Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday signed into law, the state's 2014 budget of N489.69 billion, whose focus is aimed at ensuring the completion of ongoing projects, while consolidating on previous achievements. The governor endorsed the budget at the State House, Ikeja less than one week after the state House of Assembly passed it. Fashola, who was in company with the Deputy Speaker of the assembly, Mr. Kolawole Taiwo and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, assured the people that his administration would work harder to improve on its previous performance.
According to him, with the signing of the budget, "we are giving this budget the required push to ensure optimum implementation. This signing is a signal that we must get ready to commence full work." "I want to thank the Lagos State House of Assembly for the work that they have done during the holiday period by postponing their December recess in order to bring us this far. I must commend their work and I must on behalf of the people of Lagos, convey their appreciation to you," he added. As passed by the assembly, the budget is 3.43 per cent lower than the last year's budget of N499.105 billion. The breakdown of the budget shows that the state will spend N51.378 billion on education; N22.07billion on health; N100.12billion on works and infrastructure while the environment will gulp N25.67 billion.
Others allocations are N23.21billion for agriculture and cooperative; transportation N29.13 billion; information and strategy N28.73billion; judiciary N31.28 billion; commerce and industry N7.98billion; women affairs, poverty alleviation N1.36 billion and the legislature N11.8 billion. Also speaking at the occasion, Akabueze said the budget would assist the state government to fast-track the infrastructural development in the state.
According to hi, the allocation of the largest percentage of the budget "to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was in line with the state government's commitment to address the state's infrastructural deficit." He added that giving the largest share of the budget "to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure has always been the constant feature of the state budget. It is the reflection of the government's commitment to infrastructural development. And as we work down the deficit, we will begin to see expenditure shift more to social infrastructure." "By then, we can begin to ramp up the budgetary allocation to social sectors like education, health and environment. But for now, we have a backlog of infrastructural deficit that must be worked down," he added.