• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

Fashola gives assent to N489.69bn 2015 budget

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Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos on Sunday signed the state 2015 budget of N489.69 into law setting the stage for implementation.
The budget, the last Fashola will supervise in the state, will, however, be implemented half-way by his administration that will wind down on May 29 this year.
The 2015 budget is made up of capital expenditure of N249.7419 billion and a recurrent expenditure of N239.948 billion in the ratio of 51:49, respectively. The budget size of N489.69 billion is same as that of 2014 but a slight modification in terms of capital to recurrent expenditure ratio. In 2014, the capital/recurrent ratio was 52:48 whereas this year’s the capital/recurrent ratio is 51:49.
A breakdown of the budget showed that economic affairs has the highest allocation of N146.305 billion, followed by general service, N107.69 billion; education, N82.14 billion; housing and community amenities, N49.033 billion; health, N44.619 billion and environmental protection, N34.953 billion.
Others are public safety and order, N15.547 billion; recreation, culture and religion, N3.118 billion; social protection, N1.589 billion; planning reserve, N2.26 billion and contingency, N2.448 billion.
Unlike previous budgets of the last seven years, the 2015 was signed by Fashola in his official residence at Marina and on a Sunday, a non-official working day. Explaining this, Fashola said the signing had been scheduled for today, but that he had to call it forward to enable him attend a national meeting fixed for tomorrow in Abuja by the All Progressives Congress (APC), so that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) could continue with work while he is in Abuja.
“We are a government that is open to plan, part of the planning is for government to set the budget for the beginning of the year. Lagos is the second state to sign the document after Ogun State, which is also an APC state. When we presented the budget, there were financial challenges but as you know, our revenue has been based largely on our common contribution; that is how we build our common wealth here.
“We need to be innovative, inventive and hard-working and that is what we have given in the last eight years and we won’t give anything less with the support of the people of Lagos. They are owners of this government and all of its service delivery programmes and I think as difficult and challenging as the revenue issue may be, we will consolidate and finish as many possible projects as we can,” he said.
While there is an increase in recurrent expenditure and a slight decrease in capital expenditure, compared to the 2014 budget, the state government is going to spend more money in settling contractors’ liabilities, which the governor ascribed to in his budget presentation.
Also, Fashola’s budget is maintaining zero deficit in order to ensure that the next government does not inherit a deficit. According to Fashola, this would give incoming administration room to start off very quickly when their programmes began to crystallise and might need to raise funds in order to start off.
Ben Akabueze, commissioner for economic planning and budget, said the oil fall in the international market had been factored into the budget and hoped that the price would rise as the year progressed.
He explained that over 70 percent of the state’s budget was sourced through internally generated revenue (IGR) as much of the oil fall impact would not affect the budget sharply.