By NBF News
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Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has sent a budget augmentation proposal of N23.6 billion to the state House of Assembly for approval.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House, Ikuforji Adeyemi, Fashola stated that after the mid-year review of the 2011 budget, the State Executive Council decided on the need to increase the budget based on the low performance it recorded.

The letter reads in part: 'The 2011 budget mid-year review was held and it revealed the need to re-order the budget for optimum performance. In specific terms, the overall budget at mid-year performed at a mere 57.3 per cent. The capital budget recorded an actual 33.5 per cent while the recurrent was 87.6 per cent.

The personnel cost was ahead of target of 111.3 per cent due to the new salary regime that was implemented earlier in the year. 'Further observation showed that some of the state-wide votes are almost exhausted, while some areas of the budget have not witnessed much in terms of performance. In addition, there have been some developments since the budget was approved, including disruption caused by the elections, the implementation of the new salary scheme and extensive flooding in the state which has necessitated this proposed adjustment to the budget.'

Reacting to the proposal, Ikuforiji stated that the House was not going to be hasty in approving the governor's request but would thoroughly look into it. His words: 'In the past, we have always supported the governor in his effort in moving the country forward and we are not going to stop doing so. But we are not going to rush into making important decisions like this without properly looking into the cause of the average performance of the budget. Whatever we do will directly affect our constituents whom we represent and we will not hesitate to make the right decisions at every opportunity we have.'

On January 31 2011, Fashola had assented to the 2011 budget proposal approved by the House of Assembly. The amount which was approved by the House was N450.778 billion as against the N445.180 billion that was originally proposed in the budget.

In the 2011 budget, the capital expenditure was put at N252.593 billion while the recurrent expenditure was N198.182 billion. The augmentation proposal seeks an additional N7 billion for recurrent expenditure and N16 billion for capital expenditure, bringing the total to N23.6 billion which represents 5.2 per cent of the approved budget for the year.