By Innocent Anaba – Lagos
Former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Ade Dosunmu, yesterday, carpeted both the Lagos State House of Assembly and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the 2022 budget passed into law recently.
In a statement in Lagos, Dosunmu lampooned both the executive and the state Assembly for what he called the “height of financial recklessness.”
He said: “As a responsible citizen and patriotic stakeholder in our dear state, I felt compelled to bring to the attention of all Lagosians, the budgetary disparity, hugely flawed process and impending implication of the recently passed Lagos State 2022 financial budget, highlighting the state government’s display of gross irresponsibility in its handling.
“On November 24, 2021, the governor presented a proposal of N1.38 trillion to the state House of Assembly as the 2022 Lagos State financial budget.
“This was welcomed by discerning Lagosians with cautious optimism. It is logically expected that the governance of a state, particularly Lagos State with verse skilled professionals, would have employed the whole gamut of well experienced civil service workforce across various agencies and ministries with the assistance of experts within the Budget and Economic Planning Ministry of the state to collate and review this budget before its presentation to the state House of Assembly for approval with non or minimal modification required.
“However, it is exceedingly shocking that the Lagos State House of Assembly passed a different budget criminally padded to the tune of N1,758,196,448,44 trillion, an addition of almost N400 billion over the originally proposed figure of N1.38 trillion.
“Where, why and how did the Lagos State House of Assembly conjure an addition over N350 billion over the meticulously prepared and ratified document put together by the Lagos State bureaucracy?
“What did the governor omit in his original budget proposal to warrant such mind- bugling increment from the supposed hallowed chambers of the state House of Assembly?
“Why did Governor Sanwo-Olu not ask any question as President Muhammdu Buhari did is querying the N37 billion padding the national budget by the National Assembly? What then can we say of almost N400 billion padding of a state budget?
“Could this be connivance or collusion between the state executive and the legislative arm of the state to siphon a substantial portion of Lagos State budget?
“Could the defiant attempt to raise capital expenditure from N823.35 billion to N1.166.2 trillion be laying the foundation for a white elephant project, as 2023 elections draw closer?
“Could this apparent bastardization of the budget be lending credence to the genuine fears across the state that there is a grand plot from the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC, to fund the Presidential campaign of its godfather with state funds?”.