The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday set up a seven-member committee to scrutinise Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s N1.046 trillion budget proposal for 2018.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who announced the members of the committee on the floor called on the committee to thoroughly look at the Appropriation Bill.
The committee members are Yinka Ogundimu, the Acting Chairman, House Committee of Finance; Moshood Oshun, Acting Chairman, House Committee of Public Accounts (State) and Jude Idimogu (APC-Oshodi-Isolo II).
Other members are Lanre Ogunyemi, Acting Chairman, House Committee on Education, Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Acting Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, and Noheem Adams (Eti-Osa I).
Mr. Obasa said that the committee would be headed by Gbolahan Yishawu, the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Waterfronts Infrastructure representing Eti-Osa Constituency II at the Assembly.
“I have seen this budget as a gift to the state. If I had my way, we will pass the budget today and not tomorrow. The committee should thoroughly look at it.
“Let the committee do everything possible to speed up activities on this exercise so that we can return the budget as soon as possible,’’ the speaker said.
Earlier, the lawmakers took turns to commend Mr. Ambode’s budget proposal and the priority given to capital expenditure over the recurrent.
According to them, the budget’s special attention on the transport system and embedded power project is commendable and achievable.
The Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, said “With this budget, people of Lagos will be better if all that need to be done is put in proper perspective.
“There is hope with this budget. Since education is also prioritised, there is a future.’’
The Acting Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Tunde Braimoh, urged the Assembly to give the budget an accelerated consideration and quick passage.
“We should do our best on the budget so that the people of Lagos can enjoy a better life,’’ Mr. Braimoh, representing Kosofe Constituency II said.
In his reaction, Mr. Ogundimu, who harped on revenues generation to finance the budget, said there was a need to strengthen the state revenue generating agencies to make the budget perform optimally.
“I am not afraid of this budget size, it can be realised. Lagos is big and a lot of residents do not pay tax.
“The expected federal transfer might be higher in 2018 than what we are envisaging as oil production and revenue increases.
“If the state wants to do N2 trillion budget, it is not difficult to fund it as long as the right things as done,’’ Mr. Ogundimu.
Mr. Adams called for a motivation for the revenue generating agencies to deliver the expected revenues, saying that more people should be brought into the tax net of the state.
NAN reports that Mr. Ambode, who presented the 2018 budget proposal of N1.046 trillion to the state House of Assembly on December 11, tagged it: “Budget of Progress and Development”.
The budget size, which represented a 28.67 per cent increase over the 2017 budget of N812 billion, had a Capital Expenditure of N699 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N347billion.
The capital to recurrent ratio of the budget stood at 67:33.