House Begins Review Of 2012 Budget

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The Committee on Economic Planning and Budget of the Lagos State House of Assembly has commenced a quarterly review of the performance of the year 2012 budget of the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Chairman of the Committee, Mudasiru Obasa, who spoke on the review exercise, explained that “after passing the budget and appropriating money to the various MDAs, constitutionally, it is our responsibility to supervise the execution of the budget as passed and determine what they have been able to achieve in the first quarter of the year.

“We intend to verify the information supplied by the MDAs through the documents they have supplied to back up their claims.

“The documents will actually inform the House if the budget is tending towards our expectations when we passed it.”

He explained that the House will at the end of the exercise decide if there will be sanctions and the form of sanction to be meted out to any MDA that did not meet the Committee’s expectation.

The Ministries of Economic Planning and Budget; Physical Planning and Urban Development, and Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) have presented their budget performances before the Committee in an exercise which is expected to last two weeks, with other MDAs making appearances.

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Addressing the Committee, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, put the overall performance of the budget for the first quarter at 65 per cent, while the overall revenue performance stood at 86 per cent.

He said the impressive performance of the budget was due to the timely passage of the budget by the House.

He said that personnel cost has continued to exert pressure on the budget while assuring that the budget is on course and that the Ministry of Finance is working hard to ensure that financial performance is stepped up in the next quarter.

Akabueze also disclosed that after the inspection of 152 projects being executed in the state so far, 18 were found to have failed to meet specification and as a result, the Ministry had refused to verify payments to the contractors who handled the failed projects until they rectified them.

—Eromosele Ebhomele