After the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-resolution of the impeachment threat hanging over his head, embattled
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Tuesday, presented the controversial 2019 budget of N852.317 billion to the State House of Assembly for approval.
On account of the Budget presentation delay and other alleged financial misdeeds, Lagos lawmakers had threatened to begin impeachment proceedings against him
But on Tuesday, the Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, dared Ambode and his supporters to prove that legislators get N800 million monthly since 2015 for running costs. Obasa, however did not tell the world lawmakers get.
It comes as a group styling itself as Ambode Support Group released what it said were the “sins” of the governor that led to his being denied a second term, and the planned, but jettisoned impeachment. They include that:
*he constructed 22 roads in Alimosho and refused to award any of the contracts to a former Governor of Osun State and his cohorts;
*he insisted that contracts that had been awarded to party leaders under a predecessor must be executed before they can be awarded new contracts under my regime;
*he wanted to phase out Danfos (small commercial buses) and Area boys from the streets of Lagos and introduce smarter means of transportation without Area boys and Agberos;
*he refused to pad the budget with 10% for House of Assembly members;
*he refused to grant the concession of 4th mainland bridge to a construction company associated to a former Governor;
*he refused to increase the amount of money being paid from the state revenue consultants from 10% to 20%;
*he developed Epe which was never in the master plan of his opponents;
*he refused to support the senatorial ambitions of a former Osun Governor and another politician because they are not Lagosians;
*he I refused to use Lagos state funds to finance Osun elections; and
*he opposed the succession plan of an APC chief that would have seen the chief’s son becoming the next Governor of Lagos state after him..
But House Speaker, Obasa, berated the executive arm of governmentof the sealed lips it kept as information flew in the air over what the legislators were spending monthly.
“The fact of the matter is that the issue is between one arm of government and another. What was at stake then was nothing but the matter of appropriation,” said Mr Obasa (APC, Agege).
“Unfortunately, no one from the Executive has risen to refute the baseless allegations. Since no one has come up to address this, it is incumbent on us to come forward and debunk the allegations.
“As such, I use this medium to challenge the governor, the finance commissioner and the accountant general of the state to prove that we have been collecting N800 million per month since the onset of this administration.
“Thank God the governor is before us here today; so also, is the finance commissioner sitting in this hallowed chamber. I likewise challenge the ‘faceless group’ to prove that this Assembly has been collecting N800 million per month as alleged.”
On members expenditureprofile, the Speaker added: “It must be known that the monthly running cost of the Lagos State House of Assembly covers the entire expenditure of the House comprising the 40 elected legislators and the administration of over 700 staff.
“It includes sundry items such as travels, training (both local and overseas) office running and maintenance, vehicles, entertainment, publicity, security, protocols, logistics and administrative costs among others.”
In his budget presentation, Ambode put the proposed Recurrent Expenditure at ₦389.560 billion and Capital Expenditure at ₦462.757 billion, to be partly financed with loans of N77.086 billion.
Projected total revenue is over ₦775 billion. Interanally generated revenue account forover ₦606 billion, while federal transfers is put at ₦168.940.
Economic Affairs still dominated the sectoral allocation in the proposed budget figures.
He explained why: “This is due to our continued focus on the completion of major on-going projects such as: Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road; Agege Pen Cinema Flyover; Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, Oshodi Interchange Terminal; completion of JK Randle Complex, Onikan Stadium; Imota Rice Mill; Renovation/Furnishing of Lagos Revenue House, among others in order to meet their specified deliverable outcomes without any bias or prejudice to others.
“We are confident that the revenues of the State will improve this year by consolidating on the already established public financial management and technology-driven revenue reforms; through data integration and use of multi-payment channels.
“The Year 2019 Budget has been carefully planned to accommodate all and sundry; women, youth and physically challenged, young and old. We will continue to spread development to all part of our state even as we embark on effective transition knowing fully well that the implementation, failure or success of the Budget depend on all of us,” he said