Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday signed into Law the 2014 Appropriation Bill with a pledge that the implementation would be efficient and to the benefit of the people.
The Appropriation Bill, approved late last week by the State House of Assembly, has a size of N489.69 billion with Capital Expenditure retaining its traditional higher allocation than its Recurrent counterpart at the ratio of 52 percent (representing N255.025 billion) to 48 percent (representing N234.665 billion).
In his brief remarks at the Conference Hall of the Lagos House, Alausa, before appending his signature to the Bill, Governor Fashola said the ceremony was a signal for the Government to roll up its sleeves and begin to work for the people in earnest adding that the commitment to better the life of Lagosians remains the focus of his administration.
He paid glowing tribute to members of the State House of Assembly for their commitment to the development of the State as has continually been demonstrated in their willingness to sacrifice their personal comfort for the betterment of the State and the people.
In an interview shortly after the brief ceremony, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, told newsmen that the lion share of N100 billion allocated to Works and Infrastructure in the Budget was reflective of the commitment of the administration to infrastructure renewal and development.
“It has been a constant feature of our Budget. The Budget still retains its traditional high ratio of Capital Expenditure over Recurrent Expenditure. 52 percent of that is for Capital Expenditure while 48 percent is for Recurrent Expenditure. Works and Infrastructure always takes the biggest allocation. It is reflective of our commitment to infrastructure development and renewal”.
He hinted, however, that in the future as it works down the infrastructure deficit in the State, the administration would begin to cause expenditure to begin to shift more towards social infrastructure naming such to include Education, Health and Environment.
“The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure bagged the highest amount of N100 billion. But in the future, as we work down the infrastructure deficit in the State, we will begin to see expenditure begin to shift more towards social infrastructure and we can begin to ramp up budgetary allocation to the Social Sectors like Education, Health and Environment; but now we have this huge deficit infrastructure that must be worked down”, the Commissioner said.
He further explained the reason behind the narrowing of the gap Capital and Recurrent Expenditures saying, “In terms of the mix between Capital and Recurrent Expenditure between now and last year, we have had a shift towards the Recurrent essentially because as we have continued to ramp up our investment in infrastructure with a concomitant resolve that what we built must be maintained, we are also stepping up maintenance expenditure and that is classified as Recurrent”.
Expressing the readiness of the administration to give full attention to the implementation of the Budget, the Commissioner declared, “With the budget signed now, we will be leaving here to rave up and run at full speed to implement. We are now in the implementation mode”.
Also present at the signing ceremony were the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba and other members of cabinet.