Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN (middle), signing the Reordering of 2014 Budget Bill into law at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. With him are: His Deputy, Hon. (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (right) and the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi (left).
In a move aimed at retaining the flexibility of government to meet the needs of the people that it serves, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Wednesday, 20th August, 2014, signed into law a re-ordered 2014 Appropriation Bill to the tune of N11.66 billion.
The reordered Budget total of N11.66 billion is made up of N7.2 billion reordered into recurrent expenditure and N4.46 billion into capital expenditure representing a ratio of 51percent for capital to 49 percent to recurrent.
Speaking at the signing ceremony which took place at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Fashola stated that rather than increasing the budget size, the government is reordering its priorities.
He explained that the reordering has arisen from the increased need to spend a little more than anticipated on the delivery of housing stock as well as developments that have affected projections on incomes that have been made as receivables to the state university, the Lagos State University, (LASU), Ojo which has changed somewhat and creating gaps that have to be filled, if LASU must continue to meet many of its obligations
“It also arises from an opportunity to benefit from counterpart funding which we did not anticipate in the beginning of the year from Department for International Development(DFID) and enables us to access N1 billion if we put another N1 billion for this year and we would then budget for the remainder of the second phase of the project next year”.
Continuing, he said: “But if we do access that as this budget will permit us to, it will help start a project that enables us to fill the failure that we are experiencing in the power gap, supply of regular power to our schools through innovative solar projects which the DFID wants us to undertake, so about 172 schools and 11 primary health care centres (PHCs) will benefit from that”.
The Governor explained that the learning environment, the teaching environment as well as the healthcare environment will ultimately benefit from the reordering, adding that there are also continuing demand for services daily and an increasing population.
According to the Governor, while some of the service requirements can wait, some cannot and the State wants to accommodate as much as it can this year.
“The security challenge remains there and we are only able to stay abreast of it if we keep all of the apparatus, men and personnel in tip-top condition. Of course, there is medical development as well because every year, this government sponsors citizens young, old, not so old who have complex ailments that we do not have local, national specialties for to overseas, often for surgical interventions”, he said.
He added that there have also been some public officers serving and retired who the State must acknowledge and appreciate their service by supporting their medical needs after they have given the state a lifetime of service.
The Governor also explained that the reordering was meant to enable the State take care of exigent hazard allowances for people who do hazardous work and lately the unplanned but now compelling need to improve capacity to overcome the challenge of the imported Ebola Virus.
He, however, noted that in spite of the compelling reasons necessitating the reordering, the main structure of the budget in terms of the focus on capital expenditure remains because it was by this that the economy keeps going, providing jobs from construction, from architectural work, designs, supplies and so on.
He commended the Speaker and members of the State House of Assembly for their prompt response to request of the Executive for the reordering of the 2014 Budget.
Earlier, while giving an insight into the reordered budget, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi, said despite the fact that as at the first half of the year ending in June, the budget had a remarkable performance of 86 percent, there have been various development in terms of changing priorities of government and certain other exigent situations that have occasioned the need for it to reconsider its priorities.
He added that there has been an increased security across the state, as well as the need for increased public health activities in particular the recent incident of Ebola Virus Disease in Lagos.
Gbeleyi also said the policy direction with regards to LASU new fees changes will also need to be addressed by way of budget readjustment just as it would also be used to address a significant amount of funding from the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) towards the development of alternative power solution in 172 public secondary schools and 11 PHCs across the State.
“We are also pursuing vigorously, programmes aimed at poverty alleviation and empowerment programme for the citizenry. Housing is not left out; it is as a result that the executive approached the house for the reordering of 2014 budget. The house has accordingly approved the reordering of the budget.
“What we have done is to reorder expenditure from certain areas to more critical areas. In this regard, we have a total of N11.66 billion of our budget to be reordered for this year. This is made up of N7.2 billion reordered into recurrent expenditure and N4.46 billion into capital expenditure”, he explained.
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were members of the State Executive Council including the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke- Orelope Adefulire; Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Ranti Adebule; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaiye; and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba.