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29 days to 2018: Ambode yet to present budget

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode

LESS than 29 days to the end of 2017, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is yet to present the 2018 appropriation bill to the House of Assembly.

By this time last year, the House of Assembly had received the budget, presented on November 29, 2016. Ironically, unlike last year, this year’s budget is expected to be bigger and more robust, as it is expected to hit the N1tr mark. This means, it will require more scrutiny and due diligence verification in the Assembly, yet the budget is nowhere near the state Assembly.

Aside the Federal Government, a few have presented their 2018 budgets, but stakeholders feel Lagos should be among the first to do so.

Findings revealed that the delay could be attributed to the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, who is saddled with the responsibility of supervising and superintending the Ministry of Finance, as a supervising Commissioner, which has increased his work load, thereby slowing him down and activities around finance and budget ministries.

There are also fears that a delayed budget may also slow down the execution of the projects being carried out by the government, as release of fund might not be early.

It took just about 35 days for the Lagos State Assembly to put its authority behind the N812b 2017 budget, which to some analysts must have been done in a rush, with no due diligence. Attempts to get officials of government to explain the delay were not fruitful.

Commenting, a professor of Operations Management, at the University of Lagos, Banjoko Adenuga, said presenting the budget late, which has become a norm in Nigeria, does not show that a government is serious.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information and Security, Hon, Tunde Buraimoh, said the process has started and the Assembly is expected to receive the budget latest in two weeks time.



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