The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has called for timely presentation of budget to the legislature by October of every year to ensure better delivery of good governance to the people.
Obasa, also Chairman, Conference of Speakers State Legislature of Nigeria, made the call in his keynote address at a three-day Budget Retreat for Lagos lawmakers in Abeokuta on Saturday.
The theme of the retreat was: “The Imperative of Transformative Governance in Lagos State Through Effective Budgeting and Implementation”.
Represented by Deputy Speaker, Mr Sanni Eshinlokun, Obasa said budget implementation remained a major problem at all the levels of government, saying there is need to improve the situation.
“We need to also build the capacity of the civil servants in project management, decentralisation of expenditure and approval processes.
“Others are partnering with the private sector in project implementation within the context of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and better communication between the executive and the legislature on budget issues,” he said.
Obasa said the retreat was organised to equip the lawmakers with the required skills to effectively carry out their constitutional role as legislators.
The speaker said the gathering was also put together to beam light on how budgeting could get better towards delivering good governance to the people they were representing.
Earlier, Mr Azeez Sanni, Clerk of the House, in his welcome address, said the retreat was organised to assess the financial position of the state and explore ways to achieve a realistic Y2020 Budget.
Sanni said the retreat would be reviewing the extent of the implementation of the Y2019 Budget and analysing the viability of the Y2020 Budget Proposal.
“In line with the constitutional responsibilities of the House, the appropriation bill has gone through the second reading and committed to the relevant committees of the House for further legislative action.
“Considering the combined and determined vision, aspiration and commitment of both the House and executive of arm of government in ensuring a rapid transformation of the state,” he said.
Sanni said the retreat was essential particularly for both old and new members who would be chairing various committee meetings.
The clerk added that others would be serving in other committees in understanding the rudiments of budgeting.
He said members would benefit from fresh ideas at ensuring the delivery of good governance to the people in the state.
Contributing, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, said budget implementation started from appropriation since revenue must match expenditure.
He said: “We want to pay attention to trying times, revenue is dwindling, we want to see which new area of revenue generation we can explore.
“We want to find out more sources we can tap into, also to see how we can bring our cost down when we are not making more money.”