Promoting Good Governance.

After stand-off with lawmakers, Ambode presents 2019 budget to Lagos Assembly

GOVERNOR Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State has presented a 2019 budget of N852.316 billion before the State House of Assembly, after a brief stand-off with the lawmakers that almost led to the commencement of impeachment procedures against him.

The lawmakers had accused Ambode of spending money from the 2019 budget when it had not been presented to the assembly and passed into law.

It took the intervention of former Governor of the State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, for the legislators to shield their swords.

Presenting the appropriation bill on Tuesday, Ambode said his administration, while preparing the document, took into consideration “the out-going year performance, the yearnings of our people and the fact that we are going into an election year”.

Ambode pointed out that the administration experienced a reduction in its revenue projection for 2018 and this affected the budget implementation for the outgone year which stood at 60 per cent as at November 2018.

The 2019 budget comprises a capital expenditure of N462.757 billion, representing 54 per cent of the total budget, while the recurrent expenditure was set at N389.560billion or 46 per cent of the total budget.

“We are today presenting a Budget that will be all-encompassing, reflect the level of resources that will be available and with special consideration to the completion of major on-going projects in the state,” Ambode said.

“We are confident that the revenues of the State will improve this year by consolidating on the already established public financial management and technology-driven revenue reforms; through data integration and use of multi-payment channels.”

Governor Ambode laying the budget document before the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Some of the priority infrastructural projects as listed by Ambode included the Oshodi-Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road and the Oshodi Interchange Terminal, Imota Rice Mill, Agege Pen Cinema Flyover, Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, among others.

In what sounded more like a valedictory speech, Ambode expressed gratitude to the Assembly for giving his administration maximum cooperation which resulted in the many successes recorded in his four-year tenure.

“This House has been a solid partner in progress and none of the achievements recorded in our State in the past three and half years could have been possible without the support and cooperation of this Eighth Assembly,” he said.

“I have been very privileged to have worked with this House and there is no bill we have brought forward that has not been given favourable consideration. That is the secret of the success of Lagos State; the cooperation between the different arms of government and our unity of purpose to make life better for all our people.”

Ambode will go into the record books as the first Lagos State governor since the return to democracy in 1999 that served only one term in office. He will not be running for a second term having lost the APC governorship primary to Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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