Lagos Assembly’s stakeholder parley, as a model for friction free budgeting Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lagos Assembly’s stakeholder parley, as a model for friction free budgeting in Nigeria

When the 8th Lagos State House of Assembly at inception in 2015 introduced the stakeholders town hall meeting, held simultaneously across the 40 constituencies in the state between the representatives of the various constituencies along with officials of the Assembly and the constituents, many people wondered what the meetings was aimed to achieve.

But, three years down the line and four stakeholders’ meetings after, the benefit of the meeting is becoming clearer to the people, as it has helped them in presenting a unified position with regards to their needs, thereby helping the state government in picking projects in the various parts of the state that the people needs to make budgetary allocation for.

The simultaneous stakeholder’s town hall meeting across the 40 constituencies is actually a carry over and an improvement on what the previous 6th and 7th Assembly, under the leadership of former Speaker, Rt.Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji started when it flagged off a stakeholders town hall meetings across the 40 constituencies, but not simultaneous, as all the lawmakers go from constituency to constituency to hold the meeting.

So, when penultimate week, the fourth edition of the stakeholder’s town hall meeting held, many Lagosians were eager to attend as they are aware that it was another opportunity to tell the lawmakers what their needs are and confident that there is a chance that it will be attended to.

The Thursday 9th, August, edition was aimed to mirror the status of the state legislature ahead of the 2019 general elections, report on previous meetings and for the lawmakers from all the constituencies to signal what the political bearings would look like as the elections draws near.

In the well attended stakeholder parleys with the theme: “Towards A Peaceful and Credible Election,” besides aggregating the needs of the people for possible inclusion in the 2019 budget, one distinct feature resonate across the constituencies,

first term legislators seize the opportunity to tie their return for a second term to Governor Akinwumi Ambode’s qualitative governance, citing the fact that their immense contributions as people’s representatives paid off with virtually all areas of the state witnessing one or more developmental strides of the governor.

However, some ranking members of the Assembly who had their focus on representing the people at a higher pedestal, that is at the House of Representatives also marshaled their points at the parley stating their drive for gunning for the seat.

In a well articulated speech read on behalf of the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, by all lawmakers in their various constituencies, the Speaker emphasized the essence of the meeting.

Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

According to him, “from the success of this meeting, it is important to emphasise the aim of the Constituency Stakeholders meetings, which are to ensure; that everyone has the right to take part in the enthronement of the government of the state, both the executive and the legislature; that every citizen of the state has equal access to public service in his or her constituency, local government and ward.”

Other reasons according to the Speaker include, “That a more conducive environment to be created for credible elections in year 2019 and to acquaint the constituents of the efforts of the Assembly in ensuring that the government of the state further deliver on the welfare and security of the citizens of the state.”

He added, “please be informed that since the last stakeholder’s meeting in year 2017, we have continued to improve on our lawmaking drive and process by reviewing and amending the old legislation and initiating new ones where necessary to meet current needs.”

Following the successes recorded from previous meetings, lawmakers at the last edition were eager to show-off what has been achieved in their various constituencies and based on such experience, speak on why they should be returned or sent for higher responsibility.

Those who signified their intent to seek higher responsibilities includes; Hon. Omotayo Oduntan-Oyeledun, the Deputy Chief Whip, representing Alimosho constituency II, Hon.Olusegun Olulade representing Epe constituency II, Hon.Rotimi Olowo representing Somolu constituency I, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi representing Ojo constituency II and Hon. Dayo Fafunmi representing Ifako Ijaiye constituency I.

The five lawmakers’ aspiration has therefore thrown open the fray for replacement by would be lawmakers, aspiring for the soon to be vacant position at the State House of Assembly, so the jostle for the All Progressives Congress ticket has just begun.

The political turf though seem murky as the acclaimed oracle of Lagos politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has already declared that he will not be endorsing anyone this time around and that candidates of the party in the state will emerge through direct primary.

Keen watchers of the Lagos polity; note that some of the aspiring lawmakers seek a better place due to the fact that certain constituency power brokers are no longer favourably disposed to having them returned to the state Assembly in the next general election, while the others feel they stand a better chance than the incumbents.

The stakeholders’ meeting also gave each of the lawmakers the opportunity to rub minds with their constituents.

In Agege Constituency I, where the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudshiru Obasa represents, he used the avenue to appeal to his constituents to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) as it guarantees them access to vote credible leaders in the 2019 general elections.

According to him, “The only way to make impactful contribution to the development of democracy is for us all to obtain our PVC. If you have not registered, you still have a few weeks to do so.

We have held series of meetings with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Agege to give them support on how to ensure a seamless registration process.”

He appealed to traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to mobilise as many people as possible to collect their PVCs for them to participate in the electoral process.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Towards a Peaceful and Credible Election’, Rt. Hon. Obasa enjoined political leaders and party supporters to conduct themselves in ways that would promote peace and unity during and after the elections.

“We also urge religious leaders and parents to contribute to the success of the elections by preaching against violence of any form.

The electoral process are one of the most important features of democracy with voters as the major stakeholders. The electorate must have confidence in the electoral process for them to participate,” he said.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker also called for a community-based security trust fund for people to donate voluntarily to support the government in ensuring security of lives and properties.

According to him, security should be a collective responsibility of everyone in Lagos State. “It is work for us all; paying attention to happenings around us, reporting strange activities and not shielding criminals helps to ensure everyone is safe. Let’s not keep quiet,” he said.

He called on various Community Development Associations to monitor the works of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps in order to measure their performance.

“LNSC was created to work in collaboration with the police by gathering intelligence on criminals within neighborhoods and reporting them for arrest and prosecution. The thieves stealing parts of parked vehicles live in our communities,” Obasa said.

In Ifako Constituency I, the member representing the constituency, Hon. Dayo Saka Fafunmi challenged Nigerian youths to be focused as the nation heads towards the 2019 general election and ensure that no one, no matter how powerful uses them to achieve selfish interest.

Fafunmi who is also the chairman House Committee on the Environment, advised the youths to put their lives to good use and not allow anyone derail them.

The lawmaker used the opportunity of the parley, graced by various traditional rulers including the Olu of Ishaga, the Onifako of Ifako, party leaders and frontline politicians in the constituency, to confirm to the people that he do not intends to re-contest the seat at the 2019 elections, but rather will aspire to go to the House of Representatives to represent Ifako Ijaiye Federal Constituency.

In Ifako Ijaiye II, Hon. Rasheed Makinde who represents them in the Assembly lauded the responsive style of governance adopted by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, owing to the prompt attention accorded the prior to now deplorable state of inner roads within his constituency.

While expressing appreciation for the construction of 35 roads in his constituency, in one fell swoop, courtesy the governor, Makinde noted that, “Governor Ambode affirmed his pro-activeness, when he having got the wind of complaints from my constituency on the attendant poor state of inner roads here due to the construction of the jubilee bridge in Abule Egba, immediately called the contractors to site to right the wrongs.

“We appreciate this prompt remedial and noble action of our governor, the people of Ojokoro never had it this good prior to now.

“I want to urge all of us, able constituents to recompense our Governor’s kind gesture by obtaining the Permanent Voters Cards and authenticate his second term bid as one good turn deserves another, we must also pay our tax, so as to enjoy much more dividend of democracy,” he said

In Epe I, where Hon. Abiodun Tobun is the representatives, the residents demanded more presence of the government in the area, while calling for the creation of Epe Division Development Intervention Commission.

The teeming residents also used the event to endorse Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for a second term, Hon. Abiodun Tobun for third term as a member of the State Assembly, Hon. Wale Raji for second term in the House of Representatives and Chief Lanre Rasak as a member of the Senate.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is from Epe constituency.

President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria in Epe, Comrade Giwa Moshood Olasupo, who thanked Hon. Tobun on behalf of all Epe youths, stated that as the lawmaker is impacting on the youths of the party he does same for other youths too.

“Hon. Tobun impacts on the lives of the youths. He made moves to enlist constituents to be employed as nurses, but we could not see anybody and with that he sponsored 20 youths in the school of nursing, he even obtained forms for them.

“On JAMB, he gave free forms and tutorials to indigent students of the area. One of the students that qualified was given a cheque of N300,000 and Hon. Tobun has since been paying her school fees.

“I said at a town hall meeting held by the Governor in our area recently that the representatives of Niger Delta pushed for the creation of Niger Delta Development Commission.

We then requested that the Governor should establish Epe Division Development Intervention Commission because of the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

“This will cater for the training of indigent students of the area so that they could be employed at the Free Trade Zone not for us to work there as cleaners or gatemen,” he said.

This position was supported by other stakeholders and Hon. Tobun promised to discuss it with the principal officers of the House and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

The Lagos East Senatorial Leader of the APC, Alhaji Akanni Seriki (Baamu) expressed his happiness with the event and informed the people that he could not have issues with Chief Lanre Rasak against the insinuations in some quarters.

“We must make sure that we support our own people. I support four people, Abiodun Tobun for state House of Assembly, Chief Lanre Rasak for Senate, Wale Raji for House of Representatives and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for Governor. Nobody should go for any other meeting, we have made up our minds,” he said.

At the Epe II constituency, residents unequivocally express their resolve for representative, Hon. Olusegun Olulade to represent Epe Federal constituency at House of Representatives come 2019.

According to them, the lawmaker has paid his dues in his two terms sojourn in the Assembly, adding that he has all it takes to take Epe to the next level as a federal lawmaker.

Chairman of Eredo Local Government council area, whose secretariat hosted the meeting, Hon. Adeniyi Saliu said that the essence of the stakeholders meeting was to provide an avenue for the representatives of the people to give feedback to the people they are representing.

Saliu stressed that having represented the people of the area in the House of Assembly, Hon. Olusegun Olulade is more qualified to step up his game to the House of Representatives, wondering why some people were against his candidature.

According to him, zoning is a mandate that must be upheld in Epe constituency, and that is the mandate of APC as a party.

This position was supported by residents at the event including the widow of the late former governor of Lagos State, Sir. Michael Otedola, Lady Adedoja Otedola, who described Olulade as a worthy ambassador of Epe, who has done well for the people.

The residents also appealed to the state government to provide more social infrastructure; schools, healthcare centre, recreation centre, potable water, electricity amongst others.

In his keynote address, Hon. Olusegun Olulade said that the 4th edition of the stakeholders meeting, which is the last before the next election, was a positive narrative of change.

“What we are doing today is to speak about peaceful election in the next election. It is our right to get our PVC and also have equal access to the government, and to ensure that the government of the state to bring back dividend of democracy.

“It is an avenue to present to the constituents what the government has been doing as that will bring development and growth in the communities and the state in general.

“Everyone has the right to take part in the enthronement of the government of the state both the executive and legislature. Also, every citizen of the state has equal access to public service in his or her constituency, local government council and wards.

We have continued to improve on our lawmaking drive and process by reviewing and amending the old legislations and initiating new ones where necessary, to meet current needs.

“To date, we have considered forty one (41) bills and passed 30 into laws, which are effectively addressing various challenges and development activities in the state,” Olulade said.

The interesting part of the Lagos Assembly stakeholder’s meeting is the fact that it gives the people the opportunity of contributing to the development of the state by harnessing their demands as a constituency, which the Assembly’s technocrats put together in a book format and the Assembly in turn submits to the executive as the demands of the people, which should be considered while the next budget is at work.

Perhaps this maybe one of the ways the state has managed its executive/legislature relationship, which has seen tremendous development in the state and a rancor free relationship between the executive and the legislature, which from all indications is worthy of emulation not only by other states, but also by the Federal Government.

The interesting part of the Lagos Assembly stakeholder’s meeting is the fact that it gives the people the opportunity of contributing to the development of the state by harnessing their demands as a constituency, which the Assembly’s technocrats put together in a book format and the Assembly in turn submits to the executive as the demands of the people, which should be considered while the next budget is at work.

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