Lagos Assembly may pass 2019 budget today

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The Lagos State 2019 budget maybe passed today, Friday, at plenary by the State Assembly.

According to the Order Paper for today’s plenary, presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill is the last item slated for Business of the day.

The notice of today’s plenary and the order paper to lawmakers states: “Distinguished colleagues, Please, be reminded that there shall be plenary tomorrow Friday 26th April 2019 at 10.00 a.m.

Business of the Day……….”B. Presentation of Reports. (i) HAB NO. 59.*Public Procurement Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2018.*“A Bill for a Law to Amend Lagos State Public Procurement Agency Law CH.L.56 VOL.6 Laws of Lagos State and for Connected Purposes.” Hon. Ogundimu O. (Agege II), Chairman, Committee on Finance; (ii) HAB NO. 66. *Appropriation Bill, 2019.*

“A Bill for a Law to authorize the issue and appropriation of N389,560,227,242 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for Recurrent Expenditure and N462,756,709,241 from Development Revenue Fund for Capital Expenditure, thereby totalling a Budget size of N852,316,936,483 approximately N852.317 Billion for the year ending 31st December, 2019.” – Hon. (Engr.) Yishawu G.O.R. (Eti-Osa II) – Chairman, Committee on Economic Planning and Budget.

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After the presentation, sources at the Assembly say as is the usual practice; the House would take the third reading of the Bill and pass it immediately for the governor’s assent.

It would be recalled that the House committee on appropriation laid the report on the budget before the House about two weeks ago after the initial controversy surrounding the readiness of the executive to present the budget to the legislature and the lack of willingness by the legislators to receive the budget because of supposed infractions by the executive.

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An issue that was later resolved by the leadership of the party before Governor Ambode eventually laid the budget before the House in February.

This is the first time that Lagos State is experiencing this kind of delayed passage of budget.

Usually the state budget is always passed by the last week of December of the outing financial year or latest first week of the new financial year.

The late passage of the appropriation bill has been attributed to the slow down and in some cases outright stoppage of on-going projects in the state as well as the lack of repairs on most roads which has worsened the traffic situation in the state for some months now.

Political observers have attributed this unusual delay in the passage of this year’s budget to unnecessary friction between the executive and legislative arms of government.

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Talk about where two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers, that has exactly been the plight of Lagosians these past few months as they have borne the brunt of the late passage of the bill as they have been subjected to untold hardship all this while.

While funds have also not been made available for the smooth running of government activities as the budget cannot become fully operational for funds to be released until it is passed into law.

It is hoped that if the budget is passed today government activities might pick up again in the remaining four weeks of the lifespan of the current administration and would also ease things up for the coming administration.

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