To disburse N500m empowerment fund for disable soon
Hold Obasanjo responsible for rejection of Special Status for Lagos — Akiolu
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Amarachi Chukwudi
GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, yesterday, said his administration plans to recruit at least 5,000 Neighbourhood Watchers to boost security in the state. The neighbourhood watchers will be expected to earn at least N25, 000 monthly with other allowances. He also hinted of government’s plans to commence the disbursement of N500 million for Persons Living with Disability.
This came as Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu I, accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of being responsible for the rejection of the Senate of granting a special status to Lagos till date.
Governor Ambode, who said this at the third quarter town hall meeting held at the Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, in Lagos, noted that the Neighbourhood Safety Agency Bill, which he signed into Law on August 15, 2016, was part of efforts to institutionalise and deepen community policing in the State.
His words: “There is a law that has just been passed which is the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law, 2016 and in line with the resolution taken by the House of Assembly, yesterday, we would go all out to make sure that this agency is activated and all our neighbourhoods will be covered, and then centralize with the State government with all the necessary equipment and resources to ensure that we establish what we call community policing and that is the way to go.
“We will rebrand neighbourhood watchers and re-equip them to the level that each neighbourhood watchers in all the local governments will have vehicles and necessary equipment to complement security. We are also working on employing additional 5,000 neighbourhood watchers in all our local governments and they will be paid by us, while the basic salary for the entrance level will be N25,000 per month.”
On the N500m empowerment fund for the disabled in the state, Ambode said: “We will roll out all our empowerment programmes immediately to assist all our youths, artisans and the needy. The funding for the N500 million, for Persons Living with Disability has been provided and beneficiaries will start getting support from this quarter.”
Budget quarterly performance
On the budget performance of this year, the governor explained that the state’s budget performance from January to September performed at 69 per cent as against 65 per cent for the same period in 2015. He said: “A total of N166.8billion has been spent on capital projects this year which doubled the N53.6billion spent for the same period last year.
The state generated a total revenue of N97.3billion in the last quarter with an expenditure of N110.2billion with cash reserve of the state remained positive.”
Ambode also disclosed that N55billion was expended on capital expenditure in the last quarter. He, however, expressed optimism that despite the recession, the state’s economy would remain on a strong and sound footing if capital expenditure spending is increased. According to him, “In this quarter, we will concentrate more resources on capital projects.
We will put money in the hands of our local contractors and through them stimulate and reflate the economy. Immediate payments will be made to contractors handling health sector and education sector projects within the next two weeks.”
Projects outlined for next quarter
Reeling out projects outlined for the next quarter, the Governor said that plans have been concluded to transform the Yaba Bus Park with the provision of modern bus shelters replica of the ones erected at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
Ambode also assured that the road rehabilitation projects ongoing at Adetola Street and Brown Road in Aguda, Surulere as well as Olajuwon and Biney Streets in Yaba would be completed before the end of the present quarter.