Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of my colleagues and our highly dedicated staff, it gives me a great pleasure to heartily welcome you all to this occasion of the formal presentation of the Year 2020 budget by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Executive Governor of Lagos State.
2. Before anything at all, we give praise and adoration to the Almighty Allah, the giver and taker of life, the One who reverses the irreversible; for giving us the opportunity to witness this significant budget presentation.
3. Ladies and gentlemen, we have all listened with rapt attention to how the wealth of our state will be utilized for our common good in Y2020 with the presentation of the budget size: N1,168,561,534,191 themed: BUDGET OF REAWAKENING TO A GREATER LAGOS. The responsibility is now on the members of this Honourable House to do the needful; and I assure you that we will meticulously perform our constitutional duty.
4. Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, I commend you for being astute, courageous, insightful, forthright, thorough, and determined. You have really displayed, during your few months in office, that you are capable to maintain a track record of resourceful consistency in the state.
5. Mr. Governor, your actions so far have shown the zeal, desire and passion in you to get things done, to fix what has been left undone and to move the state forward. Hence, we believe that the content of the budget will serve this purpose in making life worthy of living for our people in Lagos State.
6. As is evident, the Y2020 Appropriation Bill is significant in that it is the first budget proposal to be presented by Mr Governor. This will give him the opportunity to encapsulate his vision and mission for us all as the budget will lay the foundation for this. For this singular reason, we are all hopeful and expectant that this coming year will witness more of democracy dividends for betterment of Lagos and Lagosians.
7. However, permit me to remind this gathering that the matter of budget presentation is essential. Beyond its constitutional stipulation, it requires the backing of law to make it implementable and executable; without which it becomes an offence punishable under the law.
8. Ladies and gentlemen, let me remind this gathering that of recent, Lagos State budget has become a topical issue vis-à-vis last administration where provision of the budget law was being viciously violated. It is worthy of note that the Nigeria 1999 Constitution recognizes the separation of power and empowers the State House of Assembly to dictate how the state fund is being expended and the manner of its presentation.
9. Still on this, regarding the last administration, I have heard from different quarters about people asking why this House did not properly query the actions of the immediate former governor while in office. Alas, there is nothing of such.
10. Let me take you down the memory lane that it was in this House that Vision Scape, a policy of the last administration, was openly condemned and tagged a ghost. Remember too that this House questioned the provision of the budget for this idea. But some people, like one Olu Fajana with his faceless group calling themselves the Legislative Probity and Accountability (LPA) led a protest to this House. They used the medium to blackmail the House instead of reasoning with us to join hands in moving the state forward, by avoiding the treasury of the state from being touched unconstitutionally. With this, it is common knowledge that the last administration employed blackmailing and harassment to witch-hunt and deprive the House from performing its duties appropriately.
11. However, let me state here without any reservation or equivocation that this House will never be deterred from doing its work, and we are ready to collaborate and support this administration and to ensure that our electoral promises are achieved and delivered promptly.
12. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is worthy of note that Lagos State as it is today needs radical, aggressive and a holistic revamping. It requires an urgent economic and infrastructural turn around.
13. Mr Governor must be bold to lay a solid foundation to be built on by successive administrations. It is high time to come up with innovative ideas and strategies to bring about change to the state with the aim of taking it to the next level. It is common knowledge that doing things same way will yield same results. But when we desire new things, a marvelous and egalitarian society, we have to look inward and change the approach.
14. To indeed move Lagos forward, there is the need to focus more attention on rail to connect the entire Lagos. A rail from Ogun State boundary down to Lekki Epe side, a rail from Ikorodu to also same area should be urgently considered. And the ones under construction must be speedily completed. No amount of road patching, rehabilitations and constructions will really solve our transportation problem judging by the influx of people into Lagos on daily basis. With money or not, we have to start doing something.
15. At the same time, more still need to be done about water transportation. Ilo rivers running from Sango links Alimosho, Ojo, Amuwo back to CMS. Also, Odo Iya Alaro runs up to Ikorodu. This might sound like a tall order. But we should start from somewhere. Dubai did not start in a day. They laid the foundation and continue building on it. Now, it is an envy of all.
16. Likewise, our education and health sectors need adequate attention. Year in, year out, provisions are being made for these sectors. But they have not been well sustained. It is our hope that this time, it will take a different and positive dimension.
17. Our Local Government Chairmen must also be on their toes and collaborate with the state government. Their efforts will definitely impact positively on the achievements of the state government.
18. Nevertheless, our dear Governor, I charge you to be visionary and have a huge dream of paradise for our people. I charge you to employ wisdom of Solomon and courage of Moses that will change the tone and system of government in Lagos State. I emphasise, it is time we shifted the paradigm. You can rest assured of the strong and constant support of the House. We are ever ready to walk the journey with you. But there must be total disclosure.
19. My colleagues, may I also use this medium calling you to discharge your responsibilities without expectation for compensation. Also, you should continue to relate with your constituents regularly.
20. Let me particularly thank our party leadership starting from our Governor Emeritus, Asiwaju of Nigeria, His Excellency, ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU, a discerning, financially ingenious, reliable and able leader who has kept our state going in the right direction. His brilliance also has eventually made it possible for us to now continuously have a Federal Government that shares same progressive mind with us in this side of the country.
21. In this same vein, I congratulate members of the Governor Advisory Council (GAC), all party leaders and most especially our State Party Chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun for their efforts towards the landslide victory recorded by our party in the state during the last general elections.
22. Ladies and Gentlemen, we as your representatives in this Assembly will not relent in our agitation for quality governance and qualitative representation. As for me, I will never sit on the fence when the battle is to ensure that good governance works in the genuine interest of the people.
23. Let me therefore at this juncture assure Mr. Governor and all our people that my colleagues and I shall promptly and diligently commence work on the Y2020 budget just presented to this Honourable House.
24. We will ensure that Lagos State occupies the enviable position that has always been reserved for us. We will work diligently for the early passage of the budget so that developmental work can start in earnest in the state.
In other words, our intention is to make this budget a special New Year gift to the people of this great state.
I wish you all merry Christmas and happy new Year in advance.
I thank you all for your listening pleasure.
Igbega Ipinle Eko, Ajumose gbogbo wa ni.
Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly