LAGOS ASSEMBLY ORDERS RETURN OF SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET PROPOSAL
Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered that the proposal for approval of the 2010 supplementary budget be returned to the executive arm of government for further clarification.This decision was made yesterday at the plenary session following the submission of the report of the ad-hoc committee on economic planning and budget led by Kolawole Oshunsanya.
In its report, the committee noted that the House had approved N390 billion for the 2010 budget proposal of which N54 billion was approved for loans. It wondered why the fund had not yet been used.
Speaker of the House, Ikuforiji Adeyemi in his remarks stated that the demand for an additional N26 billion as contained in the supplementary budget proposal was not feasible going by the fact that the said amount was to be sourced through loans.
His words: 'The House is not convinced on the need for the supplementary budget, and financing it will mean borrowing to the tune of N26 billion and it should not be encouraged. Not long ago, the House approved over N54 billion which will be sourced through loans and the executive arm of government has so far received over N172 billion worth of bonds from the capital market. If this N26 billion that the executive is asking for is approved, will it not further plunge the state into more debts?
Between 2008 till date, we have had about N36 billion in the sinking funds while we are over N100 billion indebted. The amount is far less than the huge debts the state is gradually incurring. At the rate the sinking fund is going, it will be very difficult for the state to pay back, and we will only be leaving huge debts for our generations to come.'
In his own contribution, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated that the executive did not clarify on what the proposed N26 billion was to be used for while the N54 billion which had been approved had not been used or accessed by the government.
'The reason for the demand of an additional N26 billion is very questionable. Why do they need this money and why has the money that was previously approved by the House not been used. In a few months time, 2010 will come to an end and we will be talking of 2011.
We cannot just accept to approve a budget when the last one that was approved cannot be accounted for. The executive should give clarification on what the money is intended for' he stated.
At the end of the plenary, the House declined approving the budget proposal and decided that it will be returned to the executive arm of government for further clarification on the need for the money.