By Olawale Abdul-fatah
After two months and three weeks of deliberations, Lagos State House of Assembly has approved the 2019 year, adding N21 billion to the proposed size presented by the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The addition of N21 billion by the lawmakers increased the budget size for 2019 from N852.316 billion to N873, 532, billion for the state.
A breakdown of the budget size approved by the House showed that N479, 691, 073, 705 was allocated as capital expenditure while N393, 841, 387, 020 was for recurrent expenditure.
At the plenary on Monday, the lawmakers led by the Speaker, Mudasiru Obasa, approved the budget, with a charge on the executive to implement the budget effectively.
The Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, while commending the committee for its thorough report especially the provision that office of the Accountant-General should be strengthened for better performance,
Abiru further suggested that some monies that the committee recommended to be dropped which are meant for continuation of some infrastructural projects should instead be paid into a specialised account.
The former Appropriation committee chairman, Rotimi Olowo, who corroborated Abiru on the specialized account suggestion and subsequently moved the motion for the adoption of the report as amended as a resolution of the House, he was seconded by Adefunmilayo Tejuoso.
Apparently no clear with his colleagues position, the speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, put it to vote which the lawmakers chose adoption of the report.
Obasa subsequently put the sectorial allocation to vote before the third reading was taken and budget passed.
The speaker, however, directed the Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni, to send a clean copy of the approved Appropriation law to the governor for his assent.
It was a tortuous journey for the 2019 budget which resulted to alot of controversies leading to some insinuations, accusations and counter accusations in several quarters resulting in its passage being delayed till April which is unprecedented in the passage of budget in Lagos state.