Y2016 Budget: Lagos Assembly delegates Committee to scrutinize

By Lanre Adesanya

The Lagos State House of Assembly has committed the 2016 budget estimates to the committee on Economic Planning and Budget after taking the second reading.

Lawmakers, who took turns to deliberate on the budgets proposal, however expressed worries on how funds to finance the budget will be sourced.

In his view, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu Eti-Osa II said, “I am excited by this budget. It would bring massive investment in infrastructure to the people.

“The government will be able to do a lot with this budget.”

Hon. Dayo Fafunmi Ifako Ijaiye I said that the budget would address major issues confronting the residents of the state.

“This budget is ambitious, it is meant to deal with issue confronting us as a state but how do we finance this budget?” Fafunmi asked.

The lawmaker, noted that he was not averse to borrowing, but stated that the purpose should focus on facilitating sustainable infrastructure.

He noted that federal allocations in the fiscal year might dwindle  because of the shortfall in the anticipated crude oil revenues.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun Epe I however douse the tension, stating unequivocally that the budget would spread the dividends of democracy to all residents.

Also speaking, Hon. Bisi Yusuff Alimosho I urged the executive to adhere strictly to budgets estimates without distractions.

Hon. Jude Idimogu Oshodi Isolo II said,” whatever happens to the crude oil price, Lagos State can finance the budget.

“I want to urge the House to perform its oversight functions very well to enhance fulfillment and success of the budget.”

The Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru while examining the appropriation template for 2016, stressed that the budget had captured the needs and aspirations of the people.

Abiru, who restated the budget is centred on enhancing the common good of residents, worried over the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun affirmed that the budget proposition was realisable.

The Deputy Speaker, however, said that there would always be infrastructure deficit in the state due to the ever growing population.

Hon. Sanni-Eshinlokun said the Federal Government should be giving certain percentage of its IGR in Lagos to the state.

Responding, the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the budget would enhance massive infrastructural development.

Obasa said, “It is a budget of the people. I think with the approval of the House, Lagosians will have cause to smile.

“The budget focuses on capital projects, we should support the executive.”

The Speaker noted that the state had been funding most of its budget with IGR, stressing that the dwindling federation account revenue would not affect performance.

The House committed the budget to its Committee on Economic Planning and budget headed by Hon. Rotimi Olowo Somolu I to report back to the House on Dec. 31.