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Ambode signs budget, promises to make Lagos work

By on January 6, 2016

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday said the 2016 budget was the article of faith of his administration with Lagosians and was in line with delivering on the promises he made to the people.

The governor, who spoke during a ceremony at the Lagos House, Ikeja, to mark the signing of the N662.588bn 2016 Appropriation Bill into law, promised that the budget would be faithfully implemented to make Lagos work for all, irrespective of age, gender, tribe or status.

He said, “The 2016 budget of N662.588bn will enable our government to focus on security, gridlock resolution, including physical and social infrastructural developments, which have thrown up new challenges.”

The governor commended the House of Assembly for ensuring quick passage of the bill which he presented to the House on December 17, saying it was no mean feat.

He noted that the falling crude oil prices had sprung up economic challenges and affected federal allocations, adding that the state’s budget would be driven by Internally Generated Revenue.

Giving a breakdown of the budget, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, said it would promote massive investments in security, traffic management, in addition to enhancing job creation.

He said the 2016 budget was 26 per cent higher than the budgets of 2014 and 2015 respectively, with estimated total revenue of N542.873bn with the balance of N119.714bn expected to be funded through a combination of internal and external loans, including the World Bank DPO 3 loan which could not be accessed in 2015.

He said the Lagos Internal Revenue Service was expected to generate N300bn or 78 per cent of the total IGR.

He added that while the state government would not introduce new taxes, efforts would be made towards bringing more citizens into the tax net, especially the informal sector, as well as through the adoption of an automated process to block leakages.

Ashade said the government had concluded plans to install 10,000 Close Circuit Television across the state.

The commissioner added that the government would also activate the 1,000 existing CCTV in the state.

He said, “We will be expanding our ICT infrastructure statewide. Consequently, a budget of N9.6bn has been approved for this purpose in 2016. This will include Smart City project targeted at deploying technology to enhance security in the state. It will also aid our revenue generating efforts.

“We will be increasing coverage of CCTV installations in the state. Our goal is to have over 10,000 active cameras. The existing 1,000 CCTV cameras will be reactivated and these will be increased by additional 3,000 cameras after the completion of the first phase of this project.”

He added that attention would be given to improving disaster management, purchase of firefighting equipment, occupational, public safety and construction of new fire stations and relief camps across the state.

Ashade said the Geographic Information Systems and business solutions would be given special attention in the year 2016.