As Ambode expected to appear before probe panel Wednesday over allegations of corrupt practices
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State House of Assembly, Tuesday, approved the re-ordering of N93,742,530 billion from the 2019 budget size.
The approval was a sequel to an earlier request of the state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the need to reorder the 2019 budget size of N873.532 billion, giving shortfall in revenue as the basis for d reordering.
In a letter read on the floor of the House, Sanwo-Olu lamented lack of new revenue sources for the remaining months of the year.
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He noted in the letter that budgetary provisions of both recurrent and capital budget of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, are not likely to be utilised before the end of the year and the sum of N34.050 billion could be re-ordered.
According to the breakdown, the reordering showed the recurrent as N24 billion while the capital is N10.050 billion.
Sanwo-Olu, in the letter, noted that the 2019 budget had been partially implemented by the last administration before the tenure came to an end on 29th May 2019.
The governor stressed that the present administration has been confronted with the need to keep its electoral promises to the citizens and resolved to take advantage of clement weather condition in the latter part of the year to complete various projects.
The State shall be raising a total of N250 billion broken down into a fixed rate bond of N100 billion from the capital market and an internal loan of N150 billion,” the letter read in part.
Upon receipt of the letter, the speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, committed the governor’s request to the joint committees on Finance and Budget and Economic planning for consideration and report to the House.
The chairman of the committee, while presenting the report, Gbolahan Yishawu stated that the 2019 budget size stood at 71 per cent as of August.
According to him, the recurrent performance was 80 per cent while the capital was 46 per cent.
In the motion which was moved by Tunde Braimoh, representing Kosofe Constituency I, the House approved the capital of N74, 824,648,162 and recurrent 18,918,059,368 to be reordered respectively.
Obasa said: “Since it is a unanimous decision. Let’s pass the re-order so that the Governor and his team will continue to do the good work for Lagos residents.”
In his contribution, Braimoh said: “We need to expeditiously consider the request of the Governor. The Committee had done justice, so let’s approve it so that the people of Lagos can feel our impact.”
Also, Jude Idimogu said: “I appreciate the Committee. I urge my colleagues to look at the report and make sure that it is passed.”
Ambode to appear before the house
Meanwhile, the immediate past Governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode is expected to appear before the House today (Wednesday) over alleged misappropriation of public fund and corruption cases.
Ambode, who had earlier, on October 15, 2019. ignored summon by the Assembly to appear before it, risked police arrest if he fails to honour the latest of the Assembly which is poised to issue a warrant of arrest on the ex-governor.
Recall that the Assembly had in a fresh summon through an advertisement published in the media last weekend, invited Ambode to appear before it on October 30th, 2019 (Wednesday).
The legislature, in the summons advertised, wanted Ambode to appear before the Committee of the House by 1 pm on Wednesday to say all he knows about some financial transactions during his tenure between May 29, 2015, and May 29, this year.
The publicised invite entitled: “Notice of summons: Mr Akinwunmi Ambode (the former Governor of Lagos State), is signed by the Clerk of the House, Mr A. A. Sanni.
It reminded Ambode of the importance of appearing before the Committee to shed light on five-alleged infractions raised by the Assembly.
It says: “The Lagos State House of Assembly, pursuant to Section 129 (1)(c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) hereby summons His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the former Governor of Lagos State (May, 2015 – May, 2019) to appear before the Committee of the House on Wednesday, 30th October, 2019 at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium, Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja by 1.00 p.m.”
Ambode is expected to clarify the following issues: “Unauthorised discounting of Promissory Note; purchase of 820 buses by your administration without due authorisation; Misappropriation of Special Expenditure Funds; Improper implementation of the Appropriation Law; and Non-adherence to the Financial Regulations of the State.”
The notice urged the former governor to provide the Committee with documents to justify that the transactions did not violate constitutional provisions.
It reads: “You are kindly requested to furnish the Committee with fifteen (15) copies each of all relevant document(s) relating to the issues raised through the Office of the Clerk of the House on or before Tuesday, 29th October, 2019.
“It is pertinent to state that your presence at the proposed meeting would give you the opportunity to shed light on issues that are material to the investigation.”