By Adekunle Williams
Ikeja, – A three-day retreat organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly for lawmakers and legislative workers on the N1.692 trillion 2023 budget presented by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu ended on Sunday.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu presented the budget entitled “Budget of Continuous Development’’ to the House on Oct. 27.
The House committed the budget to its committees on Economic Planning and Budget and Finance for scrutiny.
Addressing the close of the retreat, Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, admonished the various House committees and staff to ensure proper screening of the budget to close the gap between estimated figures and anticipated revenue.
The speaker also tasked the committees to be prepared so they could ask Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) relevant questions during budget defence and oversight functions.
“All over the world, the economy has been badly affected. Here in Lagos, we have our own challenges.
“Bridging the gap between the budget size and anticipated revenue is what the House should do. When the Executive arm determines the cost of projects, the committees should be able to check for the value of such projects.
“I am sure everyone recognised what we have been doing in Lagos State and I urge you to continue on the same trajectory so you can always be appreciated.
“The House supports participants to critically review the 2023 budget strategies and issues for engagement with MDAs during their budget defence.
“The retreat sought to enhance participants’ understanding of the Lagos State Fiscal Law/Public Financial Management Law and ancillary matters,’’ Obasa said.
Earlier, the Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, noted that the retreat was an opportunity for the lawmakers to familiarise themselves with the breakdown of the 2023 budget.
Onafeko explained that this was to ensure continuity in budgetary guidance from lawmakers to the people of Lagos State.
Also addressing the ceremony, Mr John Mutu, representative of the consultancy firm that facilitated the retreat said the organisation would help members to reflect deeply on the budget with a view to getting a direction.
He added that the retreat would enable lawmakers to effectively do a post-mortem of the 2022 budget and identify priorities of the state that could be accommodated in the 2023 budget.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the retreat was: “Consolidating the gains of the current administration in Lagos State in a transition year: Prospects, opportunities and recommendations.’’ (NAN)