Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode says his administration has been able to reduce the cost of governance by N9 billion in the last three months through the re-alignment of the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs and restructuring of government.
Ambode spoke at the first edition of the Quarterly Town Hall Meeting at Abesan Estate, Alimosho area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday where he rendered the account of stewardship since he took over power on 29 May, 2015.
Addressing the thousands of participants drawn from Lagos West Senatorial District, the governor said he was determined to be accountable for every revenue and expenditure of the state.
He said one of his administration’s first key tasks was to stabilize the finances of the State which made it embarked on a financial re-engineering and reviewed the revenue and expenditure framework of the State.
Ambode disclosed that these efforts, coupled with the realignment of MDAs had saved the government almost N3 billion every month since June, making it a cumulative N9 billion for the last three months since he took over power.
“This has provided us with more funds to inject into capital projects and the initial funds to establish the Employment Trust Fund which we promised our youths. Today, a major landmark of our administration is the reduction in the cost of governance. We want a lean government with quality service delivery.
“Lagos State Government is proud to declare that it has consistently met its obligations, especially prompt payment of workers’ salaries without seeking any bailout from the Federal Government,” he said.
The governor said in August, his administration approved the release of N11 billion for the payment of arrears of Pensions owed to pensioners since 2010, saying that his government had, on monthly basis, consistently been presenting retirees on the Contributory Pension Scheme their bond certificates and had also approved the appointment of four additional Pension Fund Administrators to further boost the processes and accord staff a wider range of options.
“We are presently reviewing our loans with our bankers with a view to restructuring them in order to free up funds for further infrastructural development,” he added.
In the area of health, Ambode said his government had provided 20 Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances at a cost of N145.240 million deployed in all the state’s ambulance points, bringing it to a total of 36 Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances.
“We have also provided additional 26 Transport Ambulances at the cost of N257.4 million deployed across all our General Hospitals. We have created Ambulance Points across the States for easy access to our people. The ambulance service can be reached by calling the Toll-Free Line 112.
“Our administration in the last three months has installed 22 power generating sets ranging from 350 –500 KVA as additional back-up sets across all our General Hospitals at the cost of N270 million to ensure 24-hour power supply. In addition, 26 Mobile X-Ray machines, costing N519.656 million are being installed at all our general hospitals across the State. Similarly, we have granted approval for the recruitment of more paramedic staff and special medical coordinators to ensure 24 hours service in our health facilities,” he said.
The governor also said the abandoned Ayinke House Project which is more or less government’s baby factory for pregnant women had been re-awarded and that the contractor is on site to finish and deliver this project within the next 3-6 months.
He added that expressions of interest for a Lagos Medical Park had been received as “we will enter the phase of the project soon and at the end of this, Lagos State will become a key destination for Medical Tourism. All these have been painstakingly done to create better access to health services for all Lagosians.”
However, Ambode said what his administration had done in the first quarter was to lay down the institutional framework for the smooth running of the government for the next three and half years.
“What we have done can be described as the laying the foundation on which the service and programmes of this government will be built.You cannot run a 4-year marathon at top speed from the onset. Like any other well-bred Chief Executive Officer, CEO, I have put in place all the ingredients needed to run a successful race.
“We will continue to woo investors to Lagos. We are assisting businesses and creating a conducive environment for these investors to start business and employ our people. Our administration is committed to serve and render good governance. However, we need your support and cooperation to enable us deliver on our lofty programmes. I want to assure you that our programmes are well thought out and carefully designed to make life easier and better for all our citizens,” he said.
Source: PM News