Lagos grows IGR to N503.7bn
By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos—GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, yesterday commended residents of the state for supporting his administration to deliver on key projects in various sectors and sections, revealing that the state generated a total of N503.7 billion revenue in 2017 despite the harsh economic climate in the country.
Governor Ambode who spoke at the first quarter Town Hall Meeting in 2018, the 10th in the series since his assumption of office, held at De Blue Roof, LTV Complex in Agidingbi, Ikeja said while the state was entering into the new year with confidence of being on a solid prosperity footing and interesting prospects for all Lagosians, it was indeed gratifying that the support of the people enabled government to achieve a lot and commenced the transformation of the landscape of the state.
He said: “As we celebrate entering a new year, we thank you all for your support and cooperation last year. It was your backing that enabled us to achieve the modest successes we recorded last year and commence the transformation of the landscape of our State. In the last year, we delivered on our promises to Lagosians despite the harsh economic climate.
“Despite the harsh economy, our state budget performed at 82 percent. Total revenue generated was N503.7 billion representing a performance of 78 percent; Total Recurrent Expenditure was N281.33 billion representing a performance of 92 percent, while Total Capital Expenditure was N387.60 billion or 76 percent performance.”
The governor listed some of the key projects delivered last year to include the new Tafawa Balewa Square Bus Terminal, new Ojota pedestrian bridge, Aboru – Abesan link bridge and adjoining inner roads, Ojodu Berger Slip Road and Pedestrian Bridge, Jubilee Bridges in Ajah and Abule Egba, Freedom and Admiralty Road in Lekki, new Lands Registry, newly upgraded Jubilee Chalet in Epe, among others.
In addition, Ambode said as at December 2017, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund had disbursed a total of N4.5 billion to 5,500 beneficiaries who also received training on financial literacy and business management, while keys were presented to beneficiaries of the first set of allottees of Lagos State Rent-To-Own Housing Scheme, and creation of Neighbourhood Safety Corps and beautification of the state with monuments, parks and gardens.
Giving a report of activities of his administration in the last quarter in line with tradition of the meeting, Ambode said between the period under review, the state government commissioned the first State-owned DNA Forensic Centre in Nigeria and West Africa, and in the coming weeks would sign a contract to upgrade the facility to offer toxicology services, which will make it the first in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“In fulfillment of our promise to our students in tertiary institutions across the state, this administration disbursed a total sum of N635.5 million to 8,419 students across the state. Our government acquired healthcare equipment worth N2.5 billion. The equipment will strengthen the capacity of our health facilities to render improved health services and also facilitate smooth take off of the Lagos State Health Scheme, which is designed to enable residents enjoy unfettered access to qualitative healthcare,” he said.
“Since the last Town Hall meeting, we have continued the renovation and upgrade of our Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and our people at the grassroots have started to witness a revitalized healthcare delivery. In order to meet the needs of the youth in the area of technical and vocational development, we have approved the establishment of three other Technical Colleges bringing the number of Technical colleges in the State to Eight,” he said.
While reeling out the outlook for the year, Governor Ambode assured that he would sustain the momentum of development and vigorously pursue all on-going projects, with special focus on health and education.
Already, in the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N1.046 trillion budget size awaiting approval of the House of Assembly, the State Government has earmarked N92.676billion for health representing 8.86 per cent and N126.302billion for education representing 12.07 per cent of the budget.
He assured that the State Government in the coming weeks would pay compensation to all those whose structures gave way for construction of the 1.4 kilometre Pen Cinema Flyover/Bridge, as well as those in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Owutu and other areas where construction activities are ongoing.
The Governor, who also entertained questions from residents, ordered the Public Works Corporation to immediately move in to fix bad roads in Computer Village, Abesan Estate, Oriade, Abule Egba, among others, while the office of the Special Adviser on Primary Health Care was directed to make the PHC in Resettlement Area of Eti-Osa functional in two weeks.
Responding to a question from a resident on efforts made to forestall any invasion by herdsmen, Governor Ambode allayed fears, saying that the state government had taken precautionary measures to ensure safety of lives and properties of residents.
“We have already prayed at the beginning of this year, herdsmen would not be our portion, but after prayer, we will work. So, all the issues that you have raised, I am not taking them for granted, I will look at them and also make sure that all our security agencies are on alert and up to date to mitigate any action or intrusion that may arise from that particular quarters,” he said.
Ambode drops three commissioners, appoints five new ones
Also In what lagos—In what seems to be a new year shocker, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday dropped three commissioners and named five new cabinet members- designate in a cabinet reshuffle.
In a statement, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the three affected cabinet members are; Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola, Mr. Femi Odubiyi and Mr. Anifowoshe Abiola.Anifowoshe, was the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development before he was relieved of his appointment. Odubiyi was the Commissioner, Science and Technology, while Akinsola, a former Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism and later moved to Housing few weeks ago, was finally sacked by the governor.
According to informed sources, the cabinet members sacked had been having issues with the governor on various subject matters.Meanwhile, the newly appointed cabinet members include: Mr. Hakeem Fahm, Ministry of Science and Technology; Mr. Ladi Lawanson, Ministry of Transportation, Mr Segun Banjo, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman, Communities and Communications
.According to Bello, major deployments effected include: Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, from Commerce and Industry to Physical Planning and Urban Development; Mr. Steve Ayorinde from Ministry of Information and Strategy to Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan from Communities and Communication to Ministry of Information and Strategy; Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi Etti from Ministry of Wealth Creation to Ministry of the Environment; Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf from Ministry of Youth and Social Development to Ministry of Wealth Creation; Mr. Agboola Dabiri from Central Business District to Ministry of Youth and Social Development.Others are Dr. Samuel Adejare from Ministry of the Environment to Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development; and others.