WITH a pledge to continue rebuilding the economy of Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday signed the N1.163 trillion 2021 Appropriation Bill.
The “Budget of Rekindled Hope”, will be fully implemented to allow Lagosians to flourish despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, he said.
The budget has a capital expenditure of N702.9 billion and a recurrent expenditure of N460.6 billion which stands at a ratio of 60 to 40 per cent.
Although the governor presented a budget estimate of N1.55 trillion on November 10 to the State Assembly, the House in its wisdom increased the budget size to N1.163 trillion.
Speaking at the signing of the bill at the Lagos State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu said the quick passage of the bill reflects the harmonious relationship between the State Executive and the Legislative arms as well as the mutual dedication to the progress of the state and the prosperity of Lagosians.
He said: “With the passage of the bill, we will continue our work of rebuilding Lagos, advancing economic growth, and expanding opportunities for Lagosians to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus.
“As we already know, 2020 will go down in history as a peculiar year largely defined by the COVID 19 Pandemic and the #EndSARS protests, which were recklessly hijacked by those who destroyed some of our public assets and private businesses.”
The governor said the ugly development notwithstanding, the state is fortunate to be going into the New Year with budget approved by the Assembly and signed into law by him.
“A significant portion of the budget has been committed to human capital development, youth engagement, social intervention initiatives, and the completion of ongoing projects that are critical to achieving the objectives of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu, who assured that the budget will be prudently implemented with the people as its focus, restated his administration’s determination to provide the right economic environment for Lagosians to thrive.
He said: “As the world combats the coronavirus, we will make the necessary sacrifices to further place our State on the path of abundance and economic recovery. We are going into 2021 with the unwavering determination to engender sustainable and inclusive growth.”
He promised that the budget will rekindle hope, deliver substantial economic growth, and bolster the government’s efforts to rebuild Lagos.
The governor said: “We will make tough choices where necessary and seize opportunities as needed while ensuring that no Lagosian is left behind.
“With the enormous challenges of the outgoing year, we are conscious of the fact that in order to efficiently and successfully implement the 2021 budget, we must be selfless and dedicated.
“With our collective resilience, we will achieve our key goals in all sectors, and nothing will stop us from justifying the trust of the people in this government.
“I implore all stakeholders and residents of Lagos, the organized private sector, artisans as well as small and medium sized business owners not to relent in supporting this government by voluntarily discharging their civic responsibilities. The growth and prosperity we seek can only be collectively achieved.”
Promising to ensure efficient and prudent management of the resources entrusted to its administration, he said: “We will be non-discriminatory in the distribution of resources. This is a budget for all Lagosians irrespective of their social, economic, ethnic, or religious background.”
Sanwo-Olu thanked Speaker Mudashiru Obasa and other lawmakers for the thorough and expeditious consideration of the 2021 Appropriation Bill, which resulted in the passage of the budget before the end of the year.
Thank you for collaborating with the Executive to satisfy the yearnings of the electorate,” he said.
In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Rotimi Olowo, who represented the speaker, said the Assembly did not take anything for granted while working on the budget, adding that it did a thorough job.
“We did a thorough job because we wanted to make sure you sign the best budget for Lagos and i know in 2021 Lagosians will be happier because we are bringing the best,” Olowo said
Others officials at the brief ceremony includes: Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat, Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Gbolahan Yishawu, Akeem Solaja (Oshodi-Isolo I), Nurudeen Salad (Ikorodu I), Secretary to State Government (SSG) Folasade Jaji; Head of Service (HoS) Akeem Muri-Okunola; Commissioners Sam Egube (Budget and Economic Planning); Gbenga Omotoso (Information and Strategy); Moyosore Onigbanjo (Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice) and Rabiu Olowo ( Finance).