By Monsuru Olowoopejo
FOLLOWING the controversy that had trailed presentation of Lagos State 2019 proposed budget, the State Government, yesterday, said the activities at the State House of Assembly was responsible for the delay in presentation of 2019 Appropriation Bill.
The state Government also disclosed that the 2019 appropriation bill forwarded to the House was N852.317billion, a size lesser than N1.04 trillion approved for 2018 by N193.683 billion.
This came barely two days after Vanguard had published that the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, allegedly ended the tradition that had trailed budget presentation in the state.
In a statement, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Olusegun Banjo, said that the Governor had perfected every steps to sustain the tradition on budget presentation but his efforts were rejected by the lawmakers who claimed they could not form a quorum for the activities to hold.
According to him, the 2019 Budget was already before the State House of Assembly and was intended to be read before the house on December 24, 2018.
Banjo explained that the Governor had sent verbal information to present the budget on eve of Christmas after the State Executive Council approval on December 19, 2018, but the ceremony was postponed as the House was on recess and thereby could not form a quorum.
The commissioner noted that to meet the traditional presentation, a formal letter was sent to the House on Friday, December 28, 2018, forwarding the contents of the budget.
“It is expected that when the House reconvenes, the Speaker would inform members of the content of the Budget proposal sent by the Governor and take necessary action.”
The Commissioner also disclosed that the size of the 2019 budget proposal forwarded by the Governor to the House was N852.317billion.
Recall that Ambode signed the 2018 Appropriation Bill of the state into law with a total budget size of N1.04tn.