By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Gbenga Akanmu
THE Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, passed the amended 2010 Appropriation Bill into law after going through the third reading. It is now awaiting Governor Babatunde Fasholaâ€™s assent.
The Assembly has on Wednesday reduced the 2010 budget from the initialÂ N429.596 billion that was presented by Governor Babatunde Fashola in November last year to N389.571 billion, which amounts to a reduction of N40.025 billion.
The lawmakers had delayed the passage of the bill because, according to them,Â previous budget approvals had not been properly accounted for and the need for the governor to approve allocation of funds for some community development programmes.
A total of N165.375 billion was earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure and N224.196 billion for Capital Expenditure.
A total sum of N120.296 billion was allocated toÂ overhead costs, N28.372 billion for capital receipts and N89.943 billion for loans repayments.
Reasons for reduction
Presenting the report to the House, Chairman, Economic Planning and Budget, Kolapo Osunsanya, disclosed that the Committee in its findings observed that the yearly Approved Personnel Cost of the state when compared with the Actual always showed a wide difference.
He said: â€œThe Committee observed that there is reduction in Overhead Expenditure of the state from N80.376 billion in year 2009 to N67.002 billon for year 2010, adding that the Actual as at September 2009 was N39.188 billion, while the Actual for the year ending 2009 would be N52.251 billion.
Hence, the Committee is of the sincere opinion that there is need to reduce the proposed amount of N67.002 billion for year 2010,â€ he said.
Osunsanya explained that the Committee agreed with the Governor on the need to complete all the on-going projects in the state, but noted that it was important to make adjustments in the area of Capital Expenditure due to the debt profile of the state, so that the financing requirement would not be more than N50bn.
Other findings of the Committee included the complaint by the state Judiciary about its Capital Expenditure domiciled in the Ministry of Justice, requesting that same be reversed and put under the Judiciary while seekingÂ an additional new Capital Expenditure.
The Committee also in its findings observed the gross underfunding of the state House of Assembly. It also noted that all recommendations during the Town Hall Meetings by the House across the 40 constituencies in the state and forwarded to the Executive arm by the House were not taken into consideration while preparing the 2010 budget.