The Speaker of the Lagos State Assembly, Chief Mudashiru Obasa, has committed the 2022 Appropriation Bill of the State to a joint committee on Finance and Economic Planning and Budget after deliberations by members.
Recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last Wednesday, presented to the Assembly a budget size of ₦1,388,285,459,990.51 for the year 2022.
As the lawmakers read the bill for a second time, many of them commended the Governor for allocating 59 per cent of the proposed budget to capital expenditure, with some saying it would further bring the dividends of democracy to the residents of the State.
Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the allocation to capital expenditure meant that more hands would be engaged within the year as the government developed more infrastructure.
“If this budget is well funded and monitored properly, democratic dividends would be felt more,” he said.
In his contribution, Mr Temitope Adewale urged that the revenue generation net of the State should be widened with lesser emphasis on borrowing.
On his part, Mr Fatai Mojeed advised that while considering the budget, there should be a consideration for the microeconomic indices of the State like its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He commended the Governor for allocating 23 per cent of the budget to education but raised concerns over what he called an over-bloated personnel cost in the Ministry of Establishment.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Mr Rotimi Olowo, noted that some of the MDAs performed woefully in 2021, adding that there was a need for some of the revenue-generating institutions of the government to be rejigged.
He also suggested that the government create more vocational centres for the youth while advising against excessive borrowing.
Speaking on the budget, the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, suggested that the House should only approve what is feasible and that if the State needed more, it could make recourse to the Assembly.
Others who spoke included Mr Setonji David, who wanted the financial instruments of the budget to be spelt out correctly at the committee stages of defence, while Mr Oluyinka Ogundimu advocated for a realistic budget, and Mr Adedamola Kasunmu, and Mrs Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, urged the government to consider vulnerable women and children.
Meanwhile, at the sitting, the House passed the bills to amend the Lagos State pension reforms law and that which amends the public office holders (payment of pensions) law.