Ambode: Lagos to Target Zero Per cent Dependence on Federal Allocation by 2019

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Gboyega Akinsanmi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, Tuesday reeled out his administration’s strategic plan, which he said, will make the state’s dependence on federal allocation zero per cent in three years.

The governor, also, disclosed that the state’s recorded 73 percent performance for the half-year despite the challenging economic environment.

He unveiled the strategic plan at a quarterly townhall meeting held in Badagry, noting that the state hoped to fully take advantage of its tourism potentials to boost internally generated revenue (IGR).

The townhall was attended by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olatunji Bello, Senator representing Lagos West senatorial district, Sen. Olamilekan Adeola, traditional rulers and all members of the State Executive Council among others.

At the townhall meeting, Ambode disclosed that the state government under his leadership would reduce the state’s dependence on federal allocation to 10 per cent or even zero level in three years.
He, specifically, pointed out the plan of the state government “to develop the state’s tourism potentials to reduce our dependence on federal allocation. The future of Lagos is about service and tourism.

“We have a greater plan for Badagry. We are already implementing the plan with construction works going on in different parts of Badagry. Our plan is to make Badagry Nigeria’s hub of tourism,” the governor explained.

As part of the strategic plan to reduce the state’s reliance on federal allocation, Ambode disclosed that in partnership with South Africa, the state government would establish a University of Hospitality in Lagos.
Also, the governor explained that revenue recorded 73 per cent performance for the half-year 2016 despite the country’s challenging economic environment.

He, equally, said the overall budget performance as indicated in the half-year analysis was 70 per cent, which he said, was an improvement over the corresponding period in 2015 when the performance stood at 63 per cent.
He disclosed that the state government spent a total of N115.624bn on capital projects during the half-year 2016, leading to the capital recurrent expenditure ratio of 50:50.

The governor disclosed the plan to improve the capital recurrent expenditure ratio to 58:42 provided for in 2016 Appropriation Law in the remaining half of the year.

Ambode explained the huge potentials in waste management, thereby describing Lagos as the largest generator of refuse in the world.

He acknowledged waste management as a major challenge for the state, noting that the state “is generating 13,000 tonne per day. We are generating largest refuse in the world. We only have 230 compactors.”
He compared the waste management in Lagos with that of New York City, noting that currently, New York “generates 10,000 tons per day. But the city has over 2,000 compactors.”

Ambode, therefore, disclosed that the state government would reel out his strategic plan for waste management, which he said, would require private investors and investment.

Aside, the governor unveiled the plan to employ at least 1,000 teachers for the state’s schools, noting that the process of recruitment would take off next week.
He added that the administration “will establish a technical and vocational school in Badagry. The ground breaking will be done in September this year.

“In addition, we will upgrade the infrastructure in all our schools starting from this month of July. All our primary and secondary schools will be upgraded to create conducive learning environment for students and teachers.
“Another N10 billion has been earmarked for this facelift of our secondary and primary schools across the state. We have recruited a total of 1,300 teachers for our primary schools. In the next two weeks, we will start recruiting 1,000 teachers for our secondary schools across the State.

He, also, said the state government had commenced a comprehensive action “to rehabilitate and upgrade the facilities in all our hospitals. Modern equipment will be procured to facilitate treatment and we will invest in capacity building of our medical staff.
“We intend to spend over N10bn on our hospitals across the state before December 2016. We will recruit and train medical professionals in areas of rare specialization and special needs.”