The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Thursday, December 31, 2015, passed into law the N662.588bn Year 2016 Appropriation Bill presented by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on December 17, 2015.
The Appropriation Bill, tagged “The Peoples Budget,” is the highest in the history of the State and it was an improvement on the N489.69bn appropriated for year 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The House unanimously approved the budget after members deliberated on the report of House Committee on Budget which scrutinized the Bill as proposed by the Governor.
The report was presented by Chairman of the House Committee on Budget, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, on behalf of members of the Committee.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, in response, commended members of the Committee for expeditiously working on the Budget to ensure its passage before the new fiscal year.
Obasa recalled that members of the Committee worked even on holidays, adding that they had indeed shown their love for the people of the State.
Governor Ambode had, while presenting the Budget, put the Recurrent Expenditure at N278,909bn while Capital Expenditure stood at N383,678bn, explaining that the Capital to Recurrent ratio is 58:42 as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015.
Governor Ambode also put the total revenue estimate for 2016 fiscal year at N542.873Billion, saying the balance of N119.714billion would be funded through deficit financing constituting 0.41 percent of the state GDP based on 2016 budget alone and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about 3 percent.
In a related development, the House also passed the N25bn Employment Trust Fund bill forwarded to the House by the Governor into law.
While considering the report of a joint committee set up by the House, the members scrutinized the findings and recommendations of the Committee with minor amendment.
The Speaker, in his remarks, praised Governor Ambode for the initiative to engage unemployed teeming youths roaming the streets in a veritable venture that would bring out their potentials, empower and even foster the economy of the State.
He said the economy of the State would further thrive through improved entrepreneurship, trading, commerce and improved economic activities which the Trust Fund aims to achieve.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, representing Agege II in his submission while presenting the report to members, said the essence of the bill when fully operational would serve as a panacea to tackling the unemployment scourge confronting the nation.
The Lawmaker representing Lagos Island II, Hon. Sola Giwa, said the bill also seeks to raise money from private and public contributions for financial support to residents of the State, including jobs and wealth creation thereby solving all problems of unemployment in the State and giving equal opportunities to all citizens.