The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained why his administration is moving to end the payment of pension to ex-governors and their deputies.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that the governor made his intention known on Tuesday during the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill to the state House of Assembly.
He said the decision is to cut the costs of governance while engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service.
“In light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies,” he said.
“It is our firm belief that with dwindling revenues and the appurtenant inflationary growth rates, that we need to come up with innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum while engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service.”
The governor, who presented the 2021 budget proposal of N1,155 trillion, said youth employment and human capital development will top the government’s priorities next year.
He tagged the 2021 budget a “Budget of Rekindling Hope” which is meant to restore economic balance. According to the governor, the budget will be funded from a projected Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) of N962 billion, and the N192.495 billion deficit will be financed through bond issuance, internal and external loans.
“About N704 billion, representing 61 per cent of the total budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure in the proposed 2021spending: an estimate of N451.75 billion, representing 39 per cent, will go for recurrent expenditure, which includes personnel cost and other staff-related expenses,” he said.
“The year 2021 is one of Rekindled Hope, in accordance with recent events of global and national proportions, especially the coronavirus pandemic, the EndSARS protests, the general feeling of disenchantment in the polity and the socio-economic yearnings of Lagosians for good governance. This budget reflects our desire to rebuild the trust of the people in this Government, even as we commit significant human and financial resources to the rebuilding of Lagos while doing all we can to move on from the destruction and vandalism recently witnessed in the State, barely three weeks ago.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protests have only heightened the need to urgently implement various programmes under the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda. The 2021 budget will, among other things, provide for youth employment, security, and youth engagement and social works.
“We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered. In the Agricultural sector, our food security plan has a cumulative budget of N22.21billion while we are committing a cumulative budget of N311.43billion to provide infrastructure.”
Speaking further, he said his administration is ready to support entrepreneurship and expand the opportunity of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate socio-economic advancement through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
“As we work on reviving the growth of our economy, we must commit resources to our state-wide security architecture, especially in the areas of intelligence gathering and the motivation of all security personnel in the Neighbourhood Watch,” he said.
“We will be increasing the size of the Neighbourhood Watch personnel across the State and ensure their training, including community engagement, de-escalation techniques, and proactive information gathering within communities. We believe that as the population of Lagos State increases and becomes more sophisticated, so should the training of our security personnel to cope with emerging challenges.”
Speaking on education, he said the government will train 9,000 teachers in modern teaching techniques to boost learning outcomes and provided complementary textbooks and other ancillary teaching aids for over 350,000 students.
“We have audacious governance goals, which we cannot achieve without the concerted efforts of all our people. We should not allow the events of the past few months to obliterate our consistent cycles of socio-economic progress. Let us begin to rebuild our State with determination and optimism, even as we advance the interests of the electorate and restore their confidence in this Government,” he noted.
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