By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
Lagos—Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has requested for the adjustment of the budget to meet services from citizens, which are “sufficiently compelling and cannot wait until 2015”.
The letter from the governor requesting for the adjustment, titled; ‘Year 2014 Budget Re-ordering of priorities’ was read at plenary of the Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, by Clerk of the House, Mr. Ganiyu Abiru.
The re-ordering, according to the governor, “is to take care of emerging issues like the reversal of Lagos State University, LASU, school fees policy which requires us to make provisions to cover LASU shortfall in projected revenues in order to service the school; the unanticipated but very urgent need to address the threat of the Ebola Virus Epidemic, EVD, and also a need for counterpart funding request that enables us to access developmental funds to install solar power panels in 172 public schools and 11 primary health centres in the first phase”.
The governor stressed that the re-ordering would not affect the original 2014 budget size of N489.69 billion as, “we have discovered that there are still unutilized provisions by some Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, which may remain so till year end. Hence we are proposing to move such provisions to where they are more urgently needed to enable the state government address pressing needs in the areas identified above and other areas like security, housing among others.”
The re-ordering, Fashola noted was proposed from Capital Expenditure Provisions of 10 agencies with a total value of N9.960 billion.
The governor said the re-ordering was also to urgently address some of the critical unbudgeted expenditure requests by various MDAs. “We have received request aggregating to the sum of N79.302billion but will clearly be unable to accommodate most of these requests this year.”.
After debating the request, the lawmakers committed it to the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget and expected to report back to the House today, because of the urgency of the issues involved.
Fashola hands over houses to senior citizens
Meanwhile, Governor Fashola yesterday, handed over keys of houses under the Lagos Homes Ownership Mortgage Scheme, Lagos HOMS, to 16 persons, former occupants of Shogunro Housing Estate, Ogba-Ijaiye, Ikeja, years after their defective houses were demolished.
The state government demolished the Shogunro Housing Estate, in 2008 to avoid collapse on its occupants, after they were relocated to another community.
Fashola who handed over the keys at the 6th public draw of the Lagos HOMS in Ikeja, said while other occupants of the estate declined the government plan for the regeneration of the estate, “this 16 senior citizens kept fate with the government. The buildings were structurally unsafe and we asked them to move out. While some refused to leave, this people decided to deal with us and we promised those who chose to deal with us that they will get their houses back.”
“After five successful draw I want to now announce a new dimension to the Lagos home policy. I want to share with you the regeneration and the compassionate side of the Lagos HOMS and the inclusion that seems to carry everybody along. This morning, 16 senior citizens have benefited from 16 homes part of the Lagos homes in the Shogunro scheme in Ogba. Many of you may not know the history behind Shogunro housing scheme but it was developed around 1970 as a result of the reclamation and development going on around Marina and the people were moved to Ogba, of course industrialization came, flooding came and the houses that they were moved to was no longer habitable and in 2009 a building collapsed there and we asked them to move out there. But some of them refused to leave, and one by one the building began to fall apart and those who said they would not leave flee for their life.
“But we have rebuilt the place and because we promised that if we rebuild it we will give back the homes to those who promised to deal with us. Most of you are also aware that the houses there are in some state of disrepair some has sank and the environment require a makeover.
“But our regeneration has come into full scheme in our initiative in Isale gangan in helping to direct our regeneration experience under Lagos Homes. So, today, we have moved out 30 families in Adeniji Adele out of these families all we offer opportunity to take back a place when we finish, out of those families 13 have said that we should pay them off and each has received a sum of N1.3million, plus N250,000 relocation fund.