Ambode Presents N813bn Budget for 2017 Fiscal Year


Expects 13% derivation from oil and gas
Gboyega Akinsanmi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday presented a budget proposal of N812.998 billion to the state House of Assembly for 2017 fiscal year compared to N662.588 billion he proposed for 2016.

With the budget size that represents an 18.5 per cent over 2016 proposal, Ambode said the state had embarked on extensive revenue collection reforms that would lead to more effective multi-pay channels and improved administration of revenue collection.

He presented the budget proposal to critical stakeholders including former governors, former deputy-governors, traditional rulers, political leaders from different wings, civil society actors and captains of industry at the chambers of the state assembly, Alausa.

Breaking down the budget he tagged: ‘The Golden Jubilee Budget,’ Ambode put capital expenditure at N512.464 billion while recurrent expenditure was placed at N300.535, representing a ratio of 63:37 (capital to recurrent).

He also gave a review of 2016 budget, noting that its overall performance of the budget “was 71 per cent. Total revenue stood at N350 billion or 77.5 per cent while capital expenditure closed at N200 billion or 62 per cent and the recurrent expenditure performed at N180 billion or 82 per cent.”

Contingent on the country’s prevailing economic condition, Ambode said the state maintained a conservative approach in estimating its federal allocation due to falling oil prices that was about $41.98 per barrel at the time the budget was finalised.
Ambode, however, noted that the state expected an increase in federal allocation through 13 per cent derivation from oil and gas in 2017, though the state had experienced revenue growth all through the 2016 fiscal year.

He added that the state “will sustain deficit financing in the short-to-medium term; enhance revenue growth throughout the year on several initiatives including automation and efficient revenue administration.

“We will explore more collaborations with local and international investors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) especially in the areas of road network expansion, transport; housing, and the environment.”

Despite its economic prospect, the governor acknowledged that the state “is constrained by rising inflation as well as limited financial resources. We have presented an all-inclusive budget.
“We seek the cooperation and understanding of all residents in prompt payment of taxes and for the information of our citizens, the state government has embarked on extensive revenue collection reforms.

“We will soon introduce more effective multi-pay channels to improve the administration and collection of revenue. Our central billing system and efforts to fully automate revenue collection for ease of payment have reached an advanced stage.”

The governor reeled out some of the projects the budget would be used to execute, noting that the state would continue “to implement the ease of doing business reforms – starting a business, property registration, tax payment, e-GIS/ Smart City project, continue to encourage investments in Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Badagry Deep Sea port and the Eko Atlantic project.

“We will remain steadfast in our responsibility to make the state safe and secure for all our citizens. We will continue to invest in security. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will become fully operational by 2017 with presence in all 20 local government areas and local council development areas.”
He added that a key focus of the budget for the 2017 “is road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance,” noting that the state government would focus on roads, which he said, would open up the hinterlands, improve connectivity in the state and reduce travel time.

He mentioned some of the projects that would benefit from the budget to include Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road from Oshodi, Agric-Isawo-Owotu-Arepo Road in Ikorodu and Igbe-Igbogbo Phase II- Bola Tinubu Way in Ikorodu and Ijegun Imore Phase II Amuwo in Ojo axis.

The governor named Oke-Oso-Araga-Poka in Epe, Epe-Poka-Mojoda in the Epe axis, Ijegun Imore Phase II Amuwo in Ojo axis and completion of the Abule-Egba, Ajah and Pen Cinema flyovers.
He said his administration would take advantage of public private partnership (PPP) to execute Oke Oso-Itoikin dualisation Project in Epe, Okokomaiko-Seme Road Project in Badagry and Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itoikin-Ijebu Ode Road Project in Ikorodu.

According to him, we will commence the Phase II of the 114 local government roads project and the Fourth Mainland Bridge in 2017. We shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation.

He thus said the successful implementation of this budget “depends on all Lagos residents. We all have a huge responsibility to ensure that it succeeds as we cannot just afford to fail even at this critical period of economic recession.”