TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT. HON MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA, SPEAKER, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AT THE YEAR 2018 BUDGET PRESENTATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR AKINWUNMI AMBODE, GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE ON MONDAY DECEMBER 11, 2017.
His Excellency, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State; the Deputy Governor, Dr Mrs Idiat Adebule; members of the State Executive Council; Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Opeyemi Oke; distinguished members of the National Assembly; Chairman of our pace-setting party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the state level, Chief Ajomale and his Executive members; leaders of our party; Chairmen of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas; our highly esteemed royal fathers here present; Captains of industry, Community leaders,; members of Diplomatic Corps; market men and women; our energetic youths; members of the 4th Estate; all invited guests present; all Lagosians; ladies and gentlemen.
1. On behalf of my colleagues and our highly dedicated staff, it is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to the presentation of the Y2018 Budget tagged BUDGET OF PROGRESS and DEVELOPMENT by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State. Expectedly, this budget proposal marks another basic point of reference in the progressing radical transformations and change that we have been witnessing in Lagos State since the inception of this administration.
2. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, around this time last year, His Excellency, Mr Ambode, was here to present the Y2017 Budget, itemising his projections for the outgoing year. Today, with the remarkable support of this House, we are all witnesses to the jobs done so far as regards infrastructural renewal and wealth creation.
3. The completion and commissioning of Abule-Egba and Ajah state-of-the-art flyovers, as well as the ongoing Pen Cinema flyover among other completed and ongoing infrastructural projects numerous to mention, are pointers to the success story of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, which could not have been realised without the legislative concurrence and support of this honourable House.
4. It is imperative, therefore, for me to give all appreciations to the Almighty Allah who made all our yearnings and aspirations for the good people of Lagos in the year 2017 a reality to a reasonable extent as well as for keeping us safe till this moment.
5. With the feat achieved by Governor Ambode merely two years in office, there is no doubting the responsiveness and readiness of this noble House to continue to support the state through passage of people-oriented and development-focused legislations. We are poised to cooperate with the Executive to develop an economy that is sustainable, smart and knowledge-based, and whose commitment to law and order is unequivocal.
6. Fellow Lagosians, my dear colleagues, His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has just presented Year 2018 budget estimate for the consideration of your House. The projected budget size is One Trillion, Forty-six Billion, One Hundred and Twenty-one Million, One Hundred and Eighty-one Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty naira (N1,046,121,181,680).
7. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Y2018 Budget is aimed at continuous infrastructural development to bridge infrastructural gap; transport, security and environmental reforms; capacity building for all civil and public servants, teachers and health workers; completion of housing estates; commencement of health insurance scheme among others.
8. However, this House will not rest on its oars in scrutinizing this Budget to deliver on its promises in meeting the aspirations of the people. As usual, we are dutybound to painstakingly look at the nitty-gritty of the budget for the purpose of transforming same for the benefits of all Lagosians.
9. I assure you that this House, through effective oversight, will ensure that the Year 2018 budget deliver on its promises to stimulate the economy of the state by focusing on infrastructure development, delivering inclusive growth and prioritizing the welfare of Lagosians towards making the budget spell out its theme to the letter.
10. It is, however, worthy of note to praise Lagosians for their prompt response to our policies and the payment of their taxes. On this note, I urge those who still fail in this constitutional obligation of tax payment to make adjustments. Without tax, there will be no Lagos of our dream.
11. Distinguished Lagosians, ladies and gentlemen, when I assumed the speakership of this House on June 8, 2015, I pledged to lead an Assembly that would make and sustain positive impacts on the lives of Lagosians while giving separation of power its true colour. Evidence of this could be seen in the recent exchange of baton in the Judiciary, with the appointment of the new Chief Judge, Justice Olufunmilayo Opeyemi Oke. This shows the kind of cooperation that exists among the three arms of government in the state.
12. May I employ this opportunity then to call on the Executive to see all the three arms of government as one as it is obvious that working as a team will ensure prompt service delivery. Working together, as we can see in the last two years, brings smooth effective administration. This is rightly put by Prof Ola Rotimi in his play Ovonramwen Nogbaisi and I quote: “the eyes and the nose are one; when one is hurt, the other shed tears”.
13. At the same time, may I use this medium to salute and commend our party excos at the Local Government level for their outstanding performance in the last Local Government elections across the state as well as all Lagosians for their unalloyed support given to us by throwing their weight behind us in voting enmasse for our party, the All Progressive Congress. This led to us winning all the Local Governments in the state.
14. Distinguished guests, permit me to commend our dear governor, Mr Akinwumi Ambode for his magnanimity and wisdom in handling the issue related to the recent various Local Government appointments. We also commend our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his fatherly role in ensuring peace and tranquillity in our dear party, APC and also among party faithful.
15. Ladies and gentlemen, may I use this medium, however, to laud our party at the national level for its resoluteness and doggedness in addressing the ongoing constitutional amendment. As such, we will like to commend all the governors from the southern part of Nigeria who resolved in their last meeting in Lagos to support devolution of power and restructuring. Ditto for the southern senators for drumming support for this same course.
16. Without mincing words, ladies and gentlemen, those who are asking for definition of restructuring are just being unfair and unfaithful. I am using this medium, therefore, to emphasise and assert that we at the Lagos State House of Assembly strongly stand for restructuring and devolution of power.
17. Once again, I thank you all for coming and wish us all a fruitful and progressive Y2018.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, loje wa logun
Rt. Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly