By OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS—Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday signed the 2013 appropriation bill of N499.105 billion into law, just as he charged Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, to strengthen their Internal Generated Revenue, IGR strategies.
The budget figure which showed an increase of N1.828 billion from the amount presented by Fashola to the State House of Assembly on October 31th, 2012.
It will be recalled that the governor presented a budget proposal of N497.277 billion to the State House of Assembly for the 2013 fiscal year.
Fashola who gave his assent to the budget tagged ‘`Budget of Poverty Eradication and Economic Growth, ” at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, added that the budget could only be achieved when the state government earns the required revenue within the fiscal year.
According to him, “It is not how quickly the budget is passed or assented to that matters, but what is important to this administration is how rigorously the budget is implemented for the development of the state, especially to improve the standard of living of residents of Lagos state.”
“And all these cannot be achieved without the energy and commitment of the men and women in the State Civil Service. So it is time for the civil servants to lace up their shoes and set for work.”
Fashola emphasised that the budget would commence operation immediately after the New Year holiday.
The governor, however, commended the state House of Assembly for their prompt response, saying “It is fair to acknowledge that the Lagos State House of Assembly have given the executive a good head start so that in a matter of few hours, the budget will be in operation.”
Speaking earlier, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said “the 2013 budget has a slight increase of 1.5 per cent from the 2012 budget.”
According to Akabueze, “in the 2013 budget, 46 per cent of the budget is allocated for recurrent expenditure while 54 is allocated for capital expenditure for 2013.”
On the reason why the budget was approved before the commencement of the 2013 fiscal year, he noted that this was due to the cooperation between the legislature and the executive.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the House Committee on appropriation, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, said that the House increased the 2013 budget by N1.828 billion to cater for the needs of the lawmakers and the MDAs.
Obasa explained “During the 2013 budget defence, the house discovered that the cut in the overhead cost of the MDAs in 2012 affected them in generating revenue for the state. While some MDAs performed excellently, others performance were below par.”
The lawmaker however charged the MDAs to intensify their strategy towards generating revenue for the state.