Sanwo-Olu Signs 2020 Budget of N1.168tn into Law

0

Segun James

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday signed into law, the 2020 budget of N1.168 trillion.

The N1.168, 561, 893, 990 budget is 34 per cent higher than that of 2019.

Giving a breakdown of the budget tagged “Awakening to a Greater Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu earmarked 62 per cent, representing N723.75 billion of total spending, for capital expenditure.

He said that the recurrent expenditure will gulp N444.81 billion or 38 per cent of the budget.

The governor described the budget as a very audacious, adding that “I can assure Lagosians that we are very well seated and fired up to ensure we perform. Whatever we have proposed, we need the money to serve the purpose,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He urged members of his cabinet to block leakages, saying that they should ensure 100 per cent implementation.

“Lagosians do not have a voice but we will implement the budget responsibly and at the end of the year, we will ease their lives. I am hopeful that 2020 will be prosperous,” the governor said.

With a proposed fiscal plan of N115 billion for public infrastructure, the governor stated that the state will be a massive construction site this year.

During the presentation, the governor unveiled his administration’s plan to accelerate the growth of the state’s economy by proposing aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities – physical infrastructure, environment, human capital and security.

Sanwo-Olu announced that the state would be spending N1.168 trillion, which will be funded from a projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.071 trillion. The budget deficit, put at N97.53billion, will be financed through internal and external loans, the governor said.

Besides, the fiscal proposal also included a provision for the new minimum wage.

Explaining why his administration will be earmarking huge funds to the environment and public infrastructure, the governor said Lagos had been facing combined threats from population explosion and climate change.

He said: “Lagos faces an existential threat, arising from the interplay of demographic and climate change. Lagos will continue to be a magnet for multitudes within and outside Nigeria, in search of jobs and economic prosperity. These levels of migration put a phenomenal strain on the physical and fiscal resources of the state.

“This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. As of September 2019, our capital expenditure on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion, which is less compared with N78 billion proposed in the current year. It is our intention to spend N115 billion on physical infrastructure in 2020.

“In response to the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have to triple the capital budget provision to tackle these observed problems from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020. We are embarking on massive desilting of major drain systems across the State next year.”

Sanwo-Olu said the state planned to spend N48 billion on education and technology.

This represents a 60 per cent rise in capital allocation to the Ministry of Education.

On healthcare, the state plans to spend N33 billion on healthcare programmes, which include proposed revamping and re-equipping of over 350 Primary Health Centres.

Sanwo-Olu described the proposed budget as “unique”, noting that its details reflected the wishes of residents, following series of consultations and feedback from stakeholders across senatorial districts.

The governor assured residents of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the budget, pointing out that there would be strict performance mechanism to drive compliance and measure the progress of the budget at the execution stage.

Sanwo-Olu observed that the approved re-ordering of the 2019 budget by the legislature gave the state government an opportunity to raise N250 billion in addressing critical infrastructure needs, including rehabilitation of public schools, ongoing construction of Lagos–Badagry Expressway, Agege–Pen Cinema Overhead Bridge, Agric–Isawo Road, Bola Ahmed Tinubu–Igbogbo Road, and an ongoing road rehabilitation by Lagos Public Works.

He added that the loan will also enable his administration to start the desilting of drain systems, provision of security and emergency hardware, light rail infrastructure, and construction of a General Hospital in Ojo, which is to be fitted with a Spinal and Neurology Unit.

Sanwo-Olu also thanked the Speaker and members of the Appropriation Committee for ensuring timely passage of the budget.

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa who was also present during the signing said, “We thank the governor for giving us a proposal that we only had to change few things. We did not do much safe for scrutiny of the MDAs.”

Obasa explained that the 2020 budget would have a great impact on Lagosians, saying “whatever we have proposed we need money for implementation. I am urging you all to rise to your responsibility. I urge you to block leakages,” Obasa said.

The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube said, “it is great joy that we have to sign the budget today. It set the tone on how the government will be driven next year.”

Egube explained that the budget represented a 34 per cent increase compared to the 2019 budget.

While thanking the House for giving the support, the commissioner said, “it is not easy to burn the midnight candle. It shows collaboration between the two arms of government.”