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Fashola’s Speech At Budget Presentati​on And Ikuforiji’​s Response

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BEING THE Y2013 BUDGET PRESENTATION OF HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE, MR. BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN), DELIVERED AT THE CHAMBERS OF THE  LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, ALAUSA ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2013 AND RESPONSE BY THE SPEAKER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY,ADEYEMI IKUFORIJI
Every time I have had the privilege to present a budget for our State, I have done so with a lot of pleasure and with a deep sense of responsibility for the expectations that the budget raises for our people that things will get better.
Year after year, we have met those expectations and things have got better.
That feeling of pleasure and the sense of responsibility is no less different today as I present our budget proposals for 2014.
As far as responsibility goes, it is incumbent upon me to report how far we have implemented the 2013 budget as proof, if one is needed, that budgets are important for us, and that we do our best to keep the promises that we make.
Many will re-call that we were the first Government at any level to begin the quarterly reporting of budget performances in this democratic dispensation and this year has not been an exception since we started the practice in 2007.
In the first quarter of this year, I reported a budget performance of 61%, while the second quarter performance was 83% and the recently reported third quarter performance was 70% giving us a cumulative aggregate performance of 71%
While we remain committed to improve upon the fourth quarter performance and ultimately the total year 2013 budget performance, it is instructive to reiterate some of the reasons why we have not exceeded the performances I have just reported.
Let me start by saying emphatically, that budget implementation in Lagos is no longer a matter of capacity. We have a highly resourceful and well-motivated workforce in the public service; budget implementation is constrained by the limitation of financial resources.
As our population continues to grow, the provisions that we require to support them and meet their expectations are also growing.
Regrettably, the financial resources are not growing at the rate of our people’s expectations.
While I salute those who pay their taxes and whose contributions have helped to continuously develop our State by taking our destiny in our hands, I urge those who are yet to start paying to do so.
It is a commonwealth that gives everybody a chance to realize their aspirations. It requires a common contribution to make it sustainable.
While our tax contributions have helped to reduce our dependence on the Federal Government monthly FAAC remittance, to about 35% of our financial needs, that 35% is still critical.
The recent inefficiencies that States have experienced in the process of Federal Government agencies accounting for revenues and the consequent delays in remittances owing to disputes over accounts have affected all States in different degrees.
While salaries were delayed in other States, happily that did not happen here, but the effect was felt in a slight reduction of our third quarter budget performance.
This state of affairs, of delays in the discharge by Federal Government agencies of their responsibilities compels me to make a comment about the recent announcement by the Federal Government that a $200m World Bank loan had been approved for Lagos to fund capital projects such as the Light Rail, Adiyan Water Works and so on.
While I thank them for finally giving the approval, it is instructive to contextualize the timing of the approval.
You might all re-call that in 2010 when I presented the year 2011 budget, I announced that we had negotiated a World Bank loan for $600m to fund a three year medium term expenditure framework for years 2011, 2012 and 2013 which required Federal Government approval.
Although the approval for the loan was given then and the year 2011 first tranche for $200m was released in that year, the year 2012 and 2013 tranches were frustrated by Federal Government agencies.
It is the year 2012 component and year 2013 component that is now being approved in the last quarter of 2013.
In truth and in fact, our State’s development was held up and slowed down for 2 years.
Progress on the Rail was held back, supply of additional 70 million gallons from Adiyan Water Works was slowed down, progress on Lagos Badagry Expressway was slowed down.
Improvement in the quality of life of Lagosians was slowed down.
But we did not sit idly by and moan. We are the Centre of Excellence. Our tax payers’ contributions were our inspiration. We went to the financial market to raise money, knowing that our State is solvent.
So the projects such as Lagos Rail, Adiyan Water Works have started and the Lagos-Badagry Road progresses, even though the approval is just coming.
But painfully we have had to borrow money at shorter tenures of 7 years and higher interest rates of 17% and 14%, instead of 1% and 40 year tenure which the delayed World Bank loan offered.
But nevertheless, our spirits are high, the high interest costs notwithstanding; I am pleased to report progress on these construction sites which provides employment for 1000 workers on the rail project and 500 (Five Hundred) workers at Adiyan Water Works.
The promise of reliable rail transport system for Lagos and an additional 70 million gallons per day of water when Adiyan is completed makes it all worthwhile.
“Ti eni be igu loju. Igi ma ru we”.
As if all these were not enough, FERMA, another Federal Government agency, is threatening to start collecting fuel levies, which is a matter within the residual revenue authority of the State.
As I have said before, we will resist this incursion by taking legal action to stop the desecration of our fiscal federalist principles.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, inspite of the slowdown, whether by commission or omission, I am pleased to report that “Eko o ni baje!”
Our dear State is making progress on all fronts.
Except for our cynical opponents who need ‘jigi Bola’ to see the progress, the overwhelming consensus within the State, outside the State and all over the world, is that Lagos is working.
Our commitment to Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing is manifesting incredible results.
We have just commissioned the 10mw Alausa Power Plant which I promised in my budget speech last year.
In the aftermath, we have de-commissioned over 120 generators and our Secretariat is now on its own dedicated electricity power, run on clean gas fuel.
It is the first Government secretariat that I know of in our country that has its own dedicated IPP.
We have also extended street lighting earlier in the year to Ikorodu Road from Jibowu to Anthony, as we have done across Lagos including 12 streets in Alimosho, and on Carter Bridge to mention a few.
In total we have now provided about 70km of street lighting across Lagos, to improve safety and stimulate our night economy.
We have dedicated the month of October as our Energy Month during which we have commenced an energy saving initiative and just yesterday we flagged off a clean cooking energy initiative of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to reduce wood cutting.
We are in the process of converting the remaining functional generators to LPG fired generators which will save us 50% in fuel costs.
Pole by pole, IPP by IPP with Lekki and Ikeja GRA IPPs to come next year, we are committed to lighting up Lagos.
In the area of Agriculture, we are gradually inching towards our objective of improving on food security.
The Governor of Ogun State graciously approved land for us pursuant to my request as I promised in 2011.
Although I told you that our rice cultivation moved from 20 hectares to 250 hectares and that we were targeting a 500 hectares cultivation, I am pleased to report that we are now cultivating 850 hectares of rice and we are milling at our Imota Rice Mill.
From our farm in Araga, in Epe, we are now producing 150,000 eggs per day, translating to over 50 million eggs a year.
Our fish and poultry farming programmes are empowering young and old farmers and agriculture has become a business as well as a strategic security initiative in our State.
We are determined to also improve the quality of nutrition available to our citizens especially beef.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Agriculture is acting appropriately to restore best practices to cattle rearing, slaughter and processing, including the sanctioning of operators of illegal abattoirs.
We are not only enforcing, we are also training. This is why we sponsored 35 (Thirty Five) cattle dealers and butchers in Oko-Oba Abattoir on a training excursion to Kenya and Bostwana to sensitize them about the vision for cattle and beef production standards that we think our citizens deserve.
As we embrace these standards, things can only get safer, businesses can only get stronger and opportunities will certainly expand for jobs and jobs seekers, if we move from sub-optimal practices to global best practices.
As we deal with increasing capacity in the production of carbohydrates sources such as rice and cassava, and protein sources such as fish, poultry and beef, fruit and vegetable production are also increasing within the State in Araga Epe and from our farm in Osun State.
We are also providing ready sales outlets and guaranteed market in our farmers marts which first started in Alausa and has now extended to Ajah and Surulere with a further three coming up in Shomolu, Ikorodu and LASU.
Public transportation has been our biggest challenge and by many parameters one of our biggest successes.
The history of the world shows that many cities and states often address one major transport solution at a time.
The Boston Road Tunnel, the Mumbai Mono-Rail and the Madrid Bypass Calle 30 are examples of transport solutions individually undertaken in cities.
In this area, our State has set an unprecedented record of five simultaneous transport solutions undertaken by one Government,
From the 40.5km Lekki-Eti-Osa Epe Expressway, to the 61km Lagos Badagry Expressway, the 13.5km Mile 12-Ikorodu Expressway, the 27km Okokomaiko-Marina Lagos Blue Line Light Rail; to the ferry terminals in Ipakodo, Osborne, Badore, Mile 2-Ebute Ojo, it is obvious that your Government has its hands full and remains committed to developing first class multi-modal transport solutions befitting of the economic and financial capital of West Africa.
In the area of traffic management, about 2,406 (Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Six) personnel of LASTMA have been in intensive training for almost one year, and have written competence examinations and they are now set to graduate with a new ethos to traffic management.
Junction by junction, the number of traffic light installations are increasing and kilometer by kilometer, lane marking and traffic signs are appearing on our roads to make motoring a safer experience.
We are encouraged that these solutions are working because of the feedback we get from citizens.
On Friday 25th October 2013 a citizen sent me a text message saying:
“the traffic light at Ojuelegba has been adjusted. No more hold up”.
As far as road repairs are concerned, the Public Works Corporation is building 3 new asphalt plants in Ojodu Berger, Ikorodu and Ajido Badagry to increase the speed of response to repair potholes; and the Ministry of Works is currently executing over 200 inner city road projects which I promised in my budget speech last year.
It is impossible to list all the roads in this address, but it will suffice to mention completed or ongoing works such as:
Ago Palace Way in Okota
Salabiu Olanrewaju in Epe
        Ado Kekere in Ajah Badore
        Medical Road/Kodeshoh in Ikeja
        Igi Olugbin in Somolu
        Adetola Road in Aguda
        Sinari Daranijo Street in Victoria Island
        Glover Road in Ikoyi
        Isaac John/John Ogunnaike in Ikeja
        Balogun Amodu/Alhaji Dodoyowa in Ejirin Epe
        Awolumate/Oguntande Street in Ifako Ijaiye
        Showonuola Street in Agege
Akinola/Victor Fagbemi/Kollington/Imulokanle in Alimosho
Okusanya/Kufeji/Idowu Williams/Olaniyi at Ifako Ijaiye
Roundabout to Moshalashi/Ipaja/Ayobo Road in Alimosho
Bamgbose/Lewis, Alakoro, Marina/Kosoko Roads in Lagos Island
        Orile Ilasan/Iroko Awe Road in Eti Osa
In addition to these, there are bridge works in Ajao Estate, Agiliti, Tedi and Ijegun which are at different stages of construction and making progress towards completion.
I have also recently approved the commencement of another 25 roads and as these roads and bridges are being completed, we expect to see improved connectivity and improved journey times.
Happily, the Lagos Traffic radio continues to remain the City’s favourite source of advance traffic information, while the Lekki-Link Bridge has achieved its iconic design purpose by becoming a favoured destination for residents and visitors alike and in the same vein is successfully performing its travel time reduction objective.
In response to public appeal, and after extensive consultations, our party the APC and our Government have acquired the concession rights to the Lekki-Eti-Osa Expressway with the approval of the House of Assembly and plans are underway to complete the due diligence and takeover of the assets and to complete the road.
I am also happy to report that one year after its implementation, the Traffic Law has recorded huge successes in its life and property saving objectives.
Traffic accidents have reduced from 646 (Six Hundred and Forty Six) reported accidents in August 2012 to 118 (One Hundred and Eighteen) reported accidents in July 2013, and deaths from motorcycle accidents have reduced from an average of 12 (Twelve) per month to 1 (One) per month and indeed no deaths were recorded in August, September, and October.
We are concluding plans to implement the next phase of the Law, and we have been working with the Transport Unions to sensitize them.
But before I move to housing; a little but serious word must be said about the Traffic Law.
Let me reiterate that out of over 10,000 roads in Lagos, the law restricted motorcycles from plying only 475 (Four Hundred and Seventy Five) which were highways, if such motorcycles were not up to the 200 cc capacity.
The law also provided that in the over 9,000 (Nine Thousand) roads where there is no restriction, the riders must wear safety helmets and not carry more than one passenger.
While I must commend the operators for largely complying, I cannot say the same for a few law enforcement agents and few military personnel who have either turned enforcement into an extortion exercise for money or have seen themselves as above the law by violating our traffic laws and BRT Laws.
Let me say to them clearly, that it is bad enough if law enforcement personnel violate the laws they are constitutionally paid to enforce, it is the height of impunity if they do so in uniform.
That uniform is the symbol of the authority of the State and it is funded from tax payers’ money.
I have news for those bad eggs who give law enforcement a bad name in this country.
We will bring you to justice and make examples of you; before you bring dishonor to these timeless institutions that have produced officers and true gentlemen.
In the area of housing, I will not take more time than is necessary. I will only state that the LagosHoms programme is on course.
Many of our housing units are making progress on 15 different construction sites, employing a total of 7,757workers, in Shitta, Gbagada, Ajara, Ilupeju, Sangotedo, Igbogbo, Mushin, and Omole to mention a few.
At least 3,192 housing units will be added in the first quarter of 2014 to the already completed 1092 (One Thousand and Ninety Two) units.
We intend to commence more developments to ensure that there is no shortage of supply once we start the allocation process.
Apart from Power, Agriculture, Transport and Housing, we have not relented in other sectors.
Our commitment to improving on the successes we have made in the area of security remains at an all-time high.
We are consistently breaking up criminal gangs, arresting their members, recovering illegal arms and effecting seizures of hard drugs.
I urge all residents to remain law abiding, vigilant and security conscious and to go about their businesses without fear.
I must not fail to report that our drainage management solutions are yielding results as the incidents of flooding have reduced to only flash floods which flow away shortly after heavy rain.
This is proof not only of the existence of a drainage system in Lagos, it is proof that it works, it is proof that our people are changing, it is proof also of the hard work of the Ministry of Environment and the Government as a whole.
There is also progress to be reported in the construction sector.
In terms of our children’s academic performances, the WAEC results improved from 39% in 2012 to 41% in 2013 even though we seek to achieve more successes.
But from 7% pass a few years ago, to 41% pass today, we have come a long way and we are inspired to believe that the journey of education renaissance in Lagos can be completed.
In all the tertiary institutions, reforms are underway and we are experiencing progress both in infrastructure renewal and in qualitative education provision.
The progress across sectors is also evident in the health sector.
Our free medical health mission continued in the year and the next one is scheduled for Badagry to bring healthcare and medical relief to our people at the grassroots free, as proof that their taxes work for them.
The safe motherhood programme to reduce infant and maternal mortality is gaining ground in all our operational maternal and child centres.
We will shortly open the one in Alimosho, while the one in Lekki is almost concluded.
Our reforms in the Primary Healthcare systems are already underway with the opening of 6 (six) 24 hour flagship Primary Health Centres with the collaboration of our Local Government Chairmen in Lagos Island West, Mosan Okunola, Badagry, Itire, Eredo and Onigbongbo so far, with many more to come.
I must observe however, that the best defence against ill health and sickness is self defence.
This is simple. It is all about personal hygiene.
Starting from regular hand washing, cleaning our drains, bagging our refuse and most importantly not urinating and defecating in open places.
We must all rise up to embrace regular hand washing and we must condemn and stop those other unsanitary acts such as defecation and urination in public spaces, in order to prevent outbreak of diseases and epidemics.
 I am also delighted to inform you that not only did we open the first class Burns Unit in Gbagada to the public this year, the Cardiac and Renal Centre for heart and kidney disease treatment and transplant is now completed.
We will open to the public as soon as we complete the management agreement with the operators who will run the centre, and train our local doctors and students.
Indeed there is so much more to report in terms of progress that many of you have personally experienced more than even I could describe.
In order to sustain this progress, we therefore propose a budget of N489.690bn for the year 2014.
This budget is made up of the following:
Details
Y2014 EXCO Approved (Nbn)
Recurrent
234.665
Capital Expenditure
255.025

Our Capital to Recurrent ratio is 52:48 for Y2014 as against 58:42 in Y2013.
Ø Total Personnel Cost/Total Revenue is 19%
Ø Total Personnel Cost/IGR is 27%
Ø Personnel Cost as percentage of Recurrent Expenditure is 37%
As I promised last year about reducing our deficit, a zero deficit financing requirement is proposed for Y2014.
The Sectoral allocation of the Budget in size and percentage are as follows:
Sectors
        Y2014 EXCO
(Nbn)
%
General Public Service
100,215,966,990
20.47
Public Order & Safety
17,977,368,027
3.67
Economic Affairs
             160,046,436,169
32.68
Environmental  Protection
39,727,711,248
8.11
Housing & Community Amenities
50,537,201,984
10.32
Health
37,812,553,057
7.72
Recreation, Culture & Religion
3,482,081,806
0.71
Education
77,423,827,872
15.81
Social Protection
2,466,309,939
0.50
Total
489,689,457,092
100
The Sectoral Highlights of the Y2014 Budget are:
General Public Service
 Pensions
 Residents Registration and Issuance of permanent residents’ cards
Implementation of Public Procurement Law
Public Order and Safety
 Computerisation/Automation of Judicial procedures including e-filing
 Completion of on-going High/Magistrate Courts projects
 Renovation/Rehabilitation of Court Rooms and Judges Chambers
 Improving Safety and Disaster Management
Economic Affairs
 Implementation of various IPP projects
 Development of Enterprise Zone in Gberigbe, Ikorodu and Upgrading of Yaba Industrial Park
 Advancement of Ten-Lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway / Blue Rail Line Corridor
 Completion of other on-going Road Construction Projects and pedestrian bridges
 Agric-YES, Accelerated Food Expansion Program: Rice, Animal Husbandry, Root Crops
Environmental Protection
 Improvement/Maintenance of Drainage Channels
Completion of  New Sewage Treatment Plant at Odo Iya-Alaro
Advancement of Adiyan Water works Phase II and Improvement water pipeline in Lagos West
Continuous tree planting, beautification and climate change projects
Housing & Community Amenities
 Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (H.O.M.S) Rehabilitation of small scale Rural Water Schemes Implementation of Rural Electrification Projects
 Provision of Rural Roads
Electronic Certificate of Occupancy
Upgrading of slum areas
Health
 Upgrading of Health Facilities
 Renovation and equipping of flagship Primary Healthcare Centres
Completion of on-going Health Facilities such as Ayinke House,
Completion of MCCs at Epe and Badagry
Recreation, Culture & Religion
Tourism Development  Projects:
Rehabilitation of Slave Route to “Point of No Return”-
Education
Improvement of Science and ICT facilities in Public Schools
Continuous Rehabilitation/Upgrading of Public School buildings/facilities
Social Protection
Completion of Ketu Vocational Centre for Children with Disability
Provision of Recreational Facilities for the Disabled
 Continuous upgrading/Completion of Youth Centres
Maintenance and upkeep of Old People’s Home, Boys and Girls Remand Homes
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, because this is the last full year budget that my administration will implement, it represents a slight reduction in budget size when compared with the 2013 budget.
Its focus will be to complete on-going projects, and consolidate on the gains we have made.
Before I conclude, permit me to say a few words about some of our policies and programmes which are aimed at improving the quality of service delivery and the quality of life.
One of such programmes is the Residents’ Registration exercise. As I said at the launch, it is for Residents of Lagos and no more.
It seeks to register everybody who intends to live here for up to 6 (six) months and beyond irrespective of where they come from.
I have issued Executive Orders to the entire Public Service to amend our forms and processes to request the provision of the citizens’ registration number which is provided whenever you register.
With effect from the 1st of December 2013, it will be a requirement in terms of information to be provided in order to enable us to provide service to you or process requests from you.
I urge you all to either go to the nearest Local Government office near you to register, or do so online at the Agency’s website or engage the mobile registration team.
There is continuous information on the Radio, Television and our State website about how the process works.
I am convinced that, as soon as you start providing us with your registration numbers, our capacity to respond to your requests will get faster and better.
Our electronic Certificate of Occupancy programme is almost completed. I have signed some of them already and very soon we will start releasing the certificates.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we are coming to the end of a very extended rainy season and heading into dry weather and the end of another year.
These periods, the rainy season, the dry season, and end of year all have their peculiarities.
The rainy season brings on wetness and the risk of flooding. We have successfully overcome the flooding risk.
We now have to deal with the risk of fire that characterizes the dry season, and the risk of crime, by people who seek to reap at the end of the year, where they did not sow any seed of hard work in the whole year.
We must all resolve not to be their victims.
This should not be difficult. We only need to do simple things, such as exercising more care with electrical appliances, with candle light, lanterns and fireworks.
We also need to be vigilant, resist the temptation for offensive display of wealth, scrutinize people we employ to work for us especially in our homes, and be our brothers’ keepers.
In other words, we need to be safety conscious. We have done well so far, we must continue and improve.
If we do some of these things, I am sure that all will be well with us.
Finally let me thank our party, the All Progressives Congress, our political leaders, our elected public officials at the State and national level for all the work they have done in Lagos and Abuja to improve the quality of life of our people.
The platform rekindles hope that the promise of Nigeria is within reach.
I am certain that we will all be witnesses to the great dawn that I see on the horizon.
Dear Lagosians, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous year 2014.
Thank you for listening.
Eko o ni baje!
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Governor of Lagos State
October 30, 2013
REMARK OF THE SPEAKER, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY RT. HON. ADEYEMI IKUFORIJI DURING THE PRESENTATION OF THE YEAR 2014 BUDGET BY HIS EXCELLENCY, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN), THE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE ON WEDNESDAY, 30TH OCTOBER, 2013 AT THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
PROTOCOL
His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola and his amiable wife;
His Excellecy Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande;
Former Speakers of our House here present (Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora & Rt. Hon. Joko Pelumi and through them to all members of the National Assembly and Lagos State House of Assembly past and present.
Members of State Executive Council, The Head of Service and all Members of the body of Permanent Secretaries, Spouses of Members of Lagos State House of Assembly, Chairman and Members of LAHASCOM, our Traditional Rulers, Obas and Chiefs, our Spiritual Fathers, Captains of Industries, our Political Leaders, our Elders, distinguished invited guests, Members of the 4th Estate of the realm, My very dear Colleagues, Hon. Members, Management and Staff of Lagos State House of Assembly
It is with great delight that I, on behalf of my colleagues, management and entire staff of the Lagos State House of Assembly, welcome you all to the flagship State House of Assembly in West Africa.
More importantly, our thanks go to organizations and individuals from all works of life that have responded to our invitation today.
We pray that the Almighty God continually respond to your needs.
I enjoin Lagosians to take an interest in this matter because As Plato rightly said: “the punishment we suffer, if we refuse to take an interest in governmental matters, is to live under the government of worse men”.
We give praise and adoration to the Alpha and Omega, the omnipotent, the omnipresent, the I am who I am who made it possible for us to witness this day and to have listened to our able; indefatigable; forthright; astute; dependable; ingenious; conscientious; analytical; dauntless, you are passionate, you are inciteful, and I know you are determined and reliable. I wish you more power to your elbow.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our Governor has just presented his budget proposal for year 2014. The presentation of the budget by the Governor before this Legislative Assembly is a Constitutional matter. In section 121 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria it is stipulated that “ The Governor shall cause to be prepared and laid before the commencement of each financial year estimates of the Revenue and Expenditure of the State for the next following financial year” this is to seek Legislative approval for the amount of money to be received from stipulated sources and spent on specific items in the coming financial year.
It is for this reason that I, my colleagues and millions of Lagosians have listened rapturously to our Governor’s presentation.
To us in this House of Assembly, the observation of NAPOLEON BONAPARTE is very instructive where he said “ Not one cent should be raised unless it is in accord with the Law”. Adherence to this counsel has been our watchword in dealing with the executive arm of government in the budgetary process of Lagos State.
We focus on how the budget can maximally benefit the generality of our people and address the issues of Poverty and deprivation.
Our dear governor, our leaders and elders, invited guests and fellow Lagosians, I want to assure you on behalf of all of us in the House of Assembly that we will apply our utmost best, within our Legislative powers to give this budget proposal the detailed attention it deserves for its transformation into appropriation bill for the benefit, prosperity, growth and development of Lagos State and Lagosians.
It is pertinent to remind us that this budget proposal is the penultimate and last full year budget that will be presented and equally executed by your Excellency before the expiration of the 7th assembly and your administration.
As the House of Assembly parleys with the executive to move the State forward, let me reiterate here that there is a great need to also put life in our local councils so that they can realise the objectives of their existence.
There are indications that the various local government councils and local council development areas could perform better than they do presently if they are adequately funded and monitored.
The councils are the levels of government closest to the masses. We must strive to strengthen them to fast-track people oriented programmes.
Our desire to institutionalise responsible governance at the local government areas informed the assembly’s supervisory roles over these councils.
The Federal government should as a matter of urgency voluntarily shed weight by re-allocating the excess funds it collects from federation purse to the States and Local Governments.
Lagos is successful because of the hard-work, ingenuity, creativity and the enterprise of committed individuals inside and outside of government. This is the true strength of our socio-economic status and we cannot depart from it.
Our is the first State in the Federation to openly define itself in terms of human liberty and responsible governance. It is this unique self-definition that has given us an exceptional appeal.
We are self-assured, because we are strong, we are strong because we are united, sophisticated and forward looking- that is, planning for the expansion of our economy and development of Lagos State.
Therefore, beyond this, we as present day leaders may not have another grand opportunity to heed the call and satisfy the ever-demanding needs of Lagosians.
This budget proposal should answer questions posed to us by posterity and establish us a legacy.
Our nation’s resources are unequally apportioned.
This inequality is fuelling discontent; the polity is heated up; high office holders particularly at the Federal level are socially distanced from the electorate.
Therefore, our State budget proposal should always be geared towards promoting and actualizing unison amongst our people.
For this singular reason, we at the House of Assembly, urge your Excellency to bring to the front burner, the matter of ONGOING PROJECTS completion. I make this statement for purpose of emphasis because of its relative importance.
Your Excellency, we urge you to also conscientiously execute the budget as it relates to issue of DEBT REDUCTION.
We appreciate your administration’s effort in the 2013 appropriation bill aimed towards fiscal responsibility.
However, more needs to be done.
We at the House of Assembly understand that no government gets to choose the global economic circumstances in which the budget is framed; but we can choose the priorities, which gives the government a clear choice.
A clear choice is to propose a budget that spreads opportunity to every street in Lagos.
A clear choice is to learn from the mistakes of previous budgets.
A clear choice is to ensure that the current school funding system will not fail our future generations; and to ensure our children are equipped to take up the high-wage, high-skill job the future promises – or, better still, have a special focus on entrepreneurship, so that our youths will create jobs, rather than look for jobs.
A clear choice is to ensure that the budget addresses the issue of: gender empowerment; public debt management; the physically challenged in our society; investment in high quality infrastructure; fairer and stronger tax system; increase in pension allowances in-line with inflation; capacity building; affordable housing; all encompassing quality health care system and advanced medical science; improved safety and security; creativity and innovation in job creation; sustainable alternative energy; science and technology as a catalyst for rapid development; fiscal policy discipline; impact of floods and flash floods resulting from climate change; food production and food security for the people of Lagos State.
Aristotle sums it best: “excellence is always the result of high intentions, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice out of many alternatives, choice not chance, determines destiny.”
Again, we at the House of Assembly understand that challenges abound in budget implementation. Challenges that are upshot of the communication-technology dominated world, and the inherent uncertainties associated with globalization.
One in which Lagos State and indeed our Country’s economic and political defenses are vulnerable.
Today, a shift in the price curve of crude or bread may result from the fact that Mr. Putin in Russia is not happy with himself!
Global financial experts forecast that the incoming global economic outlook will take an axe no most budgets, but it does not translate to an axe on the economy of Lagos.
Nonetheless, signs of improvement are emerging in the world economy, though the outlook remains troubled.
Growth is still muted in the United States; Japan and much of Europe is still in recession; high level of debt is inhibiting progress and shutting down governmental functions in these parts of the world.
All in all, our Continent is rising from economic doldrums and growing steadily.
Ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, our actual budget performance in Lagos will depend in part on the macroeconomic policy action or inaction of Abuja, not forgetting the security challenges under Abuja’s watch that have become a hydra-heated problem.
Nevertheless, Governor Fashola has over the years proven his ability and capability to surmount the herculean task that governance poses.
He has made a mark in Lagos, and still marshaling the State towards attaining a higher level of excellence.
Unlike other parts of the country divided along ethnic; religious and regional lines, the exemplary leadership of Governor Fashola has incorporated tolerance and togetherness into the DNA of Lagosians.
Your Excellency,
Times without number, you have proven to us that you lead a responsive government.
Recent example is the Lekki toll concession buy-back by our government.
Your administration has institutionalized a forward-looking Lagos, while strengthening all institutions of government.
You have advanced the economy of Lagos State beyond the oil dependent cap-in-hand national economy.
Under your leadership, the Lagos of our dream is closer to actualization.
Hence, your appellation: The ACTUALIZER.
A bragging right well deserved!
As Winston Churchill said: “In politics, a man gets on not so much by what he does, but by what he is. It is not so much of a question of brains as of character and originality”.
James Bryce added: “Democracy needs great men to lead and inspire the people”.
Your Excellency, be rest assured, that the Lagos State House of Assembly will stand shoulder to shoulder with your administration, showing unflinching determination whenever good governance; wealth creation and the delivery of the dividends of democracy to Lagosians come to the fore.
In this, we are partners indeed.
Finally, permit me in using this opportunity to present a mini score card of our stewardship in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to inform Lagosians that your House of Assembly is staffed and managed by people of integrity who’s high standard of legislative professionalism is of global best practice.
Here in your House of Assembly, we have taken deliberate steps to institutionalize the continuous development of Human Capital.
Members; management; and support staff are constantly being trained and re-trained on legislative skills; legislative functions and responsibilities; legislative processes; and legislative relations; across board, both locally and internationally, throughout each calendar year.
An untrained workforce yields no productivity; in fact, an untrained workforce is akin to an untrained child, an untrained child is a parent’s shame and nightmare; any untrained child is a living dead.
Well-trained personnel become competent personnel; competent personnel build enduring institutions.
This is our Mantra!
Also, the House of assembly, from time to time, organizes seminars, workshops and conferences for professional bodies; civil society groups; the press; student bodies and the general public, in other to expose our people to the functions; workings and relevance of the legislature under a democratic order.
In furtherance of our efforts towards institution building and providing conducive working atmosphere for the work force, we have recently completed a wing of the 2 wings office block of world class standard. The other wing is under construction and will be completed soon.
Lastly, permit me to salute the leadership of our great party for its torch-bearing guidance.
Lagos is working today because the leadership of our party sowed a seed of harmony and order.
I have no doubt in my mind that our country today needs leaders who have the wisdom and the intelligence; visionary leaders who can lead with courage and compassion, leaders who can see beyond the day and ready and willing to take proactive steps to steer us away from the imminent danger and future calamity.
Your Excellency, I believe that your efforts in the last six and a half years have been in this direction. I want to implore you not to rest on your oars even as you run the last leg of the relay.
We appreciate your efforts and those of your predecessor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in making Lagos the barometer with which good governance is measured in Nigeria. One wonders what would have become the fate of our Lagos and its 21 million residents if the visionary leadership and the financial wizardry that had been demonstrated in the last 141/2 years in Lagos had not been.
We therefore thank you and your predecessor for your efforts.
On behalf of my colleagues, I commit this budget proposal to the people.
God bless and thank you for listening.

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