Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday disclosed that despite the current challenging economic environment, the overall 2016 budget performance of the state as at half year, recorded 70 percent, while total revenue recorded 73 percent.
According to a report by Vanguard, during signing of the appropriation bill into law, Ambode said the Y2016 budget of N662.588bn will enable government focus on the present challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural developments which have thrown up new challenges quite different from past experience.
Meantime, Ambode said his administration has earmarked N10 billion each, totaling N20 billion for the upgrade of health and education sectors, respectively, across the state within the next six months of the year.
Ambode, made the remarks at the well attended fourth quarterly Town Hall Meeting, held at the Muslim Community Praying Ground, in the historic town of Badagry, area of the state where he rendered accounts of stewardship of the first half of the year.
Giving the analysis of the budget, the governor said; “The overall budget performance as at half year was 70 percent which is an improvement over the corresponding period in 2015 when the performance stood at 63 percent.
“Revenue recorded 73 percent performance for the half year 2016 despite the challenging economic environment. Your Government spent a total of N115.624bn on Capital projects during the half year 2016 leading to the Capital/Recurrent ratio of 50:50 with the plan to improve this ratio to 58:42 provided for in 2016 Appropriation Law in the remaining half of the year.
On the N20 billion for upgrading, Ambode stated; “We have commenced a comprehensive action to rehabilitate and upgrade the facilities in all our hospitals. Modern equipment will be procured to facilitate treatment and we will invest in capacity building of our medical staff.
“We intend to spend over N10bn on our hospitals across the State before December this year.
“We will recruit and train medical professionals in areas of rare specialization and special needs,”
On education, Ambode said; “This administration will establish a Technical and Vocational School in Badagry. The ground breaking will be done in September this year. In addition, we will upgrade the infrastructure in all our schools starting from this month of July.
“All our Primary and Secondary schools will be upgraded to create conducive learning environment for students and teachers. Another N10bn has been earmarked for this facelift of our Secondary and Primary schools across the state.
“We have recruited a total of 1,300 teachers for our Primary Schools. In the next two weeks we will start recruiting 1,000 teachers for our Secondary Schools across the state.”
While giving highlights of his administration’s achievements in the last quarter, Ambode said greater plans were on going to make life more comfortable, simpler and safer for the people.
He disclosed that aside the N500million disability fund aimed at advancing the cause of persons living with disabilities, his administration would decentralize the Lagos State Office of Disability (LASODA) and absolve 200 physically challenged persons to manage their affairs in all the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas, LCDA, in the state.
Speaking on his plans for Youth and Sports for the quarter, the governor said government would embark on upgrade of sports facilities as well as support and promote age-grade competitions and sponsor outstanding athletes to national and international training and competitions.
Ambode also said his administration would pay greater attention to the issues concerning the elderly especially by establishing three Elderly Care Centres across the state.
He said: “We will sponsor bills to the House of Assembly which will make specific provisions for the elderly in our society and create a framework for care for the aged. Our priority is to commence the provision of Three Elderly Care centres across the Three Senatorial Zones and further urge the private sector for support and collaboration thereafter.”
Ambode said as a follow up to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Response Unit in Cappa, Oshodi, an outpost unit would be situated between Ojo and Badagry in this quarter with two other outposts in Fadeyi and Lekki.
The governor, also interacted with various groups such as; Corporate organizations, religious leaders, youths/physically challenged, market men and women, Non-Governmental Organizations and the political leaders, disclosed his greater plans to revive the tourism potentials of Badagry, saying the long term plan includes the establishment of University of Hospitality.
Targets 10 perccent dependence on FG allocation
The governor who stressed that the state of the country’s economy required state to work effectively to reduce dependance on the centre, added, “We hope to reduce our dependence
on federal allocation to 10 percent in three years . We also have plans to achieve zero percent as we develop our potentials in tourism and services. The future of Lagos is about service and tourism .”
Ambode who said the state government planned to bring about seamless waste collection in the state, and ensure clean environment, implored residents to take ownership of all government properties located in their area, “because they are our common wealth. Remember to pay your taxes as and when due in order to enjoy more dividends of democracy.
“On our part, we will continue to ensure judicious utilization of the resources of the state by executing projects that will outlive us and affirm our position as a Centre of Excellence,” Ambode assured.