spending part of the 2019 budget that had not been presented to the Assembly for approval.They gave the governor one week to appear before the House to explain the infractions levelled against him.The protesters, under the aegis of the Lagos People’s Assembly (LPA), said that as a critical civil society stakeholder in the Lagos Project, they were gravely concerned about the unfolding political drama in the state which might degenerate to a logjam if not handled with the best of statesmanship kits.“We are fully conscious of the historical truism that under a constitutional democracy, the executive and legislative arms of government must seamlessly work in harmony to deliver the dividends of democracy for the people. Both arms are equal partners in the business of constitutional, democratic governance.“In recent time, the two tiers of government have been embroiled in a crisis of confidence conflicts. The House has commenced an impeachment process against the governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on the allegations that he committed an infraction of the constitution by not personally presenting the 2019 budget within constitutional stipulated period yet, the governor has started disbursing part of the budget. Ambode on the other hand claimed that the Assembly refused to reconvene the House during its last yuletide holiday,” said the Coordinator of the group, Declan Ihekaire.According to him, from investigation, both arms of government were worried that the budget delay would invariably affect the ability of the government to complete various infrastructural projects commenced by the administration littering the state.He said that the fear of both parties, which was well founded, was that opposition would make use of the uncompleted projects as campaign items to disparage the ruling party in the forthcoming general elections, adding that no matter whatever other hidden factors, this was the main bone of contention leading to the political feud for supremacy between the governor and the Assembly.The Majority Leader of the State Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who received the protest letter on behalf of the lawmakers, promised that the Assembly would read through the contest and take action that would be in the collective interest of the people of the state.

Lagos Assembly Moves Against Governor Ambode Over 2019 Budget -May Begin Impeachment Process


Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has been summoned to appear before the Lagos State House of Assembly within one week over the 2019 budget, which has caused disagreement between the two arms of government.It will be recalled that Governor Ambode had sent the 2019 budget to the House in December against the tradition of laying the budget before the House.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa told the lawmakers that it was important to give the Governor a fair hearing over the issue involving the Governor and the 2019 Budget.Obasa stated that there had been violation of the constitution and infractions on the part of the Governor. “The Attorney General, Finance Commissioner and Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning that ought to have advised the Governor did not do so.”The most important thing is that we should let the people know that a budget that was yet to be approved was being spent, which was why we could not attend to the Governor on the budget on Monday 21, January. “We must give them a fair hearing to come and explain what happened. “The point has been made that there must be something before the House before you can commence expenditure. We want to call on the Governor to come within a week to explain himself along with the Governor.”We can start gathering signatures for impeachment. We can exercise patience and wait till another time,” he said.

The lawmakers had reacted to a report presented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni as the Chairman of the Committee set up to look into the issues surrounding the 2019 budget during a parliamentary meeting of the lawmakers.

Members of the Committee included Hon. Moshood Oshun, Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts (State), Hon. Moshood Oshun, Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman, House Committee on the Environment, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi and the Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Abiodun Tobun.Eshinlokun revealed that the committee met with relevant commissioners and heads of agencies.

The Deputy Speaker stated that the committee met with the Commissioner For Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Segun Banjo, who said that no money had been spent in the year.He said that the Accountant General told the committee that warrant had been issued that they could spend up to 25% of the preceding budget before the approval of that of the new year.He said that they would have to make a recourse to the House if they wanted to spend up to N200 Million.”We pointed out that the Governor ought to lay the budget of the New Year before December 31st, 2018, but that so far the budget was yet to be laid, which was on January 23, 2019.

“We asked them to bring out the law that allowed them to spend up to 20% of the budget of the preceding year. They could not bring out such law and we said what they did was wrong.”We discovered that people have started receiving alerts and this has a grave implication for the executive. “It is our finding that for smooth running of government, there must be a strict adherent to the constitution and it must not be violated. “We decided to bring the report before the lawmakers for us to take action,” he said.In his comment, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu revealed that the Committee on Budget discovered during budget review that there were some specific expenditure in the budgets that ought to have been approved by the House over which funds were expended. 

Yishawu stated that these were misnomers, and that they noticed variation in the expenditure and budget approved. “We had issues of virement and monies being spent without approval. We had cases of items that were not budgeted for being carried out, it shows the executive rewrite the budget at will. “The Constitution states that the State House of Assembly must approve all expenditures,” he added.

According to him, contracts are shutting down, things are being slowed down by the government. He said that it was as if the executive was tired and that the people were complaining. “It is as if nothing is happening in the state now. Breach of the constitution and gross misconduct are being committed here, and the punishment is clear. “We should begin an impeachment process if need be if the executive does not retrace their steps,” he said.

This was corroborated by Hon. Tunde Braimoh, who said that the revelation by the committee that considered the matter was of serious concern.He stated that they all swore to uphold the tenets of the constitution of Nigeria. He added that Sections 120 and 121 explained the roles of each arm of government when it comes to financial expenditure. “If we continue like this, it means we are moving on the ebb of destruction. The issue of gross misconduct should be closely looked into and necessary sanctions applied,” he said.

This was supported by Hon. Bisi Yusuf, who pointed out that the Governor is an accountant, and that he was an Acting Auditor General in 2001 and was confirmed in 2005. “With his level of exposure, the Governor cannot claim ignorance. He is being surrounded by intellectuals, so they ought to have advised him including the Deputy Governor and the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning. The Attorney General ought to have been removed for quoting a law that does not exist. “All those, who are given the Governor bad advice should be removed. “In the whole of Lagos, things have shut down. This is an offence that is not pardonable. I want to say this is an impeachable offence for the Governor and the commissioners,” he said.

Also, Hon. Rotimi Olowo said that rewriting of the Budget is an impeachable offence, and that the Government had been shut down and Lagos roads were in a sorry state. Olowo added that there must be continuity of projects in the budget and that this was not followed. He added that borrowing without informing the house was impeachable, and that if the Governor was tired, he should resign from office.

In his contribution. Hon. Moshood Oshun stated that, When someone applied for a job, he could leave if he was tired. “The budget is a law, when we pass a budget, they rewrite their own. “What they are saying is that they are above the law. “If you go to Alausa today, all the MDAs are shut down. All their files are with the Governor and he did not work on them,” he said.

Also contributing, Hon. Funmilayo Tejuoso said that the lawmakers were the voice of the people of Lagos State and that they perform oversight functions to ensure that the Government did the best for the people. Tejuoso said; “Accountability is not being done here. Section 121 of the Nigerian Constitution made it clear that the appropriation bill should be laid before the house. “Section 122 of the constitution states that if that has been done, you can now spend 25% of the budget estimate for a period of six months. “We need to forward the infractions to the Governor. The tax payers should know what their money is being spent on.

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated that there are three arms of government of which the executive is one. Agunbiade said that the Lagos State Government was still running and not shut down. “What we want to do is to ensure that the infractions from one arm of the government does not affect another. “It is clear that the budget has not been presented before the House. “My colleagues have addressed all the issues. We should let the public know that we do not have the budget before the House,” he said.The Majority Leader emphasized that the Commissioners, who were approved by the House and are working with the Governor should have vote of no confidence passed on them based on their roles on the budget impasse, adding that they had failed in their responsibilities. He then urged the Governor to resign or the House should begin an impeachment process against him.

The lawmaker stressed that the House could communicate to the Governor to resign from office and that failure to do so would be for them to start collecting signatures of lawmakers for impeachment so that they could be seeing to have done their job.Others lawmakers, who spoke supported the impeachment move against the Governor.The included Hon. Richard Kasunmu, Hon. Rasheed Makinde, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu and Hon. Sola GiwaOthers are Hon. Victor Akande, Hon. Fatai Mojeed, Hon. Jude Idimogu, Hon. Noheem Raheem, Hon. Fatai Oluwa, Hon. Oladele Adekanye, Hon. Sabur Olayiwola and Hon. Akeem Shokunle.The rest are Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara, Hon. Setonji David, Hon. Akeem Bello, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi, Hon. Mojisola Miranda, Hon. Dayo Famakinwa, Hon. Saka Solaja, Hon. Folajinmi Mohammed, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, Hon. Omotayo Oduntan, Hon. Rotimi Abiru and Hon. Wahab Jimoh

Unemployment Rate Would Soon Be Drastically Reduced In Apapa- Olumuyiwa Jimoh

Efforts are being made by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government in Lagos State to reduce unemployment rate in Apapa area of the state.

According to the lawmaker representing Apapa Constituency 2 in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, the teeming youths in the constituency need jobs so that they could be more useful to themselves and the society.

He stressed that the most important needs of his people is unemployment and that the government would continue to tackle this by training and retraining the people.

Speaking to journalists during a visit to the people of the area on Monday January 14, 2019, Hon. Jimoh added that he would continue to do his best as a representative of the people of the constituency.

Jimoh, who is seeking a reelection into the assembly in the 2019 general elections under the APC, stated that Lagos as a megacity deserves good representations so that it could continue to develop with time. 

“Government’s work cannot finish. I want to continue to serve my people and make life better for them. This is a normal constituency visit to see our people and you can see the joy in them.

“They would continue to enjoy what we have been giving them, and enjoy the dividends of democracy under my representation.

“I want to tell you that some of them are staff of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC), which is a product of one of our laws.

“The issue of state police is also what everybody wants, and we will continue to make laws that would help the people,” he said.

The lawmaker however, urged the electorates to vote for President Muhammadu  Buhari, APC Governorship candidates across the country, the party’s governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, senatorial candidates of the party, its candidates for the Federal House of Representatives and the party’s candidates for states houses of assembly.

Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh had earlier distributed notebooks to pupils of some primary schools in the area as a way of reaching out to the people.

Meanwhile, the party’s andidate for Apapa Federal Constituency for the House of Representatives, Hon. Mufutau Egberongbe has vowed to engage the Federal Government on the perennial Apapa gridlock.

Egberongbe, a two-term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly made this vow at the same event.

The politician stated that if he emerged winner of the 2019 elections to represent the constituency at the federal parliament, concerted effort would be made to end the nightmare of gridlock in the area.

“Mainly, the job of a legislator is representation and to make laws for the betterment of one’s immediate society, the state at large and Nigeria in general.

“As a legislator at the green chamber, the focus mainly will be the gridlock in Apapa. This has been a problem. I have raised that and challenged that fronttaly at as a member of the state House of Assembly.

“The tank farms need to be regulated, and they need to be relocated to allow the people live a more comfortable and abundant life, ” he said.

According to him, the tank farms must be moved to where they were meant to be situated somewhere in Ibeju-Lekki based on the masterplan of the state.

Egberongbe added that there was need to support the Federal Government on the rejuvenation of rail lines to ease movement of goods from the Apapa port.

He said that the waterways must also be rejuvenated along railway through Public Private Partnerships (PPP), saying that the government must create an enabling environment for this to happen.

The former lawmaker said that he would raise motions and sponsor bills on the challenges facing the area to better the lives of the people.

“I will be joining hands with the progressive elements in the Green Chamber to make these possible,” the candidate added.

On the environment, Egberongbe said that he would also tackle issues of environmental degradation, carnal blockage, and pollutions in the NASS.

The candidate, who urged the electorates to vote the APC as the only party of integrity, advised the youth to shun all forms of violence.

He said that the electioneering processes and elections were not about thuggery, but about installing the desired change to better the lot of the society.

Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Hon.

Funmilayo Akande-Mohammed expressed satisfaction with the large turnout of members of the party, describing this as an indication that the APC would win the 2019 elections.

Akande-Mohammed  said: “See the large number of people here, we are not doing rally or campaign now. Our party is on ground, we don’t have problems winning the elections.”

Scores of party leaders and faithful were in attendance at the event.

2019: Obasa Warns Against Violence As Agege APC Flags Off Campaign

 

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has called on Nigerians, particularly youths, to stay away from violence and acts and utterances that can cause breach of peace, particularly as the 2019 General Elections draw near.

Rt. Hon. Obasa spoke on Sunday, during the flag off of the campaign for the general elections organised by the Agege Federal Constituency chapter of the All Progressives Congress  (APC).

“I want to advise Nigerians particularly youths, to stay away from violence. We should do away from any act and utterances that can lead to violence and cause any breach of peace,” he said.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker stated that there is no gain in thuggery and violence saying the country can only flourish, grow and develop in atmosphere of peace and tranquility. “When there is peace and tranquility, the country will grow and develop. The development and growth of this country is a collective effort between the government and the governed. Without peace, we can’t develop, neither can we grow,” he said.

The campaign flag off was attended by prominent leaders in Agege. Apart from the Speaker, the representative of the Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Taofeek Abiodun Adaranijo; member, state House of Assembly for Agege Constituency 2, Hon Oluyinka Ogundimu; the state Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure and APC candidate for House of Representatives in Agege, Dr Samuel Babatunde Adejare; the Chairman of Agege Local Government, Hon Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi; his Orile Agege LCDA counterpart, Hon Johnson Sunday Babatunde; APC chieftains in Agege: Chief Shafari Adaranijo, Professor Tunde Samuel, Chief Owolabi Dada and Chief Ayeni Shittu among others.

The campaign flag off cum solidarity trek took the Speaker round the major areas in Agege: Mulero, Adealu, Dopemu, Mangoro, Okekoto, Alfa Nla, Capitol, Isale Oja, Papa Uku, and back to Mulero.