Lagos: Legislative, executive arms agree on cordial relationship
Both arms of government, controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC), under the leadership Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Speaker, Mudasiru Obasa said that they have put mechanisms in place to address the problems of infrastructure, with the aim on improvement and provision of easy movement and security within the state.
According to them, “The APC government can do nothing less than to bring comfort and the joy of democratic governance to the state, as we are also ready to effectively work together to achieve these aims and objectives.”
In his 2016 budget speech, which he presented before the House of Assembly recently, Ambode commended the legislators for their co-operation and dedication in handling the re-ordering of the 2015 budget “to meet the aspirations of the people.”
The 2016 Budget, which he tagged “the people budget”, according to him, will promote massive investment in security, transportation traffic management, physical and social infrastructural development and enhance job creation.
According to the governor, “We plan to strategically build new infrastructure while we continue to maintain existing ones. Wealth and empowerment creation will receive a lot of attention as we commence the implementation of the employment trust scheme which we’ll set aside N25b over a four years period.”
He said the state government proposed a budget of N662.588 billion with recurrent expenditure put at N278.909 billion and capital at N383.678 billion.
He noted that his administration intends to focus on current challenges of security, traffic gridlock, and physical and social infrastructure development in 2016
Obasa in his comment commended the governor and members of the executive council for their efforts since May, at further developing the state and assured them of the full support of the House for the growth and development of Lagos stressing, “as you all know Lagos, as the Centre of Excellence, has continued to be seen both within and outside the country as the a place where good governance is the norm, which readily explains why our state is home to all Nigerians having maintained the status of a mega city.
“It is for instance on record today that even leading members of opposition parties in our country can attest to the fact that Lagos remains the positive response point when good governance in being discussed.”
He disclosed that the three tiers of government: the Legislature, the Executive and the judiciary have always been striving to put the people first, as he pointed out that the “House membership comprises industrious, brilliant and diligent men and women who are making a difference in their various constituencies”
He added that despite the distinct roles of the three organs, they have continued to collaborate regularly to deliver democracy dividends to Lagosians adding, “This of course did not stop the lawmakers from performing their constitutional duties. This has obviously resulted in the first class opinion that our dear state has attained in our country today.”
To him, some of the lofty achievements, which the state government has recorded in the short period of time include: “recent commissioning and handing over of patrol vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC’s), gunboats and helicopters to the Nigerian Police and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) to combat crime in the state among other things, is a pointer to this affirmation.”
While calling for more support, which he said must include constructive criticisms of the administration; he equally said, “The Assembly would continue to promote the best practices in the governance. You can be rest assured that all the lawmakers of this Assembly shall continue to put you – our people first in all that we do.”
Obasa said in treating the budget “we would not forget that we are trustees for the people. A lot has been done in the area of job creation and economic empowerment of Lagosians, but there is the need to create more opportunities for our people, more jobs will definitely lead to greater economic growth.”
The Speaker did not fail to identify one of the immediate challenges confronting the people of Lagos as he called the attention of the governor to the situation of traffic congestion.
Obasa also mentioned some of the steps taken so far by the lawmakers to familiarize themselves with the people of their constituencies in the last seven months, which include the various town hall meetings, where they obtained reasonable information that would be useful in the budget implementation.
Speaking on the presentation, a chieftain of the People Democratic Party, (PDP) Mr. Tobi Onajobi described the event as unique in view of the promise it holds for Lagosians.
“I must confess that I am proud to be a Nigerian once again. What we witness shows that there is hope for Nigerian if our leaders can get it right.
“I want to particularly commend speaker Obasa for his strong declaration of support for governor Ambode that 2016 budget may succeed. This is instructive.”
His view was shared by the President of a rights group, Good Governance Coalition (GGC), Chinedu Obasi who called on all arms of government to follow the Lagos example saying, “Nigeria is facing difficult challenges. But I think if our government can get it right, things can be much better as demonstrated today by the Lagos Assembly.”