LASG Seeks Stakeholders' Inputs For 2021 Budget
In order to reflect the yearnings of the populace in its 2021 appropriation bill, the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, on Monday, started a consultative forum across the five divisions of the State to seek stakeholders’ inputs on the 2021 budget. Speaking at the commencement of the event at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube explained that the programme has been decentralised in order to take governance closer to Lagosians. He explained that the forum will take place in the five Divisions of Lagos State, (Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos and Epe) in order to take the inputs of all stakeholders into cognisance in the State’s budget preparation process.
The Commissioner maintained that despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that made the State government review downward this year's budget from the approved amount of N1,168.6 billion to N920.5 billion, the State has implemented several intervention programmes to minimise the impact of the pandemic. Egube assured residents of the State that the present administration remains committed to growing the State's Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to sustain its developmental programmes and projects. "We will continue to minimise wastages through tighter expenditure controls and promote prudent spending. The administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is committed to the participatory and all-inclusive governance process," the Commissioner stated. In his contribution at the event, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Bayo Sodade said the essence of holding the consultative forum in each of the divisions was to further ensure that citizens participate fully because their choices drive the government's decision-making in planning and budgeting for critical infrastructural, economic and social development.
He added that "the forum also provides an avenue to update stakeholders on the half-year performance of the budget, the resources available for the next budget taking into cognisance all economic variables and externalities such as the price of crude oil, inflation, interest rates and the effects of the pandemic on the economy". While stating that rubbing minds with the citizens also provides the government with an ample opportunity to share ideas geared towards the "Greater Lagos Project”, Sodade gave an assurance that the interests of the governed are adequately captured in the developmental agenda. "Our expectation from this forum is that the significant participation in the budget preparation process by every individual, organisation and bodies here-present would engender a smoother implementation of the developmental agenda of the government”, the Special Adviser reiterated. Sodade maintained that the success of the present administration in the State rests squarely on the cooperation of all and sundry, appealing to all participants at the forum to always fulfil their civic responsibilities through regular payment of taxes, monitoring of government projects and protection of public infrastructure among others. He averred that concerted efforts will be made on the part of government, not only to improve overall service delivery by agencies of government but also to improve tax revenues by widening the tax base in order to meet the demand for infrastructure.