Â· Secures N3.84 billion to fight HIV/AIDS
Â· Saves us N2.4 billion on pilgrim sponsorship
The Lagos State Government on TuesdayÂ disclosed that it recorded 80 per cent budget performance under the 2016 fiscal regime, thereby putting its total capital expenditure at N290.731 billion.
Likewise, the state government revealed that it received a whopping sum of N3.84 billion ($9.6 million) from a donor agency, Global Fund to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS in the state.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, gave the figure a session he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa alongside his information counterpart, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and the ministryâ€™s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Fola Adeyemi.
At another session yesterday, the state government disclosed that it saved a sum of N2.4 billion from the ban it placed on the sponsorship of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Jerusalem.
Giving insight into the execution of the 2016 appropriation law, Ashade explained that the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode spent N291 billion on infrastructure development.
Under the same fiscal year, Ashade said the state budget recorded aggregate budget performance of 80 percent with a total revenue of N436. 328 billion, though raked in N312.83 billion from internally generated revenue (IGR).
He, therefore, justified what the state spent on capital projects, noting that the fund was spent on the execution of projects that led to the good performance of the budget and encourage focus on patronage of local contractors which would continue to help in job creation.
The commissioner listed some of the projects to include 114 road projects the state executed in partnership with Local Governments (LGs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
He cited construction of fly-over at Abule Egba and Ajah; removal of six roundabouts along Lekki-Epe road, installation of traffic light alternation system and Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) garage in Ikeja.
Also, the commissioner said Global Fund â€œis supporting the Lagos State HIV and AIDS response with the sum of USD9.6 million to be used for the implementation of comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programme across 70 health facilities in the three Local Government Areas, LGAs of Epe, Ikorodu and Oshodi-Isolo.â€
He explained that the governor visited Global Fund in New York in June 2016 â€œto reassure them of his commitment to the judicious use of the grant meant to reduce new HIV infections, and improve the quality of life for 10,337 People living with HIV (PLHIVs) in the state.
On pilgrim sponsorship ban, the Commissioner for â€Ž Home Affairs, Dr Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef said the state government was able to save N2.4 billion after the ban on the sponsorship of pilgrims in 2016,
Abdul-Lateef said the fund had been deployed to provide infrastructures â€œto improve the standard of living in the state. Before the ban, hundreds of pilgrims were sponsored by the state government on pilgrimage.â€
According to him, both directly and indirectly, the state government has been able to save about N2.4 billion from being wasted on such expenditure and has been deployed to provision of infrastructural facilities in the transformational agenda of the state government.
He acknowledged that the state government had started the â€Ženumeration of churches, mosques and religious organisations across the state, saying the ministry was presently imputing data of every place of worship located in the state on a centralised database.
The commissioner said the enumeration â€œwill the state government have a reliable data of churches, mosques and their locations, with a view to carrying them along with state government policies.
â€œIt is expected that the policy, because of effective resource allocation and efficient management inherent in it, will bring and extend benefits to many more churches and mosques in the state. At present, the website has over 10,000 data of Muslim and Christian organisations across the state.â€