Lagos Year 2012 Budget Recorded 65 Percent Performance In First Quarter – Fashola
…Says lagosians don't deserve to be in a standstill for five hours
Apr 13, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) Friday stated that the Year 2012 Budget in the state recorded a first quarter performance of 65 percent in spite of the many challenges of a nationwide strike.
The Governor who spoke in an interview with State House Correspondents at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac during a break session at the Lagos State Executive Council and Body of Permanent Secretaries 3day Retreat with the theme: "Sustainability of Improved Service: The journey So Far" said when measured against the same period last year which was 52 percent, there is a noticeable increase in performance.
He attributed the performance to the dedicated work that all members of the team at various levels from the lowest rung of the public service to the highest rung have put in to ensure that the budget is vigorously implemented.
Governor Fashola expressed the hope that the State will be able to improve on this performance in the second quarter, stating that the work of the administration is clearly cut out if the other sectors of the national economy pulls their weight.
He asserted that the impact of the performance can be seen in various sectors across the State in terms of increasing attention to drainage work in preparation for the rains from as far as Lekki to Agege and Ipaja.
"You will see it in road works also in places like Ayobo, Shasha, Ipaja, the completion of the Toll Plaza II in Lekki, roads in Surulere, Ogunlana Drive, Akerele and so forth. You will also see it in massive rehabilitation of classrooms. You will see it in completed works that we have handed over during the first quarter. The Lagos Record and Archives Bureau LASRAB, the Command Centre and the Office of the Public Defender and many others"
He informed that the administration has also awarded within the first quarter several projects that include not less than 157 roads, several housing projects that are kick starting very shortly and classrooms rehabilitation and so many others.
The Governor stated that in the next quarter, he expects hopefully to see subject to funding an increased and improved performance while Lagosians must also prepare because the mobilization of contractors to site at all the various projects will bring all sorts of impacts.
"It will bring prosperity to people who will execute the contracts. It will bring discomfort to some of the communities where roads and all these things have to be. And we are preparing them for massive mobilization of contractors to site. We will also see some traffic impact here and there".
Governor Fashola added that the retreat also focused on the economic sectors of the economy under the classification of government functions that involved a look at the impact of the budget in the area of Transportation, Agriculture, Works and Infrastructure and Commerce and Industry.
He explained that the impacts are quite commendable because the impact of the investment in road transportation, ferry and all of that through the Ministry of Works shows clearly an increasing travel time across the State.
"It shows that the investment we have made in street lighting, maintenance and rehabilitation is paying dividends, improving security at night. The investment we have made through the Ministry of Transportation in lane marking, improves traffic lighting across the State is reducing fatalities and accidents. Across the State, drivers are improving their driving habits".
"We also see that investment in Agriculture has yielded an increased crop production in the state, it has increased fish farming activities with many more livestock families being registered and licensed with the State Cooperatives. We see many more people responding to our Agriculture initiatives and we are seeing many more", the Governor added.
Governor Fashola stated that all considered, the state is heading in the right direction because progress in being seen, stating however that the government is never satisfied but thinks a lot more can be done if the environment improves at the national level.
The Governor who also spoke on the discomfort experienced by many Lagosians on Thursday an account of a visit to Lagos by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan says the situation raises issues about the conduct of some people in position of authority.
In his words: "It raises issues about our conduct particularly as this is not an elected person. I think all of us, the security agencies must also recognize how we pander to high office and VIP movements at the risk and at the expense of citizens and tax payers whose monies were used to fund all the vehicles, all the apparatus that we use to block the road".
"I think it is an issue that calls for greater sensitivity. Yes, I understand the need to protect VIPs, I also subscribe and support it entirely but it must be done in a way that it does not impoverish or does not needlessly get to the level where we shut down roads because Very Important Personalities want to pass".
The Governor who said he goes through the state without shutting it down stated that if the State had been informed, traffic would have been managed since there is communication, because the people would have gladly yielded the way to the VIPs to go and do their businesses.
"But i don't think that they deserve to be kept on the road in a standstill for five hours. It was totally unfair, Governor Fashola emphasized.
Also speaking with newsmen, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze said despite all the disruptions which the nation experienced and which affected the state at the beginning of the year, the 65percent performance of the first quarter is not a bad one.
"However that means our work is cut out for us in the second quarter and the rest of the year because we will definitely catch up. If you also consider that last year by first quarter, it was 52 percent, but we closed with an overall of 77percent despite the elections and transitions in between. Clearly, there is no cause for alarm. We will catch up".
On which sectors, government will focus on to get higher percentage; the Commissioner said the administration will continue to drive its infrastructure programmes which is the crux of the matter.