Thirteen days after passage, Lagos budget yet to be signed
• Executive Claims It Has Not Left Assembly
• House Officers Silent Over Allegation
Thirteen days after this year’s Lagos Appropriation Bill was passed by the state House of Assembly, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is yet to sign the Bill into law.
The budget, before now, has been a source of controversy between the executive and the legislature, with many stakeholders thinking that the passage of the Bill on Monday, April 29, exactly, a month to handover date, would end the rift between the two arms of government.
After passing the budget, the Assembly instructed its clerk to transmit the document to the governor. But it seems that was just mere lip-service, if the information coming out of the assembly is anything to go.
It was learnt that the assembly was still working on the Bill even after its passage, while another source disclosed that the budget was being deliberately held back to ensure that Ambode does not sign it into law.
The speculation before the assembly passed the budget was that external powers in the political structure of the state do not want the governor to sign the Bill into law, as a way to “punish him for being heady and going against the power brokers in the state.”
A member of the executive council confirmed to The Guardian that the assembly had not released the Bill; hence the governor was yet to sign it into law, assuring that once the Bill was released, it would be signed into law by the governor without delay.
The council member wondered why the assembly kept the Bill 10 days after it claimed it has passed it into law.
When contacted, Commissioner for Information, Kehinde Bamigbetan, asked The Guardian reporter to call back in an hour, only for his phone to be switched off thereafter.
When The Guardian called the Majority Leader of the assembly, he said once the assembly passed the Bill, its transmission to the governor was administrative.
He, therefore, said he was not in the best position to speak on if it had been transmitted to the governor or not, including why, but the Clerk.
The Clerk refused to speak about the issues, saying it was the assembly that should speak, through the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Funmi Tejuosho.
But Tejuosho did not pick her calls or was yet respond to text message to his line three days after.