Thursday, 21st September 2023

Lagos budget 2022: Fixing aftermaths of COVID-19, #EndSARS

The formal presentation to the Lagos State House of Assembly of the 2022 budget estimates of the Lagos State Government aptly christened Budget of Consolidation underscored

Sanwo-olu addressing the people of Lagos State in a broadcast on the importance of ensuring harmony following the recent public debate on the unauthorised leak of the panel of Enquiry Report on #EndSARS. Photo/FACEBOOK/jidesanwooluofficial

The formal presentation to the Lagos State House of Assembly of the 2022 budget estimates of the Lagos State Government aptly christened Budget of Consolidation underscored the unwavering commitment of the state government to annex the gains of the first half of this tenure, ensure the completion of all on-going projects and tackle head-long the identified mutual challenges of our teeming population. 

The gradual build-up from the budget of Awakening in 2020 to the budget of Rekindled Hope and now the Budget of Consolidation has projected this administration as deliberate and focused in its determination to fulfil its electoral promises.  

The social contract consummated between Mr. Governor and the good people of Lagos State at his inauguration is being executed with fervour despite the peculiar and unusual challenges of the times. 

With renewed vigour and passionate commitment, the Lagos State government has been able to put in place mechanisms that have led to the gradual but steady recovery from the economic downturn occasioned by the Covid 19 pandemic and the attendant wanton destruction of public assets as a result of the Endsars protest. 
The Sanwoolu administration has indeed shown that governance is a continuum, true to its promise, by the completion and commissioning of a number of inherited projects for the public good. 

The most recent of which is the multi-layer car-park at Onikan which addresses specific needs of urban traffic management with the public car-park, the twin event centers and relaxation spots for the people of Lagos Island. 

It is of great interest that the impact of the present administration has been felt in the 377 wards across the state.  

The T. H. E. M. E. S agenda, which remain the focal point of the government, is religiously followed in its choice of programs, policies and projects. 

The security of life and property of the citizens remains the most important of the commitment of the state government as it remains the foundation for all infrastructural developments. Lagos state still retains its pride of place as the safest in the nation despite the recent security challenges. 

This would have been a pipe dream if not for massive investments in securing our state, motivation for the men and officers and the generous contributions of the organised private sector. 

The mid-term report of the Sanwoolu administration was heartwarming for Lagos State All progressives Congress as the ruling party. This received further endorsement and vote of confidence from voters across the state with our sweeping victory during the last local government elections. 

The various awards and honours, from far and near, to Mr Governor are a further attestation to the great performance of a government fiercely challenged but remains largely undaunted. 

The retinue of awards, which included the Zik Leadership Award for Good Governance, Leadership Newspaper award as Governor of the Year, Vanguard Newspaper award and New Telegraph Governor of the Year are eloquent testimonies to laudable achievements. 

A cursory appraisal of the report card of the 2021 budget performance is worthy of the celebration of a choice well made. 

The remarkable performance of the Year 2021 budget has been due to the judicious deployment of resources, innovations and prioritization of the needs of our people. 

The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which in the first quarter of 2021 was N128.2B, was about 28% higher than the IGR in the same period in 2020, which was N100B. 

During the same quarter, capital expenditure was N119.92B, representing 68% performance on target. 76% of the projected revenue target for the second quarter of 2020 was recorded, while expenditure was 82% of the target. In the third quarter, total revenue was 78% of the projection while total expenditure came to 79% of target. 
It definitely did not come as a surprise that Fitch, a reputable international agency upgraded Lagos state from AA + to AAA. 

This upgraded rating is an acknowledgement of fiscal responsibility, capacity to meet up with its financial obligations in comparison with its national and international peers as well as resilient operational performance during the pandemic. 

The unrelenting efforts of the state government to improve the quality of life of Lagosians is best captured by the massive rehabilitation of roads, traffic management, provision of alternative means of transportation, improved and affordable health care services, provision of decent accommodation through the various housing schemes across the state, youth development and empowerment, support and investment in agriculture, infrastructural renewal and digitalization of the education sector, stabilization and restoration of confidence in the environment and a massive boost in the security of life and property of all Lagosians. 
The government, during the period under the review, rehabilitated major arterial roads with huge vehicular traffic connecting several communities across the state. These included Lekki-Epe Express road from Eleko Junction to Epe T-junction, the Lagos Badagry Expressway and Ikorodu Road from Mile 12 to Ojota to the Independence Tunnel.  There are new impact roads like the Lekki Regional Road, the pre-construction work of the Fourth Mainland Bridge and the Opebi Link Road. All of which is making steady progress. 

The urban regeneration program to revamp roads within various communities and neighbourhoods has commenced with key roads in Ikeja, Ikoyi, Kosofe and Victoria Island. 

To manage the traffic situation and resolve gridlocks across the state, various junction gridlocks were successfully resolved. These included Lekki first and second round abouts and Abraham Adesanya roundabout, in addition to completing several bus stops and laybys across the state to further ensure the free flow of traffic.  

The continuous rehabilitation work of the Lagos State Public Corporation across the state is also aimed at improving the quality of our roads. 

The massive investment in the waterways and rail infrastructure is to provide veritable alternatives for commuters to boost economic activities by saving man-hours spent on transportation. 

The state government added seven new boats to the LAGFERRY fleet, launched the Cowry Card for water transportation and improved safety on our waterways. 

The commencement of the construction and rehabilitation of 15 jetties across Lagos, seven of which have been completed at Badagry, Marina, Ilashe, Liverpool, Ijegun Egba, Badagry Chalet are further boosts to this sector. 

Lagos state continues to prove its resilience with the swift replacement of the mass transit buses burnt during the Endsars protest to ease the pain of the commuters. The state acquired 100 High Capacity buses, 300 nine-passenger first Mile and last Mile buses. The proposed innovation of 1000 new taxi cars tagged ‘ LagosRide’ to enhance passenger connectivity between inner and major routes is a welcome investment. 

The rail network completes the tripod of the multi-modal transport strategy.  

The Lagos Rail Mass Transit Project, which includes both the 27km Blue line, which will run from Okokomaiko to Marina and the 32kn Redline that will run from Agbado to Oyingbo in phase 1 and to Marina in phase 2 is making steady progress. 

This project, when completed, will have an unbelievable impact on the productivity and quality of life of our people with its capacity to transport 32.5M people monthly, reduce travel time by 250%, reduce our carbon footprint and open new commercial corridors along the covered routes. 

As we count down to the projected delivery date in the first quarter of the Year 2022, we all have the patriotic duty to support the government in its quest to deliver these projects, which may come with a time-bound little pain for our mutual gain. 

The housing deficit in the mega-city state of Lagos is receiving deserved attention from the Sanwoolu government.  

In collaboration with the private sector, a total of 3,526 housing units across the state were delivered. 
This is besides the thousands of units being delivered exclusively by the private sector. 

The healthcare and general well being of our people remain the priority of the government. The strategy hinged on accessibility, affordability, quality, rehabilitation, spread and expansion has been yielding the desired results through the ministerial mandate of Lagos State Health Management Agency’s (LASHMA) “Ilera Eko” program, which is the state insurance scheme. 

The construction of several new hospitals and the rehabilitation of existing ones have improved our healthcare delivery system. 

Notable among these are the new general hospital at Ojo and newly rehabilitated ones at Ebute-Meta, Isolo, Harvey Road, Lagos Island and the Mainland hospital. 

New Mother and Child (MCC) Hospitals in Epe, Badagry and Eti- Osa have been completed. 

The construction of the 7-Storey 150 bed famous New Massey Children’s Hospital in Adeniji Adele has commenced. 

The state government has responded to the new dire healthcare needs thrown up by the pandemic with the speedy completion of new triage and oxygen centers in 10 locations across the state. 

The proposed medical park will include a 150 multi-disciplinary specialist hospital and attract medical experts as well as patients across the globe, will capture a large chunk of Nigerian medical tourism fund which is estimated at $1B annually. It will create thousands of jobs during construction and when operational. 

The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme tagged “Ilera Eko” seeks to address the issue of affordability and quality of health care in the state with the premium of N8, 400 (N700 per month) to access services at any of the 222 healthcare providers across the 22 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas. 

The sheer energy, vibrancy, creativity and entrepreneurship in Lagos State are hinged on its huge population.

The State Government recognizes the need to pay special attention to the obligations and responsibilities to its youths. 

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has disbursed over N8b to more than 12 businesses, creating more than 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in Lagos State. 

A quarter of the funds have been disbursed to businesses owned and run by young people. 

The Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), which provides grants for start-ups and innovative solutions in the science and innovative space is another youth-focused initiative of the government. 

Through it, the sum of N500M is available for disbursement. The sum of N200M through a very competitive and transparent process has been disbursed. 

In arts, culture and the creative industry, the ongoing partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers Committee and with Ebony Life Academy and Del-York Creative Academy, will provide world-class infrastructure and training to support the talent and dreams of a large number of young Nigerians who are into film, music, theater and ICT. 

The administration, within the period under review, has rolled out substantial levels of agricultural investment, supporting 3,000 urban and rural farmers in the Agricultural Value Chain Enterprise Activation Program. 

To underscore the reality that education remains the pivot for our continuing spirit of innovation and global competitiveness, the state government focused on infrastructural renewal and the digitization of teaching and learning, capacity building among our teaching personnel and their welfare. 

In collaboration with the private sector, 27,000 additional mobile and MP3 devices pre-loaded with the approved curriculum have been distributed to the students to enhance learning. 

The flagship Eko Excel Program has trained 15,000 teachers on the delivery of lessons through electronic tablets. 
A total of 322 dilapidated public schools have been rehabilitated, provided with 87,000 units of dual composite furniture for 775 primary and secondary schools, in addition to the construction of new 300 classrooms and 7 new hostel blocks. 

The issue of Environmental degradation which was a major challenge at the inception of this administration has gradually become a thing of the past through painstaking planning and investment and execution of impactful projects. 

The overhauling of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the new investments have been able to create over 40,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

In addition, the state government procured 90 trucks of various capacities and 12 hook loaders to complement the over 850 trucks of the existing PSP compactor trucks to enhance service delivery. 

This space will definitely not be enough to celebrate the monumental achievements of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu, Governor of Lagos State, barely midway into his tenure. 

However, it is expedient to emphasize that he has kept faith with the dreams of the founding fathers of the state, the expectations of the voters who freely gave the mandate and the ruling All Progressive Party, which continues to celebrate a choice well, made. 

The harmonious relationship that exists within the three tiers of government in Lagos State is in line with the tradition of Lagos State. This explains the landmark achievements of the state government. 

A remarkable achievement of Mr. Governor is his heroics in tackling the Covid -19 pandemic with Lagos State as the epicenter. This proactive leadership role has been globally acknowledged and celebrated. 

As the State Government strives to do more in the next fiscal year, it is expedient that all Lagosians claim ownership of the various delivered projects by ensuring their judicious use and protecting them from abuse. 

We all have the civic responsibility to pay our taxes as at when due and remain our neighbors’ keeper.  

As the governor has presented the “ Year 2022 Budget of Consolidation “, with a budget size of N1,388,285,459,990.50 before the Lagos State House of Assembly, we call on the House of Assembly, its usual tradition, pass the appropriation bill into law in good time to enable the completion of on-going projects, initiation of new ones and a strong finish for an already glorious tenure. 

Seye Oladejo
Publicity Secretary 
All progressives Congress 
Lagos State