Lagos State Proposed 2020 Budget
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Morning Crossfire for today takes a deep look at the issue of Lagos State proposed 2020 budget. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the proposed budget had been christened: “The Budget of Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, and would give priority to the completion of ongoing projects, as Wemimo Adewuni emphasizes on the show.
Also, Sanwo-Olu said that the budget would be funded by a projected total revenue of N1.071 trillion, and a deficit amounting to N97.53 billion. According to him, the budget size is higher than the 2019 budget by 34 per cent. The capital expenditure amounts to N723.75 billion while the recurrent expenditure is N444.81 billion, giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.
While presenting the budget, the governor said that his administration achieved 69 per cent efficiency at the end of September. How true is that?
Gbolahan says that could be true since the law allows spending of the budget even before it is signed to law. Taking a look at it, Gbolahan says the budget was signed into law in the month of June 2019 and that means the governor is saying he achieved 69 percent of budget efficiency spending in just three months.
“So, let’s assume that under that provision that has been granted by the law, they’ve been able to achieve that efficiency in three months,” Gbolahan says.
He says that signing budget into law in June means the amount government can spend is capped. So, there’s no way to achieve any reasonable level of achievement at that time. “I cannot remember the last time when Lagos State signed the budget in June.”
Ojiugo Uche brings another perspective into it, saying that the 2019 budget only became available to the public in the last one or two months, which meant that nothing has really been done with the funds. “It begs the question: How do you make sure that you’re spending the money in the right way if you don’t have the funds ready and on hand?”
How did Sanwo-Olu defend the 69 percent efficiency he mentioned? Wemimo reels it off: He said his administration completed critical projects that directly impacted residents, including two Maternal and Child Care Centers (MCCs) in Eti-Osa and Alimosho areas, and 492-flat Lateef Jakande Housing Estate in Igando.
The governor said several other capital projects captured in the 2019 budget, including 31 arterial roads in Ojokoro/Ijaiye area, a High Court and Magistrates Court complex in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, and a Police Command Complex in Ojo Local Government Area will be completed.
Wemimo mentions that the 492-flat Lateef Jakande Housing Estate in Igando was almost completed by the previous administration. It could be that the present administration just added some funds to complete the project.
Gbolahan says that the cost of the finishing touches must have been included in the 2019 budget and Sanwo-Olu’s administration just released the remaining funds. “But in sincerity, if I’m the one presenting the project, I would actually mention the percentage of work done by me and not take the glory for what I did not do. Regarding the maternal and child care center, you can’t do that in three months.”
However, as Wemimo points out, the federal government is solely responsible for the building of the maternal and child care center.
Also, Nigeria Info FM Lagos correspondent, Goodnews Ndukwe went out to get the perspectives of people in Lagos on what they think of the proposed Lagos State budget. It shows just how much some indigenes hate to get huge figures thrown at them without seeing any meaningful infrastructure projects carried out in the state.
Some Lagosians who spoke with Ndukwe, faulted the huge figure proposed by the state government. Others sought proper checks from the Lagos house of Assembly, to avoid waste.
They also lamented the states ambition to fund the budget with internally generated revenue (IGR), while others advised that revenue should be generated through the exportation of the state’s natural resources.
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Ojiugo Uche - Head of Research, BudgITng
Gbolahan Olojede - Chartered Accountant and Public Policy Analyst