The Lagos State House of Assembly has stepped down the appropriation law 2017 budget re-ordering move forwarded to it by the executive,on account of inadequate information.
A sum of N42.028billion was to be re-ordered going by the second reading of the re-ordering bill for the second time on the floor by the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni.
The Chairman of the Appriopration committee, Hon. Rotimi Olowo reacting to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s budget re-ordering proposal noted that not minding the desirability of the move, informed by the environmental, ecological and security yet the House needs more information and clarification from the MDAs to re-order effectively.
He complained that from the January -June budget performance report from the executive and interaction with MDAs it was clear that monies meant for execution of projects was not released to some MDAs the same funds the executive is seeking to re-order.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Bisi Yusuff representing Alimosho constituency 1 and member of the Appriopration committee wondered why the executive should be talking of budget re-ordering in October when it is supposed to be talking or presenting the 2018 budget before the House.
According to him, “budget re-ordering is a failure of the budget ministry as most MDAs have been unable to assess their funds. We need explanation why some MDAs are pampered and others are treated otherwise,” Yusuff said.
The Chief Whip, Hon. Rotimi Abiru condemned aspects of re-ordering the budget of a ministry that has an ambitious housing project for the state and also that wants to release funds to the government for the bulk purchase of buses for public transportation, saying “government should provide an enabling environment for business instead of purchasing buses for public transportation directly”.
While Hon. Abiodun Tobun also frowned at the re-ordering of funds meant for an important corporation like water corporation with the terrible potable drinking water situation in the state.
All the lawmakers who contributed to the debate agreed that the executive should give more clarification and information on the re-ordering bill before the House considers the request.
Agreeing with his colleagues on the need for further clarification and information from the executive, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said “we are doing this in good fate, we are asking questions in good fate for the sake of the people. I hereby step down the bill pending clarification from the executive”, Obasa said.
It will be recalled that Ambode wrote to the Assembly about three weeks ago requesting for re-ordering of the 2017 budget. Though the budget size remains N812.998b for the year but the re-ordering is expected to move unused funds from some MDAs that can’t utilise them before the end of the year to MDAs that needs such funds to take care of some pressing challenges confronting the state.