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Commissioner apologises for N11bn budget discrepancy

By Olasunkanmi Akoni   & Gbenga Akanmu
Lagos State  Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, has apologised for the N11 billion discrepancy in the N46 billion supplementary budget Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN, sent to the State House of Assembly.

In the letter, read during a special plenary session to mark the Assembly’s third anniversary, the Commissioner admitted that the error emanated from his office.

Consequently, upon the apology, the lawmakers allowed the bill to pass through the second reading without further debate.

The lawmakers had sent back the N46 billion supplementary budget it received to Fashola for clarification after observing a discrepancy of N11 billion.

Majority Leader, Mr. Kolawole Taiwo said, “I don’t think we need to bother ourselves so much with the debate as the letter from the ministry had taken care of the misconception.”

Don lauds govt’s budgeting processes

Meanwhile,  Dean, Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, has lauded the executive arm of the Lagos State government for the level of professionalism displayed in managing disputes arising from budgetary processes in the state.

He spoke at the first ever Legislature/Executive/Judiciary Year 2011 Budget Forum held at GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.

In his paper entitled, Legislature and Executive Role in Budget Making, Oyewo said the executive was the sole arm vested with the constitutional and statutory responsibility for formulating the budget and such should not ultimately exercise its executive predominance, but should be more tolerant of legislative interference.

Information control

Oyewo urged the executive to be more flexible in the area of information control and more receptive of suggestions that the legislature may proffer for the fulfilment of policies that would better the lot of the citizenry.

He enjoined the legislative to lay emphasis on co-operative federalism and also contribute positively in the budgeting process.

Chairman, House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, Kolapo Oshunsanya, commended the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, saying the only way to alleviate poverty and ensure sustainable economic growth in the state was to get all stakeholders involved and concentrate on the Medium Term Expenditure framework, MTEF.


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