…the peoples budget
By Lanre Adesanya
The Lagos State 2016 budget estimate of N662.6bn was presented to the House of Assembly, by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for appropriation in 2016 fiscal year.
The total budget size was made up of N278.9bn for recurrent expenditure, 44 percent of the whole budget, while a whooping sum of N383.67bn is allotted to capital expenditure 56 percent; the appropriation ratio is 58 to 42, as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015.
The first full budget presented by Governor Ambode’s administration tagged; The Peoples budget, set aside 25bn on a four years target to bolster wealth creation, it also state the poise of the administration to broaden the revenue base of the state, through automation of tax collection scheme, which will have a multiplier effect of increase in the number of Lagosians paying tax.
“The increase will enable our government to focus on the present challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural development which has thrown up new challenges quite different from what we used to experience and have always known”, he said.
He said the 2016 budget which is the first full budget of the present administration will promote massive investment in Security, Transport and Traffic management, Physical and Social Infrastructural development and enhance job creation.
He said the intention of his government is to use the 2016 budget to strategically build new infrastructure, as well as maintain existing ones, adding that wealth and employment creation will also receive adequate attention in the course of the year.
Governor Ambode also put the total revenue estimate for 2016 fiscal year at N542.873Billion saying the balance of N119.714billion will be funded through deficit financing constituting 0.41 percent of the state GDP based on 2016 budget alone and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about 3 percent.
On the size of the budget, the Governor earmarked N120,508,571,598 for General Public Services representing 18.19 percent, N28,559,021,841 to Public Order and Safety, representing 4.31 percent while Economic Affairs received a lion share of N211,043,408,183 representing 31.85 percent.
In other sectors, Environment got 8.1 percent of the budget totaling N53,043,599,505, Housing and Community Amenities, got N62,713,091,867 representing 9.46 percent, Health got N64,677,679,096 representing 9.76 percent while Recreation, Culture and Religion has N4,636,917,054 which is 0.70 percent of the budget.
Education sector also received N113, 379,337,664 representing 17.11 percent of the budget while Social Protection got N4, 025,980,116, which is 0.61 of the budget.
“Fiscal Federalism and according Lagos a Special Status will benefit the State as we implore the Federal Government to look into this as soon as possible. As you are aware, the Federal Government still owes Lagos State over N50billion expended on federal roads in Lagos state. We look forward to an early refund to enable us utilize the fund on other infrastructure that require attention”, the Governor said.
The 2016 budget indicates government’s readiness to embark on massive investment in security, transportation and wealth creation, with a whole lot of benefit for the masses, like the poise to commence A-Meal-a-Day programme in public schools next year, the state government. Creation of a Medical and Agric park to attract tourist investors to the sectors, Ambode also cited the dwindling oil revenue of $38 per barrel.
“I am happy to inform you that in 2016 we will develop our e-Curriculum, leading to the distribution of Ibile Tablets to students in our public schools. This revolution, at the Secondary School level, will set a new standard in our educational system, and further enhance the knowledge of our children to enable them compete effectively with their peers in developed countries”, the Governor said.
On security, Governor Ambode while acknowledging that it was a major challenge that confronted the state within the first few months of his administration said the government adopted a multifaceted approach at tackling this challenge, just as he pledged to continue to support the security agencies in 2016.
On road infrastructure, the Governor said one of the assignments that his administration had embarked upon is to regularly inspect the state of the roads to ascertain their conditions and ensure that they are motorable, assuring that while ongoing projects will be given priority in the course of the year, new roads will be constructed across the length and breadth of the state.
Receiving the budget, Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Mudashiru Obasa commended the governor for procuring security equipment to combat insecurity in the state, just as he assured that the budget proposal would be meticulously looked into by the House.
Dignitaries present at the event include former speakers of the House of Assembly including Rt Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Jokotola Pelumi, National Assembly members, members of the State Executive Council, traditional rulers, religious leaders, among others.