By Olasunkanmi Akoni
GOVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has signed the amended 2009 Appropriation Bill into law, with a reallocation of N11billion from overhead budget to capital budget.
The state governor while signing the Bill at the conference room, Ikeja House, Alausa, yesterday said the amendment did not affect the total budget size of N405 billion, noting that what the government has done was to give more to those who could utilise more and streamline what had not been utilised to avoid the practice of returning unspent fund to the treasury.
The state House of Assembly passed the N405 budget divided into capital expenditure of N245.536 billion and recurrent N159.464 billion.
Governor Fashola explained that the second quarter budget review clearly threw up the need for this realignment, adding that through government constant monitoring and querying, it discovered that while some ministries, departments and agencies have gradually increased in their capacity for efficient service delivery, others whose projects are a lot more complex, requiring more study and more time to implement.
He said: â€œThe truth is that a budget is only a statement of intention and estimate based on reasonable forecast by the capacity of the human mind and we as a government, we have changed the paradigm not only on budgeting but also on budget implementation in this country in the last 24 months.â€
He added that the government has not only effectively monitor budget implementation but has consistently delivered a budget performance in the excess of 70 percent which is the highest in any part of this country and even in Africa for a long time.
According to him, â€œwe are able to achieve this because of the creativity of the men and women, not only in the House of Assembly, but also in the State Executive Council and at the level of the Permanent Secretaries, the driving public force of the Lagos State Public Service who are committed to an effective and successful budget implementation in order to impact and change the lives of Lagosians.â€
Presenting the bill, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget Mr. Ben Akabueze, accompanied by the Chairman of Appropriation Committee, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Kolapo Osunsanya, recalled that in consistent with its track record, the government recorded a high budget performance level across the federation.
Akabueze noted that in spite of its effort to ensure a good estimate as close to the reality as possible, the fact remains that some developments might warrant another look at the provision made.