Barely few days after it started deliberation on the 2011 fiscal plan, the Lagos State House of Assembly today passed the 2011 Appropriation Bill of N450.775bn into law.
The 2011 appropriation bill, which has two remarkable differences from the 2010 Budget, was passed into law at a plenary session after the Adhoc Committee on Appropriation submitted its report today.
First, it was passed speedily and without any legislative-executive rancour that marred the passage of the 2010 budget, which was finally passed in March.
Secondly, unlike the proposed 2010 Budget, which was reduced by N40bn, the proposed 2011 Budget of N445.180bn was marginally upped by N5.595bn.
An increment of N3.022bn in the subvention of Lagos State University was later requested by the Governor Fashola, while the remaining N2.573bn was distributed over the proposed votes of several MDAs.
The capital expenditure in the approved budget was voted at N252.593bn, N68.229bn was approved for personnel cost, N129.952 was approved for overhead cost while subventions got N24.475bn.
Works and Infrastructure, economic planning and budget, transportation, environment, education, and health got the highest capital expenditure vote. Respectively, they got N74.691bn, N36.513bn, N24.840bn, N17.196bn, N16.562bn, and N15.505bn.
While passing the appropriation bill, the lawmakers laid emphasis on strict adherence to the dictates of the budget as a major condition for the speedy passage of the budget.
The report of the economic planning and budget committee of the House observed a modest 76 percent performance was recorded in the 2010 Budget implementation, but the lawmakers said they desire 100 percent implementation of Budget.
The emphasis was made because the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation (adhoc), Hon. Kolawole Osunsanya said most MDAs “complained about the inability to access their fund at the State Treasury Office and that the ministry of economic planning and budget did not comply fully with the 2010 Appropriation Law passed by the House by failing to release the approved funds” for the MDAs.
Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said it is necessary that the approved funds for 2010 which are yet to be paid to respective government agencies should first be paid before the implementation of the 2011 Budget starts.
As indicated in the report, the committee also indicted the New Town Development Authority for failing to “provide necessary basic infrastructures at various government schemes allocated by the agency after collecting the development levies from allottees.”
The agency was consequently ordered to “as a matter of urgency,” provide the said facilities so that allottees can move in.
During the presentation of budget proposal last year, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) highlighted the following: completion of ongoing infrastructure projects, mitigation of global warming, teachers’ welfare enhancement and community based vocational education, expansion and construction of new water schemes, sustenance of the state’s free health care services, and maintenance of existing public utilities as critical targets of the 2011 appropriation law.