Desmond Elliot Among Group To Probe Fashola

Actor turned lawmaker, Desmond Elliot, is part of a seven-member committee of lawmakers that has been set up by to review former Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola’s 2015 budget. 

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in a letter to the Lagos State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, titled “Re-ordering of priorities under the 2015 Budget”, stated that the Fashola Budget of N489.690 billion had recorded 60 per cent overall performance as at June but lacks priorities. 

Ambode took over from Fashola on May 29, 2015. Since then, he has cancelled some of the contracts and agreements entered into by the Fashola’s administration, and also released indicting information about the amounts approved by the last administration for certain contracts.
“This level of performance has made it imperative to go back to the drawing board to structure a more conscientious approach to tilt our total investment in the remaining months in order to meet the target capital/recurrent ratio of 51:49,” the governor stated in the letter. 

According to Ambode, N23.97 billion will be re-ordered; and of this, N18.278 billion is needed for capital projects, while N5.697 billion is for recurrent expenditure.
Reasons for the re-ordering, according to the letter, include the construction of a pedestrian bridge at Ojodu Berger, construction of fly-over bridges at Ajah Roundabout and Pen Cinema, Agege. 

The letter added that the budget re-ordering proposal would cater for the continuation of the construction of Blue Light Rail Project, continuation of the construction of the Lekki-Epe Expressway and acquisition of emergency/rescue helicopters and heavy duty equipment (cranes and forklift) and for Employment Trust Fund and Wealth Creation Programmes. 

“It is worthy of note that we are constrained by the fact that there are no new revenue sources for the remaining months of the year, and as a result we would not be in a position to propose a supplementary budget. Hence, the recourse to a re-ordering of the budget,” the letter read. 

The Lagos Assembly set up the committee on Wednesday to review the budget. The members of the committee include Rotimi Olowo, Desmond Elliot, Ibrahim Layode, Rasheed Makinde, Dayo Fafunmi, Yinka Ogundimu and Alimi Kassim. The committee is to submit its report on September 22.

Source: Daily Trust

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