*Plans immediate disbursement of Employment Trust fund
*To employ 5000 personnel to join neighbourhood watchers
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday revealed that N97.3billion was generated as revenue in the last quarter by the state, though N110.2billion was expended, of which N55 billion was on capital projects.
Speaking at the 2016 third quarter town-hall meeting held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Ambode also revealed that the budget performance for January to September is 69 per cent as against 65 per cent for the same period in 2015.
“A total of N166.8 billion has been spent on Capital Projects this year more than double the N53.6 billion spent for the same period last year. We believe strongly that continuous increase in the capital expenditure spending is a necessity at this particular period.”
To stimulate the economy of the state, the Governor said that in this quarter, the state would concentrate more resources on capital projects and put money in the hands of our local contractors.
“Immediate payments will be made to contractors handling health sector and education sector projects within the next two weeks.”
Ambode also disclosed that efforts at stimulating and reflating the economy would be consolidated with the roll out of all empowerment programmes immediately to assist youth, artisans, people with disabilities and the needy.
“The funding for the N500 million Lagos State Persons Living with Disability Fund has been provided and beneficiaries will start getting support from this quarter.
“There is a lot of work to be done but our government is undaunted. We are, more than ever before, committed to the continuous development of the State and the prosperity of our people. Our guiding principle is to always channel our resources to areas and sectors that will positively affect the general wellbeing of all Lagosians.
“Let me thank you all for your perseverance, unflinching support and cooperation with our administration despite the harsh economic situation that confronts us and the entire country. We are the hope of today and the prosperity of tomorrow.”
Ambode also revealed that to put into effect the Neighbourhood Law signed into law by the state recently, 5000 personnel would be recruited in addition to the workforce of neighbourhood watchers.
During the question and answer period, the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Akiolu, lamenting the rejection of the bill seeking special status for Lagos by the Senate, noted at that though enough lobbying was not done. He nonetheless said that Lagos enjoying special status is a matter of time, as it would surely come.
He said: “The suspension of the bill sponsored by our amiable daughter and wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu is unfortunate but it is better and advisable to let these people know that this is not a matter of quarrel but a question of time. It will definitely happen.”
The monarch, who recalled the history of the agitation for special status for Lagos, urged the promoters of the bill to go back to the drawing board and do their homework well before representing it for consideration and passage. The need for special status for Lagos State was re-echoed by Alhaji Tajudeen Odunsi, who demanded that the special status should not rob the state of its independence.
The Governor, who also spoke on the issue, commended Senator Tinubu for her courage to push for the bill, while also lauding the Senate President, Bukola Saraki for his magnanimity in allowing the bill to be presented on the floor of the Senate.
He however expressed optimism that the bill would be reactivated and represented again, saying that the success of the bill was in the overriding interest of Nigerians.
There were several requests for intervention to repair dilapidated roads and the governor promised to look into them including revealing that the process for the award of the construction of the next phase of 114 roads would commenced in a couple of weeks.
Source : Guardian.ngGuardian.ng