The Lagos State House of Assembly has said it is not prepared to grant easy passage to the 2013 budget proposal presented to the House by the state Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday.
Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said this after the governor presented the estimated figure of N497. 277 billion as the budget for next year.
Ikuforiji said there must be a careful scrutiny of the proposal by each committee of the House before it would be passed as the 2013 Appropriation Law of the state.
According to the Speaker, “it is not surprising that the expectations of the people are high; they want to know what is in the budget for them, so that they can make their plans and projections for the incoming year.
“With this in mind, your House, the Lagos State House of Assembly will in its tradition, act responsibly by giving prompt and comprehensive attention to the 2013 Appropriation Bill; we will scrutinise it with an eagle eye.”
While commending the Governor for his resilience in the development of the state against all odds, Ikuforiji said the House was aware that the Governor had a tough task ahead especially next year.
“This is not the time for you to rest on your oars; the challenges are still enormous; and the hope of Lagosians must be kept alive.
“These challenges which must require critical, extraordinary and urgent action include the deplorable state of roads in spite of the huge investment and painstaking effort this government has made in that area.
“In our socio-cultural context, it is the belief of the citizenry that democracy should translate to good roads. I offer this advice in good faith,” the Speaker added.
He said the House would not act against the concern of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which has always been the interest of the people and under which umbrella they occupy political offices.
The Speaker assured Governor Fashola that the House shared his dreams and would continue to forge the necessary executive-legislative harmony in order to achieve the shared goal of maximum returns to the people of the state.
He advised residents of the state against acts of lawlessness since the state can only develop where the people are law-abiding.
“We should remember at all times that no grievance or dispute has ever been resolved through violence,” the Speaker said.
In the budget presented today, Governor Fashola proposed N66.992 billion for overhead while dedication expenditure is N21.753 billion.
The proposal also has N31.892 billion for subvention, N0.609 billion as external debt charge, N15.938 billion as internal debt charges and N1.989 billion for the servicing of bonds.
By Kazeem Ugbodaga & Eromosele Ebhomele