The Lagos State House of Assembly says it is working to ensure that the 2020 budget presented to it by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is passed into law in December.
Sanwo-Olu on Friday November 8, 2019, presented a budget size of N1.168 trillion to the state of House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
The Chief Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru stated this while fielding questions from journalists at the annual national delegates’ conference of the Association of Hansard/Verbatim Reporters of Nigeria held in Ikeja on Wednesday.
According to Abiru, the appropriation bill had already gone through its second reading on Monday as taken on Monday, meaning that all things being equal, the the lawmakers will pass the budget before end of the year.
“We’re looking forward to a hitch-free budget process and seek for the support of the executive to avail us with all necessary documents that would help in the passage of the budget. Once that is done, I am sure it is our desire to pass it before the end of the year,” Abiru said.
Declaring the conference, with the theme: ‘The challenges facing the production of Hansard and the way out’, Abiru, who stood on for the speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, said Hansard was an important document in the parliament that contains everything said during proceedings in parliament.
“Hansard is the official reporting of proceedings in the House of Assembly, it reminds us of things said at different times by members without distortion and it is also very good for history.
“There is utmost need to support and update this process of reportage so as to conform with modern day realities, we can not leave out the use of technology in modern day Hansard preparation,” Abiru said.
The clerk of the house, Azeez Sanni, represented by Taiwo Ottun, head, legislative directorate, informed the Hansard/Verbatim reporters that their “roles have been remarkably instrumental to the growth and development of our democracy and legislative institutions, most particularly when the need arises to refer to reportorial precedence as recorded in Hansard”.
National president of the association, Folasade Bejide identified the challenges facing Hansard/Verbatim reporters to include lack of funds, lack of modern equipment for the production, lack of training and retraining for personnel, stockpiling of unprinted Hansard reports and others.
“It is hoped that our coming together will strengthen and refresh us for effective performance in the production of Hansard as we are going to come up with resolutions that will address all the challenges facing our profession,” Bejide said.