Begins Consultative Forum Slated for Five Divisions of the State
Reviews Y2022 Mid-Year Budget Performance
The Lagos State Government has commenced preparations for its year 2023 Budget with a five-day Consultative Forum in each of the five divisions of the State, namely Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos and Epe (IBILE), starting with Badagry Division on Tuesday.
Speaking at the first forum held at the Aderemi Makanjuola Auditorium in LASU, Ojo Campus, Badagry division, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube said the forum was conceived in line with the present administration’s transparency and its policy of inclusiveness in the preparation process of the annual budget.
He explained that it is also designed as an avenue for the State Government to update stakeholders on the half-year performance of the Y2022 Budget as well as solicit their views on it going forward.
While informing the stakeholders that the next forum would be convened in Ikeja Divison on Wednesday at the Eko FM Multipurpose Hall, Agidingbi, Egube revealed that the State has achieved about 77 percent in its half-year budget performance.
He said: “We hope to increase this budget performance to over 80 percent. You will note that over the last three years, our State has achieved very strong budget performance in the neighbourhood of over 80 percent and that is something we would continue to pursue irrespective of the challenges that we face as a nation”.
The Commissioner reiterated that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration is determined to continue to do more for the people even in the face of challenges by increasing its investment in human capital projects, education, healthcare, job creation and engaging in collaborations that would boost economic sustainability.
Egube said: “The State Government intends to counter its challenges by investing more in human capital projects, particularly in education, healthcare as well as Small and Micro Businesses, through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), with an increase in budgetary allocation to the agency to about 100 percent towards supporting over 152 businesses, individuals and ecosystem”.
“We are partnering with development partners like the UNDP, GIZ, Microsoft and others to train about 5,900 people and place them in over 706 jobs. We are also creating employment in Agric sector through various interventions while working with agencies like the Food and Agricultural Organisation to create over 500,000 jobs. We will be completing the Imota Rice Mill this year which will create over 400,000 jobs directly and indirectly”, he added.
The Commissioner highlighted some of the ongoing and completed projects in the Badagry division, including the construction of a 280-Bed Hospital; completion of Ilashe and Isalu Ajido Jetty Terminals in Ojo; construction of Ilado Jetty Terminal in Amuwo Odofin; completion of LASU Senate Building and Tech Hub; construction of reinforced concrete footbridges at Irewe/Itogbesa and Okunudun/Itogbesa/Erunkun communities in Ojo, among others.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic Planning and Budget, Aare Adebayo Sodade, said Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration has always believed in grassroots consultation in the budget-making process to ensure its transparency and acceptability.
He said the forum provides an opportunity to update stakeholders on the performance of the current budget at the half-year term, as well as an avenue to share ideas geared towards a ‘Greater Lagos’.
In his words: “In fulfilment of the promise of an ‘All inclusive Governance’ by Mr. Governor at the inception of his administration, the State has always adhered to proper consultation and due diligence, especially in decision-making processes”.
“This forum will also afford us an avenue to update stakeholders on the half-year performance of the budget, the resources available for the annual budget taking into cognisance all economic variables such as the price of crude oil, inflation, interest rates and the security challenges across the country”, he added.
Dignitaries present at the event include traditional rulers, such as the Oniba of Iba, Oba Sulaimon Raji; Alapa of Apa, Oba Oyekan Ajose; Osolu of Irewe, Oba Abideen Durosinmi; Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello; Deputy VC (Admin) of LASU, Prof. Adenike Boyo and Acting VC, Lagos State University of Education (LASUED), Prof. Bidemi Lafiaji-Okunneye.
Others were the President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Mr. Funso Abidakun; Deputy Chairman, NUPENG, Comrade Asaolu Felix; Community and Religious Leaders, Professionals, Chairmen of Community Development Committee (CDC) and Community Development Associations (CDA), Trade groups, NGOs, Youth Organisations, People Living With Disability (PLWDs) and the Organised Private Sector among others.