SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT. HON MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA AT THE YEAR 2017 BUDGET PRESENTATION
His Excellency, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State; our highly esteemed royal fathers here present, distinguished members of the National Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, Captains of industry, leaders of our pace-setting party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Community leaders, Sole Administrators of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas; members of Diplomatic Corps; market men and women; our energetic youths; members of the 4th Estate of the Realm; all Lagosians; ladies and gentlemen.
1. It is with a lot of pleasure and pride in my heart that I welcome you all to the presentation of the Y2017 Budget themed BUDGET OF GOLDEN JUBILEE by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State. No doubt, this presentation marks another critical milestone in the ongoing radical renewal and transformation of Lagos State.
2. First, let me give great thanks to the Almighty Allah for seeing us this far during the year 2016.
3. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that around this time last year, His Excellency, Mr Ambode, was here to present the Y2016 Budget, where he revealed to us all his projections for this year. A year after, however, almost everything that was mentioned in the budget has been carried out to the letter.
4. Eminent Lagosians, ladies and gentlemen, despite the very turbulent economic environment we found ourselves during the year under review such as depreciating trend of the value of the Naira against our reserve currency, the United States Dollar, the high cost of funds represented by growing interest and borrowing rates, economic recession that bedevilled us as a nation, increases to the pump prices of petrol, inflation and the likes, it is gratifying to note that this administration has endeavoured to remain realistic, unperturbed and responsive to the dynamics that suddenly changed without affecting all the plans for the year.
5. A number of life changing projects such as the Light up Lagos Project, constructions and rehabilitations of roads in all the LGs and LCDAs in the state, Marina-Ikoyi-Lekki Monorail, Lagos Medical Park, 8-lane Ikorodu-Epe road, and the ongoing construction of the state-of-the-art Flyovers at Abule Egba, Berger and Ajah as well as that of the Pen Cinema in Agege, which will soon take off, among others, are pointers to the success story of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, which were all properly spelt out in the Y2016 budget that this House appropriated.
6. Ladies and gentlemen, when I assumed the speakership of this House about eighteen months ago, I promised to lead an Assembly that would make and sustain positive impacts on the lives of Lagosians. As a team, we promised to live up to the expectations of the teeming Lagosians by enacting Laws that would aid socio-economic development and growth of the state.
7. In this regards, fellow Lagosians, since the inception of the 8th Legislative Assembly, your House of Assembly has made immense contributions through legislations and resolutions that are geared towards legal backing for policies, programmes and other activities of the Government as well as to aid development in all the 57 Councils of the state.
8. With the feat achieved by Governor Ambode in the last one year, there is no doubting the responsiveness and readiness of this noble House to pass pro-people and pro-development legislations. The supportive role played by this honourable House has contributed in no small measure to the creditable performance of Mr. Governor in the outgoing year, much to the admiration of Lagosians.
9. Among the laws passed by this Assembly over the course of this year, which are in line with the Y2016 Budget, are the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law (2016), and the much-touted Lagos State Properties Protection Law (2016). While the Neighbourhood law is a direct response to the security challenges in the state such as kidnappings and the likes, which culminated in the inauguration of the Board of Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, the Properties Law is meant to drive investment in the state. More so, this House is equally considering a bill on criminalising kidnapping in the state; the bill is at the committee stage.
10. May I further add that this Assembly has also approved two regulations which are Stamp Duties Regulations (2016) and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Operating Regulations (2016).
11. Fellow Lagosians, my dear colleagues, His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has just presented Year 2017 budget estimate for the consideration of your House. The projected budget size is Eight Hundred and Twelve Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million Naira (N812, 998,000,000).
12. It is crystal clear that the Y2017 Budget is aimed at massive investments in Security, Transport/traffic management, Tourism, Education, Health and Infrastructure (social and physical), to consolidate and improve on the Y2016 Budget and ensure delivery of democratic dividends to the citizenry at a time of recession.
13. I will like to add here too that the reports of our last stakeholders’ meetings have been submitted to the Governor. It is expected that the outcome of the constituency meetings has been factored in this budget and will be implemented accordingly.
14. As usual, we shall not fail in our duties to painstakingly look at the nitty-gritty of this 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 2017 budget delivers on its promises to stimulate the economy of the state by focusing on infrastructure development, delivering inclusive growth and prioritizing the welfare of Lagosians.
15. Therefore, I enjoin all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to furnish the committees of the House necessary documents that will aid speedy and fruitful passage of the budget. And may I further remind us that our duty to perform oversight function on MDAs is enshrined in Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended). As such, the cooperation, without any reservation, of all the MDAs is highly needed while we are at work.
16. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as you all know, our state Lagos, the Centre of Excellence, has continued to be seen both within and outside our country as the very place where good governance is the norm, which readily explains why our state is home to all Nigerians, having attained the enviable status of a mega city. It is on this note, therefore, that I urge the National Assembly to reconsider the special status we demand.
17. In view of the importance and significance of Nigeria and its population in African economy and that of Lagos State in Nigerian economy, coupled with the fact that the state is recognised as the fifth largest economy in Africa, there is no doubt that Lagos State alone can bring about the economic recovery of this nation, thereby pulling us out of the present economic recession we find ourselves. Hence, I cannot but appeal to the Senate to reconsider their stance on our issue of special status.
18. Dear Lagosians, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as we struggle to bring an end to the challenges of recessions and the likes, may I let us know that it is our duty to see to the welfare of our neighbours by reaching out to the less privileged in our society. We can do this by making it a habit of providing a meal per day to the needy around us. This is an initiative of mine that I plan to do in my community. I likewise encourage us to emulate same.
Once again, I thank you all for coming and wish us a fruitful Y2017.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, loje walogun.
Rt. Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly