Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode Tuesday presented a total budget estimate of N812.998 billion for 2017 to the state Assembly for consideration and approval.
The Capital expenditure stands at N512.99billion while recurrent expenditure is N300billion, a ratio of 63-37 per cent.
Ambode said the 2017 budget will continue the massive renewal of infrastructure and the enhancement of Lagos as one of the foremost tourism and investment destination in Africa.
“While we focus on physical infrastructure, we shall continue to pay due attention to social infrastructure especially health, education, youth and social development in 2017”, the governor said.
He disclosed that the State expects an increase in Federal allocation through 13% derivation from Oil & Gas in 2017 which will further boost the revenue profile of the state.
“In view of our financing gap, we shall continue to sustain deficit financing in the short-to-medium term; enhance revenue growth throughout the year on several initiatives including automation and efficient revenue administration.
“We would explore more collaboration with local and international investors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) especially in the areas of Road network expansion, Transport; Housing, and the Environment”, he said.
The governor promised that in 2017 his administration will “remain steadfast in our responsibility to make the State safe and secure for all our citizens. We will continue to invest in Security. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will become fully operational by 2017 with presence in all our Local Governments and LCDAs.
Adding that “the key focus of the budget for the 2017 is road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. Our government will focus on roads that will open up the hinterlands, improve connectivity in the State and reduce travel time.”
He also promised that the administration will commence the Phase II of the 114 Local Government Roads project and the Fourth Mainland Bridge in 2017 and carry out fundamental reforms on all modes of transportation – Roads, Water and the Walkways. In this wise, a Public Transport Infrastructure Bond will be issued in the course of the year, Ambode said.
“The State government will embark on the Urbanisation of the Marina axis, Waterways Channelization, establishment of more Parks and Gardens as well as the Community Sports Centres and Stadiums in different locations across the State.
“We will fully implement the Medical Health Insurance Scheme and deploy e-Health/ e-insurance Health Service solutions; and complete the on-going upgrading and extension work in the State General Hospitals and Ayinke House in Ikeja. Work will commence on our Medical Park in the 2017 fiscal year.
“With the aim of making Lagos State the next technology frontier in Africa, we will invest in Digital Libraries (e-Libraries) as well as Code Lagos projects to prepare our younger ones to meet the new workforce demands, harness the benefits of technology and communicate in the language of the future.
“Our administration is committed to various projects in the area of Tourism. Our vision is to create a Tourism Hub around the Onikan-Lagos Marina Axis. We will also develop the Epe and Badagry marinas to harness the tourism potentials of these areas. We will establish Museum for Art and Culture in Ikeja, construct 5 Arts/Culture theatres in Alimosho, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja with a 400-seater hall in each of them.
We will accelerate the food expansion programme with a special focus on rice production, animal husbandry and root crops. We will intensify our collaboration with other States in the development of a commodity Value Chain specifically for food commodities.
“We will invest more to boost fish production in the State, by improving the production capacity of Ayobo Fish Farm Estate in Alimosho area in addition to providing employment opportunities for the youths.
“The Employment Trust Fund has commenced financial support to our youths and entrepreneurs and this will be intensified throughout next year.
“In the area of environment, we will improve water supply through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and increase the capacity utilization of water treatment plants, ensure efficient waste management system by increasing the number of Transfer Loading Stations from three (3) to fifteen (15), mitigate the effect of climate change through the conservation of the natural environment and promotion of biodiversity, as well as minimising flood through effective erosion control”.
The governor sought the cooperation and understanding of all Lagosians in prompt payment of taxes informing that the State Government has embarked on extensive revenue collection reforms.
“We will soon introduce more effective multi-pay channels to improve the administration and collection of Revenue. Our Central Billing System and efforts to fully automate revenue collection for ease of payment have reached an advanced stage”, he said.
He called for support of all Lagosians in the successful implementation of the budget. Saying “we all have a huge responsibility to ensure that it succeeds as we cannot just afford to fail even at this critical period of economic recession”, Ambode said.
In his remarks, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa commended the governor for the successful implementation of the 2016 budget stressing the supportive role played by the Assembly in the admirable performance of the governor in the outgoing year.
He pointed out that it is crystal clear that the 2017 budget is aimed at massive investments in various areas of the state to consolidate and improve on 2016 budget to ensure that the dividends of democracy gets across to the people in this period of recession.
Obasa disclosed that the outcome of the Assembly’s constituency stakeholders meeting has been factored into the 2017 budget, promising that the Assembly would look at the nitty-gritty of the budget estimates to ensure that the budget delivers its desired good through oversight functions.
The speaker charged all ministries, departments and agencies to furnish the House with all necessary documents to aid the quick passage of the budget.
He also called on the National Assembly to reconsider the call for special status for Lagos, assuring that Lagos can bring about the economic revival of the nation from the present economic recession.
The budget presentation was witnessed by prominent Lagosians and party leaders including traditional and religious leaders as well as party leaders, politicians and former members of the state Assembly.