- Sanwo-Olu announces plan to end pension for ex-governors
By Segun James
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presented a budget of N1.155 trillion to the state House of Assembly for approval for the 2021 fiscal year.
This is as the governor announced the plan to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies.
The 2021 budget estimates titled: “Budget of Rekindled Hope,” is higher than the 2020 budget by N234.5 billion.
The 2020 budget was reduced to N920.5 billion due to the COVID 19 pandemic that ravaged the world this year. But it is lesser than the initial 2020 budget of N1.68 trillion by N53.5 billion.
Sanwo-Olu said the 2021 budget had a total revenue of N962.528 billion and a total Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of N795,744 billion.
He explained that the budget had a Capital Expenditure of 703.272 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N451.750 billion, assuring that the 2021 budget would focus on youth employment, security, youth engagement and social work, among others.
He said the budget had a proposed Recurrent Expenditure of N451,750 billion and a Capital Expenditure of 703,272 billion.
According to him, the General Public Services allocation is 136,278,189,622.39, under which the Science and Technology Sector has 28,272,741,669 and Other General Public Services has 108,005,447,953.39.
Also the Public Order and Safety allocation is 32,757,159,406.85, while the Economic Affairs Sector has a proposed allocation of 381,852,747,856.72.
Under the Economic Affairs´ allocation is Agriculture 18,311,948,584.57; Commerce 41,989,851,318.18; Toursim, Art & culture 6,012,710,830.00; Energy and Mineral Resources 32,585,739,585.09; Transportation 98,931,628,325.88; Infrastructure – Works Family 172,238,545,968.00; and Waterfront 11,782,323,245.00.
The Environment Sector has an allocation of 50,934,105,592.09, comprising of Drainage 11,936,556,866 and Other Environmental Services 38,997,548,726.09.
Also, the Housing and Community Amenities Sector has 40,280,489,878.68, the Health Sector 118,360,479,650.50, Recreation, Culture and Religion 5,170,065,144.74.
The Education Sectot has a budget allocation of 143,655,493,855.89, the Social Protection Sector 9,156,091,555.64, while the Contingency Reserve (Including Special Expenditure – Statewide and Special Expenditure -Others) has 20,554,523,753.69 allocation.
For Loans (Repayments, CDSA & Debt Servicing) 166,215,862,798.26, Personnel Cost (Statewide – Pension etc) 49,807,203,890.38 and all allocations will give a total 1,155,022,413,005.82 budget for 2021.
The governor said that the “Budget of Rekindled Hope´´ demonstrated government´s willingness to overcome all obstacles and deliver all electoral promises to Lagosians.
He said that the coronavirus pandemic and EndSARS protests had only heightened the need to urgently implement the various programmes under the THEMES agenda.
According to him, the 2021 budget will among other things provide for Youth employment, by focusing on sectors with job creating potential like agriculture, construction, technology and security.
“We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth and all hardworking Lagosians to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered.
“Consequently, for the agricultural sector, our food security plan has a cumulative budget of N22.21billion, while we are committing a cumulative budgetary provision of N311.43billion to infrastructure.
“This will cover direct intervention through the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure, Water front, Transportation, the Judiciary, our Schools and Seed Capital of N15billion for The Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund.
“To continue to drive our digitisation strategy, we have committed a total of N37.37billion investment intechnology, while in the environment and health services we have committed a total of N48.28billion and N111.94billion respectively.
“In line with our urgent need to light up Lagos we will begin a set of initiatives in the energy sector to ensure the Lagos economy is supported by power, one community at a time. To this we have committed a total of N32.58billion in the 2021 budget,´´ Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that the 2021 Appropriation Bill also aligned to the restoration of economic balance as the state navigated its way out of the negative impact of both the pandemic and the destruction of public assets following the EndSARS protest hijack.
On youth empowerment, Sanwo-Olu said it had become expedient to leverage the state’s developmental efforts by focusing on sectors with job creating potential like Agriculture, Construction, Technology and Security.
“We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth and all hardworking Lagosians to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered.”
On the scrapping of pensions for former Governors, Sanwo-Olu said that “Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the House, in light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law
2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements
to former Governors and their Deputies.
“It is our firm belief that with dwindling revenues and the appurtenant inflationary growth rates, that we need to come up with innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum while
engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service.”
In his address, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said the #EndSARS protests across the country had devastated the economy of the state hence the 2021 budget will focus on challenges of these events.
Obasa stated that the devastating effects of the disruptions that followed the #EndSARS protests, in the state particularly were beyond imaginations.
“The anarchy, burning, and looting of businesses have hit the economy and that it was evident that the rolethe social media played in all of these could not be overlooked,’’ he said.