2018 Budget: Lagos lawmakers harp on performance

By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos  –  Some Lagos State lawmakers on Friday said that the effect of the 2018 Budget on the common man was more important than its proposed size of N8.612 trillion.

The lawmakers, who spoke in interviews with NAN in Lagos, said that the timely presentation of the budget showed that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to enhancing living conditions.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented an appropriation bill of N8.612 trillion for 2018, saying that the budget will deliver on Nigeria’s economic recovery growth.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Mr Yinka Ogundimu, said that the Federal Government should put measures in place to ensure a successful implementation.

Ogundimu, representing Agege Constituency II, said that attention should be given to development of non-oil sectors to stabilise the nation’s economy.

“We have not been having problems with the budget size and allocations; the major problem is returning the budget in time to the executive by the National Assembly as well implementation of the budget.

“Before we should talk about 2018 Budget estimate, we should be able to look into the performance of the 2017 Budget. How far have we gone?

“What is the percentage of capital expenditure performance to the recurrent? We should look at how the budget has been able to affect the lives of Nigerians.

“We need to measure the per capital income; Has there been any improvement in the lives of the people from the beginning of the year?’’ the lawmaker asked.

Ogundimu urged the Federal Government to do more to develop other critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture.

He advocated establishment of a board to market the nation’s agricultural produce in order to get more local and international markets.

According to him, the government needs to regulate the prices of agricultural produce to favour farmers.

He called for timely passage of the budget bill.

Mr Abiodun Tobun, the Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, expressed the hope that the budget would enhance the completion of ongoing projects.

“Looking at the ratio of capital to recurrent, it shows that the Federal Government means well for the people.

“This Budget of Consolidation means that much of the ongoing projects will be completed in the New Year as the following year, 2019, is an election year.

“It will be wrong for the Federal Government to start new projects when ongoing projects have not been completed,’’ he told NAN.

According to him, the Federal Government’s economic recovery plan will enhance infrastructure, attract investors and create jobs.

Tobun urged Nigerians to be patient with the government.

Mr Nurudeen-Saka Solaja, representing Ikorodu II, said that the proposed budget was a signal of hope for the citizenry.

Solaja, the Chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology, also urged Nigerians to be patience with efforts to reposition the country. (NAN)

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