Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode Monday signed the N662.588bn Year 2016 Appropriation Law with a promise that the budget would be faithfully implemented in line with the determination of his administration to make Lagos work for all irrespective of age, gender, tribe or status.
The Appropriation Bill, presented to the Lagos State House of Assembly by Governor Ambode on December 17, was unanimously passed into law by members of the House on December 31, 2015.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Ambode said the 2016 budget was the article of faith of his administration with Lagosians and it was in line with delivering on the promises made to the people.
He said: “The 2016 budget of N662.588bn will enable our government focus on the present challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural developments which have thrown up new challenges quite different from our past experience.”
The Governor thanked the House of Assembly for speedily ensuring the passage of the bill, saying it was no mean feat considering the long hours spent and meticulous scrutiny provided by the House Committee on Appropriation.
While recognizing the expeditious attention given to the passage of the Bill into Law by members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Governor Ambode said the lawmakers deserved to be commended considering the long hours spent and meticulous scrutiny they provided on the budget.
Governor Ambode said he was not oblivious of the current challenges brought about by the dwindling federal allocations due to falling crude oil prices, but that the budget would be driven by Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He, however, appealed to all Tax Payers to fulfill their civic obligations by promptly paying their taxes, just as he assured that his administration would leave no stone unturned in delivering value for every Kobo spent.
“In conclusion, I will commend this Budget to all Lagosians and enjoin them to continue collaborating with us in building the Lagos of our dreams,” Governor Ambode said.
Giving a breakdown of the 2016 budget, tagged “The Peoples Budget”, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade said it will go a long way to promote massive investments in Security, Transport/Traffic management, Physical and Social Infrastructural development in addition to enhancing job creation/opportunities.
He said the 2016 budget with estimated total revenue of N542.873bn with the balance of N119.714bn expected to be funded through a combination of internal and external loans included World Bank DPO 3 loan which could not be accessed in 2015.
He said the Lagos Internal Revenue Service is expected to generate N300billion equivalent to 78 percent of the total IGR, however adding that while the state government does not intend to introduce new taxes, efforts will be made towards bringing more citizens into the tax.
Giving a breakdown of the expenditure plan, Ashade said N89billion will be spent on construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads and public buildings, while N48.9billion will be expended on various Transportation initiatives including the completion of the Blue Rail Line and expansion of BRT Corridors (Mile 12-Ojota).
The Commissioner also said that N86billion will be spent on the education sector, which according to him, will cover the state government flagship programmes including A-Meal-a-Day initiative to be partly sponsored by the Federal Government, Ibile tablets for Secondary Schools as well as the development of the E-Curriculum initiative.
He gave the expenditure breakdown of other sectors to include, Health (N46.9bn) Agriculture and Food Security (N2bn), Tourism (N2.2bn), Commerce and Industry (N6.2bn), Environment (N27bn), Pensions (N6.5bn), Science and Technology (N9.6bn), Water (N17.6bn), Housing (N25.3bn), Sports Development (N2.3billion), among others.