…Says Y2017 budget recorded 82% performance
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commended residents of the State for supporting his administration to deliver on key projects in various sectors and sections, revealing that the State generated a total of N503.7billion revenue in 2017 despite the harsh economic climate in the country.
Ambode gave the commendation when he held the first quarterly Town Hall Meeting in Y2018, the 10th in the series, at the Blue Roof, Lagos Television (LTV), complex, Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, the state capital; in the Lagos West Senatorial Zone, to give account of his stewardship to Lagosians, stating that the Y2018 budget will place high premium on the health and education sectors.
According to the governor, the state was entering the New Year with confidence because, in his words, ‘our state is on a solid prosperity footing and with a lot of interesting prospects for all Lagosians’.
He reiterated that despite the harsh economic climate that pervaded the nation last year, Lagos excelled due to the overwhelming backing of residents, who supported and cooperated with the government.
This, he said, ensured that the government was able to deliver its promises to the people. He stressed that this particular Town Hall Meeting was historic coming at this point in time.
“Town Hall Meetings practice in Lagos will be 140 years old this month. Holding this particular event in Lagos cannot be more historic.
We are confident going into the New Year because our State is on a solid prosperity footing and with a lot of interesting prospects for all Lagosians. As we celebrate entering a new year, we thank you all for your support and cooperation last year.
It was your backing that enabled us to achieve the modest successes we recorded last year and commence the transformation of the landscape of our state. In the last year, we delivered on our promises to Lagosians despite the harsh economic climate.
“Despite the harsh economy, our state budget performed at 82 percent. Total Revenue Generated was N503.7bn representing a performance of 78 percent; total Recurrent Expenditure was N281.33bn, a performance of 92 percent, while Total Capital Expenditure was N387.60bn or 76 percent performance.
With this we initiated and delivered many high impact projects and critical infrastructure aimed at making life easier for our people. We disbursed funds to small businesses and individuals to stimulate the economy,” he said.
Governor Ambode said the Y2018 budget will place emphasis on health and education. He added that between October and December of 2017, and in fulfilment of government’s promise to indigenous students in tertiary institutions across the state, his administration disbursed a total sum of N635.5 million to 8,419 students across the State.
He equally stated that his government acquired healthcare equipment worth N2.5 billion within the year under review. The equipment, he said, would strengthen the capacity of health facilities to render improved health services and also facilitate smooth take off of the Lagos State Health Scheme which is designed to enable residents enjoy unfettered access to qualitative healthcare.
The governor said since the last Town Hall Meeting, the state government had continued the renovation and upgrade of all primary healthcare centres. As such, people at the grassroots had started to witness revitalised healthcare delivery.
Regarding the Employment Trust Fund (ETF), he had this to say: “As at December 2017, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund had disbursed N4.5billion to 5,500 beneficiaries who also received training on financial literacy and business management. We also presented keys to beneficiaries of the first set of allottees of Lagos State Rent-To-Own Housing Scheme,” he said.
Governor Ambode stated that in the next few weeks, the Toxicology Unit of the Lagos state DNA Centre situated on Lagos Island would commence, and this, he said, would be the first of its kind in Sub-Sahara Africa.
In the area of sports, he said construction had started at the Onikan Stadium to transform it to a modern sports arena with a 5000-seating capacity. According to him, the facility is to, aside sport, double as a tourist centre and is expected to be completed in January 2019.
The Agege Stadium, he stressed, has been upgraded to prepare it to host Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Champions League matches this year. He also stated that more women sports administrators would be discovered nurtured and encouraged in the state, to help in the discovery of more talents such as CAF Women Footballer of the Year 2017, Lagos-born Super Falcons striker, Asisat Oshoala, who was present at the event.
Ambode said more needed to be done as regards schools in the riverine areas, saying categorically that government hadn’t done enough in this regard. He said allocation had been approved to accommodate such purposes in this year’s budget.
He also said market women shouldn’t be made to suffer due to ongoing relocation of some markets in the state. He said, henceforth, markets would no longer be closed down without suitable relocation sites already provided by government. He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Works and Housing to work hand-in-hand with the market women to forestall such occurrences.
Speaking further on the outlook for 2018, the governor said: “We have already kicked off for the New Year. Just this week we have commissioned the Safety Arena in Oshodi and performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the new J. K. Randle Centre. We will continue at this pace and vigorously pursue all on-going projects.”