Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed N1.163 Trillion 2021 Appropriation Bill of the state, christened; “Budget of Rekindled Hope” into law.
The budget passage came after weeks of deliberations, interactions and defence of the budget proposal by the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state before the standing committees of the House and ratified by the Joint Committee on Economic Planning and Budget and Finance.
Report of the Appropriation was presented during plenary by the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Planning and Budget and Finance, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2).
460,587,43,741 (Four Hundred and Sixty Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Forty Three Thousand and Seven Hundred and Forty One Naira) was approved as Recurrent Expenditure from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and N702,935,416,976 (Seven Hundred and Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Thirty Five Million, Four Hundred And Sixteen Thousand and Nine Hundred And Seventy Six Thousand Naira) was approved as Capital Expenditure from Development Revenue Fund.
A sum of N1,163,522,460,717 (One Trillion One Hundred And Sixty Three Billion, Five Hundred And Twenty Two Million, Four Hundred and Sixty Thousand and Seven Hundred and Seventeen Naira) was approved as the 2021 Budget of the state.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa specifically said that it was agreed by the lawmakers during parliamentary sessions that the Youth Empowerment Scheme of the Ministry of Agric, YES was not yielding the desired results.
Obasa said that same goes for the Coconut Agency, which was recommended for scrapping by the Joint Committee and recommended to be a parastatal under the Ministry of Agric.
He also said that the fund for scholarship awards had to be reduced as recommended by the Committee since the agency could not access the fund voted for them in the 2020 budget.
The sectoral allocations were eventually read by Obasa to the lawmakers, who approved them through voice votes before the budget was eventually passed into law through a voice vote.
The Speaker then thanked all the lawmakers and members of the press for their coverage for the Assembly in the year.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had on Monday November 9, 2020 presented budget estimates of N1.155 trillion to the State House of Assembly for approval for the 2021 fiscal year.
The 2021 budget estimates is titled: “Budget of Rekindled Hope.”
The budget estimates is higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced to N920.5 billion due to challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget represents N234.5 billion higher than the 2020 budget after it was reduced. But it is lesser than the initial 2020 budget of N1.68 trillion by N53.5 billion.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the 2021 budget has a total revenue of N962.528 billion and a total Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of N795,744 billion.
The governor said the budget has a Capital Expenditure of 703.272 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N451.750 billion.
He said the 2021 budget would focus on youth employment, security, youth engagement and social work, among others.
On youth empowerment, Sanwo-Olu said it has become expedient to leverage the state’s developmental efforts by focusing on sectors with job creating potential like Agriculture, Construction, Technology and Security.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the 2021 Appropriation Bill ‘also speaks to the restoration of economic balance as we navigate our way out of the negative impact of both the pandemic and the destruction of public assets following the ENDSARS protest hijack. A pivotal crux of the 2021 budget will be the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture among our people.
“In light of this, micro, small and medium enterprises will be strengthened because their activities help to facilitate socio-economic advancement. We have done a lot to support the entrepreneurs in Lagos state through the LSETF and we will do more by providing technical and financial support so that they can in turn generate employment that will stimulate equitable economic prosperity.
“We understand that we must consolidate our gains in the technology sector for accelerated economic growth and job creation. In order to achieve this, we will collaborate with major players in that space like Oracle, Microsoft and Google to prepare our youths for the IT job market. As we focus on job and wealth creation, we will also prioritize the security of lives and property as well as local intelligence gathering in our communities by increasing significantly the number of our Neighbourhood Watch Officers over the next two years.
“All these will be achieved through our human development MDAs comprising the Ministries of Education, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Wealth Creation, (including LSETF) and SDGI. Consequently, the cumulative budgetary provision towards Human capital development effort from these MDAs total’s N148.57billion.”
On security, the governor said his government is working on reviving the growth of our economy and must commit resources to statewide security architecture, especially in the areas of intelligence gathering and the motivation of all security personnel in the Neighbourhood Watch.
“We will not just increase the size of the Neighbourhood Watch personnel across the state, we will henceforth ensure their training includes 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 extant challenges.”