Ope George, Lagos commissioner for economic planning and budget, says the state government will focus more on the provision of social safety nets for the citizens in the 2024 fiscal year.
This will entail policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty, unemployment, exposure to risk, vulnerability, exclusion, and citizens’ enhanced welfare.
“We want to hear from the people and ensure that we are not just sitting in the office making budget estimates,” he said during the Y2024 budget consultative forum held at the MUSON Centre, Lagos.
The fifth budget consultative forum of the administration was organised by the ministry of economic planning and budget to get the inputs of the people in preparing the 2024 budget of Lagos state.
According to him, the state will focus more on social and gender equality and youth participation in government to ensure that no one is left behind. “Social protection is very key,” he said.
George said that the idea of the forum was to enable the government get stakeholders’ buy-in from the five divisions of the state. “We are in Lagos Island to hear from them; to understand what it is they want the budget to take into cognizance” he said.
In the areas of infrastructure renewal and development, the commissioner said that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration provided 27.3 percent of the 2023 budget to cater for infrastructural renewal and development, as part of its efforts to modernise the city and support its growing population.
“The state has launched several initiatives and projects to improve infrastructure in road construction, housing, public transportation, and power supply,” he said.
Olalekan Hafeez Balogun, the special adviser, economic planning and budget, earlier in his welcome address, said the forum will ensure that inputs of all stakeholders are taken into cognizance in the state’s budget preparation process to further ensure transparency and acceptability.
“The success of this administration rests on the cooperation of all and sundry while also assuring you that concerted efforts will be made annually to improve our tax revenues in order to meet citizen’s expectations and improve overall service delivery by agencies of government,” Balogun said.
According to him, the Y2024 budget is geared towards the development of the state and its residents through the provision of improved welfare packages commensurate to the present economic landscape, which will focus on adequate and proper distribution of wealth and critical infrastructure in each division of Lagos for a more sustainable living.