Friday

Fashola Presents N489.69 Billion Budget Estimate For 2014

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Wednesday presented to the State House of Assembly for approval, a total Budget Estimate of N489. 69 billion for the 2014 financial year, saying the focus would be to complete on-going projects and consolidate on the gains of the past budgets. The amount, which is about N7.587 billion short of the 2013 Estimate, as is traditional with the Governor Fashola administration, prioritizes Capital over Recurrent Expenditure with Economic Affairs, General Public Service and Education taking the lion share. According to details of the Budget presented in the Chambers of the new House of Assembly, Capital Expenditure took N255.025 billion while Recurrent Expenditure got N234.665, which represents a Capital to Recurrent Expenditure ratio of 52:48 as against 58:42 ratio for 2013. In sectoral allocation, according to the Budget details, Economic Affairs got the lion share with N160,046,436,169 or 32.68% followed by General Public Service which got N100,215,966,990 or 20.47% while Education with N77,423,827,872, representing 15.81% of the Budget Estimate, came 3rd. Other sectors of the economy that got priorities include Housing and Community Amenities N50,537,201,984 billion (10.32%), Environmental Protection N39,727,711,248 (8.11%), Health N37,812,553,057(7.72%), Public Order & Safety N17,977,368,027 (3.67%), Recreation, Culture & Religion N3,482,081,806 (0.71%) and Social Protection which brought up the rear with N2,466,309,939 representing 0.50% of the Budget. Reviewing the performance of the Year 2013 Budget, Governor Fashola noted that the Year 2014 Budget would be the last full year budget that his administration would implement, and expressed joy that the current Budget has performed exceedingly well. According to the Governor, “In the 1st quarter of this year, I reported a budget performance of 61%, while the 2nd quarter performance was 83% and the recently reported 3rd quarter performance was 70% giving us a cumulative aggregate performance of 71% in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of the year”. Expressing the commitment of his administration to improving upon the 4th quarter performance, Governor Fashola, however, gave reasons why the performance could not be taken beyond what was reported to include the constraint posed by the limitation of financial resources which, according to him, was a direct consequence of delays in Federal allocation to the State, tax default by a large segment of the society, and the continued growing population of the State which has put immense pressure on existing facilities. Urging Lagos residents who are yet to start paying their taxes to do so, the Governor declared, “It is a commonwealth that gives everybody a chance to realize their aspirations”, adding that it has helped to reduce the State’s dependence on the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee remittances. In his remarks after the presentation, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, gave a commitment that the House would apply its utmost best, within legislative powers to give the 2014 Budget proposal the undiluted attention it deserves. While appreciating the efforts of the Executive arm towards ensuring fiscal responsibility in the 2013 Budget, the Speaker urged the Governor to ensure that the Budget addresses debt reduction and completion of on-going projects as already specified in his budget speech.

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