Governor Ambode Presents N852.316bn Y2019 Budget To Lagos House Of Assembly

Governor Ambode Presents N852.316bn Y2019 Budget To Lagos House Of Assembly

…Earmarks 54% To Capital Expenditure, 46% For Recurrent

…Targets N775.2bn IGR, To Complete Major Ongoing Projects

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday presented the year 2019 budget proposal of N852.316billion to the House of Assembly, with a pledge that it had been carefully prepared to be all-encompassing and dedicated to complete major ongoing projects in the State.

The Governor said N462.757billion representing 54 percent of the total budget size had been earmarked for capital expenditure, while N389.560billion representing 46 percent had been dedicated to recurrent expenditure, saying that key projects such as the Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road and Oshodi Interchange Terminal, among others would be completed.

He said from inception of his administration, nine key areas were given priority after careful assessment of the needs of the citizens, adding that such had informed the massive investment in the said sectors which he listed to include security, transport / traffic management, economy -including tourism and agriculture, housing, education, health, infrastructure – social and physical, water, wealth creation – skill acquisition/microfinance, e-Governance and enhanced capacity building, sustainable environment and smart city projects.

Giving details of what informed the budget size, Governor Ambode said the performance of Y2018 budget of N1.046trn as at November 2018 stood at 60 percent owing to reduction in revenue projections, while the total revenue stood at N530.192billion.

According to him, “In the outgoing year, however, we experienced a reduction in our revenue projections, which affected our projected performance and our desired implementation of the Y2018 Budget. The overall Budget performance as at November 2018 stood at 60 per cent/N574,206billion with actual cumulative total revenue of N530,192billion/64 per cent, Capital Expenditure closed at N311,930billion/49 per cent and Recurrent Expenditure performed at N262,276billion/82 per cent.

“In preparing the Year 2019 Budget, therefore, we were very mindful of the out-going year performance, the yearnings of our people and the fact that we are going into an election year. Consequently, we are today presenting a Budget that will be all-encompassing, reflect the level of resources that will be available and with special consideration to the completion of major on-going projects in the State.”

While outlining the key components of the Y2019 budget and the sectoral allocations, the Governor said with priority given to completion of major infrastructure projects and smooth transition to the next administration, the government was proposing a total budget size of ‘N852,316,936,483,’ including a deficit financing of N77.086billion which is expected to be sourced from internal loans and other sources.

He added: “The projected total revenue for Year 2019 is ₦775.231billion, of which₦606.291billion is expected to be generated internally, ₦168.940billion is expected from Federal Transfers while a total of  ₦77.086billion will be sourced through deficit financing within our medium term expenditure framework.

“In 2019, as was with our previous budgets, Economic Affairs still dominates the sectoral allocation of the proposed budget. This is due to our continued focus on the completion of major on-going projects such as: Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road; Agege Pen Cinema Flyover; Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, Oshodi Interchange Terminal; completion of JK Randle Complex, Onikan Stadium; Imota Rice Mill; Renovation/Furnishing of Lagos Revenue House, amongst others in order to meet their specified deliverable outcomes without any bias or prejudice to others.”

Expressing optimism that the revenues of the State would improve in 2019, Governor Ambode said the government had begun consolidating on the already established public financial management and technology-driven revenue reforms through data integration and use of multi-payment channels, just as he said that every strata of the society would benefit from the budget.

“The Year 2019 Budget has been carefully planned to accommodate all and sundry; women, youth and physically challenged, young and old. We will continue to spread development to all part of our state even as we embark on effective transition knowing fully well that the implementation, failure or success of the Budget depend on all of us,” he said.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended the Speaker and members of the Assembly for the support accorded his administration in the last three and half years, while also acknowledging the role of Royal Fathers, Religious leaders, members of the Business Community, Professional Bodies, Development Partners, Non-Governmental Organisations, public servants and all residents as well as members of the fourth estate of the realm for their various support and contribution during the lifespan of his administration.

In his remarks, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa expressed optimism that the budget would be of great benefit to the people of the State, just as he assured that the House would work with the executive to pass the budget.

Governor Ambode Renews Calls For Nigerians To Pray For Peaceful Elections

Governor Ambode Renews Calls For Nigerians To Pray For Peaceful Elections

…As Osinbajo, Lagos Gov, Sanwo-Olu, Others Attend 2019 Thanksgiving Service

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday attributed the global recognition of the State as a major capital to God’s grace, guidance and divine favour, saying the State should be thankful for the numerous achievements and growth so far recorded.

Speaking at the annual special thanksgiving service of the State Government for the new year held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, the Governor said it was evidently clear that God had been faithful to the State in making the modest successes recorded possible.

“God has been very faithful to us in Lagos and that is why we dedicate every first Sunday of the year to give Him thanks and praise. The modest achievements and progress our State has recorded would not have been possible without His grace, guidance and divine favour.

“The occasion of this Annual Thanksgiving Service is very symbolic to us in Lagos as it not only serves as a yearly tradition but it provides us a platform to come together as a people and as a State to give praise to the Almighty.

“When we count the numerous blessings and favours our State has enjoyed, protection from natural disasters, security of lives and property of Lagosians, the continuous growth and development of our State and the global recognition of Lagos as a major capital in the world, we would see that truly, our God has been faithful and benevolent to us beyond our expectations,” Governor Ambode said.

Describing the theme of the service –  “Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving,” taken from Psalms 100:4, as apt, the Governor said it was for people to appreciate God for His blessings, hence the need for the service.

According to him, “The place of thanksgiving is paramount, as it is through thanksgiving that the presence of God is brought down. Through this yearly tradition of the State Thanksgiving Service, we have had the priviledge of coming together to appreciate God and also commit the activities of the New Year unto His hands and in return, He has bestowed upon us peace and divine intervention especially at difficult times.”

Besides, Governor Ambode said as the nation prepares for crucial elections in 2019, it was  important for Nigerians to  to pray for peaceful elections to facilitate continuity of development and good governance.

“As we raise our voices in songs of praise, adoration and supplications, I urge us all to pray for our State and our Country especially in this special and crucial year of general elections. Let us seek the face of God to grant us peaceful elections devoid of violence, so that Lagos, and indeed Nigeria, will continue to excel and experience continuity of development and good governance,” he said.

The Governor also used the service to appreciate and all Clergymen in the State for always keeping faith with the annual thanksgiving service and for their ceaseless prayers and wise counsels for the continued progress of the State.

In his sermon,  General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye emphasised the need for people to continually appreciate God, saying doing such always help to complete prayers.

Citing Acts 16: 25-26, Adeboye who was represented by his Special Assistant, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade said thanksgiving also has the ability to move God to action, urging the people to imbibe the act of giving thanks in all situations.

Aside songs ministrations from various choirs, prayers were also offered for the first family, the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, Civil Service, Local Governments and security operatives, and also for the success of the forthcoming general elections.

Among dignitaries who attended the service include Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo; former Lagos State Governors – Brigd Gen. Mobolaji Johnson Rtd, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Rr. Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Rtd; Governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading Christian clerics in the State.

Arts And Entertainment Industry Remains Veritable Platform To Grow GDP

Arts And Entertainment Industry Remains Veritable Platform To Grow GDP

…Says Govt. Investment In Sector Has Positively Engaged Youth

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday evening reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to play up the arts and entertainment industry to grow the economy and positively engage the youth, saying the sector remains a veritable platform to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State and Nigeria.

Speaking at the performance of a stage play – Oba Esugbayi, held at the Muson Centre in Onikan, Lagos, Governor Ambode said since inception of his administration, conscious efforts had been made to invest in the arts and entertainment sector in view of its strategic importance to the country if the potentials were properly harnessed.

While describing the sector as the future of the State, the Governor said the investment so far made was geared towards using the industry as a springboard to plan for the burgeoning youth population in the State.

“Obviously, I am a lover of arts and as a government; we have invested so much in culture, entertainment and so on. The real GDP of Lagos is in entertainment and arts because that is where the future is.

“The population dynamics of Lagos is like 65 percent below the age of 35 and you have to start to find somewhere to actually fill in that gap to grow the GDP of Lagos and that is why we have decided that we would promote a lot of things in arts, culture and entertainment and that is just the right way to go,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor, who also commended the creativity and versatility of the cast and production crew of the stage play in coming up with a wonderful show, assured that he would continue to support the sector whether in government or out of government.

“I just want to say that I have enjoyed myself thoroughly and this is one of the Christmas gifts to me. Sitting down here and watching for one and half hours, you know that there is a big future for this country and for everybody that has actually taken part in this stage play, I say God bless you.

“When I see younger people and the sense of creativity around them and the energy, it brings that sense of hope in this country and whatever support I can give in and out of government, I will do it without hesitation,” he said.

In a related development, speaking at a Christmas Carol Service of the Bethesda Home for the Blind, Governor Ambode who was appointed a life patron of the school, commended the management of the institution for their selfless service in taking care of the special students, just as he assured them of continuous support.

“All of you are very dear to my heart; I have natural love for all of you and so I will use my resources whether private or official to support this place. I want to assure that we would use our network to pull other well-meaning Nigerians within the next six to 12 months to transform the place,” the Governor said.

Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Launch Of The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Launch Of The Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

As you may be aware, the Lagos State Health Scheme was established by Law No.4 of May, 2015. This law was inspired by Government’s desire to provide access to affordable and quality Healthcare Services to all residents of Lagos.

The job of implementing this law fell on our administration and for the past Three and Half years we have been working on the implementation of this delicate but very important scheme. I can assure you that providing a Health Insurance Scheme for all residents of Lagos State is a tough task but one we were committed to executing.

We were committed to implementing this programme because the welfare of all Lagosians is of paramount interest to us and we came into office with a promise to make Lagos work for all.

I am delighted that we have fulfilled that promise and are gathered at this historic and momentous occasion today for the formal launch of the Lagos State Insurance Health Scheme. It is historic because it marks a distinct milestone in the State Government’s effort to ensure the sustained provision of a critical social service to our teeming Lagos population.

The overall goal of this scheme is to ensure that all residents of the State have unhindered access to sustainable, quality and affordable healthcare services with financial risk protection including subsidy from government subsidy.

Since the passage of the Law, the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Health Management Agency established by the Lagos State Health Law as the regulator of the Scheme, have been working with several Local and International Technical Partners to design the scheme in line with the requirements of the law and best practices driven by our local needs, experiences and technological developments. This effort was time consuming but necessary to ensure we give the good people of Lagos a Healthcare Scheme that is fit for purpose and sustainable.

It is a known fact that out of pocket payment for healthcare deters access to Health Services especially for indigents and other vulnerable persons in our society. This situation contributes to increased morbidity and mortality with the resultant adverse effect on the human capital development and economic prosperity of Lagos.

To ensure that the indigent and vulnerable, who are most susceptible to the difficulties of out of pocket payments for healthcare, are enrolled into the Lagos State Health Scheme, we have set aside 1% of the State’s consolidated revenue in the 2018 budget for this purpose.

By Law, this scheme is mandatory for all residents of the State. That is the trend nationwide. The process of identifying and registering the beneficiaries has commenced in a number of our developing communities whose residents are mostly indigent.

The Government has also made provision for all State and Local Government workers and their nuclear families to be enrolled into the Scheme at a subsidized rate.

This scheme will deliver significant benefits to the economy of the State. Beyond ensuring we have a healthy population, this scheme will foster inclusion and increase in the utilization of hospital services thereby creating employment opportunities for medical professionals which will definitely have a positive impact on the economy of our State.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Lagos State Health Scheme has come to stay. Robust mechanisms have been put in place to ensure transparency in its operations and in the management of funds. These will help to ensure this initiative outlives any government administration.

We intend to continue to commit resources to improve our medical facilities and enhance the scope of coverage. However, the State Government cannot do this alone. I therefore call on our partners in the Private Sector to see the LSHS as an effective vehicle to positively impact their communities.

I encourage corporate bodies, high net-worth individuals, government agencies, multilaterals and NGO’s to adopt vulnerable groups of persons by funding their healthcare coverage.  It will be an investment which will yield incalculable dividends because every life saved could be a very valuable member of society and potential leader.

I enjoin all Lagosians to embrace this scheme which aligns with global best practice in healthcare financing. With this scheme, every Lagosian, no matter your socio-economic status, is guaranteed access to quality healthcare service.

Just last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Chairman of the National Economic Council, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, launched the Human Capital Development Programme with the theme, “Healthy, Educated and Productive Nigerians for a Globally Competitive Nation vision by 2030’. The programme focused on three main areas; health and nutrition, education and labour force participation.

This ties in with what we have done here today. This is what our great party, All Progressives Congress stands for. Our gubernatorial candidate, Jide Sanwoolu, is also committed to this initiative. His presence and that of his running mate is a clear indication of our doctrine of continuity in governance.

I urge all Lagosians to ensure that this people-oriented scheme is sustained by voting wisely and voting continuity.

Today, we have laid another brick into that building that is the Lagos of our dreams. I enjoin you to continue to work with us to make this dream a reality.

Thank You and God bless you all

Itesiwaju eko lo jewa logun.

Keynote Address By The His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, At The Cheque Presentation Ceremony To Beneficiaries Of The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

Keynote Address By The His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, At The Cheque Presentation Ceremony To Beneficiaries Of The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

I am delighted to be here today to see the manifestation of a small dream we had at the inception of this government and the little seed we have sown in the lives and businesses of Lagosians.

 

The Employment Trust Fund was a promise we made to Lagosians in 2015 and today, I am happy to see the faces of the people whose lives and aspirations have been positively impacted by this programme. I have seen videos and heard stories of the wonderful things our beneficiaries are doing all over Lagos and these, for me, are the true outcomes of governance.

 

Through the State Employment Trust Fund, we had a vision to grow the Lagos economy by supporting entrepreneurship, which in turn will create jobs for our unemployed residents.

 

With this batch of beneficiaries, the LSETF has now disbursed over N7 billion in loans to over 10,000 beneficiaries. In line with our promise of inclusive governance, almost half of these loans were given to women; while the beneficiaries range from the youth to our senior citizens in active business. In addition, the Fund has ensured that all 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Community Development Areas (LCDAs) have felt its impact.

061A9731

A very big validation of this programme we have embarked upon comes from the over 25,000 new direct jobs created directly by these businesses in our State. This does not include the multiplier effect of those businesses on the Lagos economy and the indirect jobs created.

 

Apart from the jobs being created, I am especially pleased to see testimonials from some of our beneficiaries. I watched the video of Ibrahim Shuaib; a final year student of Dentistry at the Lagos State University Medical School. With a loan of N250,000, Ibrahim has not only grown his dry-cleaning business, employing over 20 people, but also started another business which his sister runs.

 

I also read about Femi Oyedipe, whose chocolate production business, Loshes Chocolate, can now produce ten times more than before, employing more Lagosians as staff. Apart from employing more people, Loshes Chocolate makes its products from cocoa beans sourced from Ondo State, creating value for farmers outside Lagos. This is a very good example of the inter-state economic partnership Nigeria needs to grow its economy.

 

Another LSETF programme that we are very proud of is the Lagos Employability Support Programme, under which we have trained 3,363 unemployed youth and over 1,100 of them are now either employed or running their own businesses.

 

I thank the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) for supporting this initiative. I am confident that their target to train 10,000 of our young people is achievable.

AX8W7979

You will all agree with me that the future is tech and our Employment Trust Fund is poised to make Lagos the leading destination for Africa’s most exciting talent and start-ups. Under the Lagos Innovates Programme, 75 start-ups have been awarded workspace vouchers which provides their businesses with access to excellent infrastructure and a community where they can incubate and pursue their dream of becoming Africa’s emerging unicorns; without bearing the associated cost. We have also awarded a loan to one of the leading hubs, to expand and incubate more technology start-ups in the Lagos environs.

 

Our commitment to women is evident in the number of women who are beneficiaries of the programmes of this Fund. Before today we had a total of 3,652 female loan beneficiaries to the 4,280 male loan beneficiaries. Under our Lagos Employability Support Programme, women represent 49% of the total number of young people that LSETF has trained while in our Lagos Innovates programme which supports a tech ecosystem dominated by men, 21% of the beneficiaries are women.

 

In spite of this, the Fund has assured me of their work to increase the level of female participation across all programmes, especially within Lagos Innovates.

To today’s beneficiaries, I congratulate you all and charge you to grow your businesses, create jobs for the unemployed, contribute to the growth of the Lagos GDP, and most importantly, repay your loans. As your Government, we can only provide the funds for programmes like this if you perform your civic duties, which is why I once again urge all of you to continue paying your taxes.

061A9745

It is from this commonwealth that we are able to deliver programmes like the LSETF; invest in security; build and maintain infrastructure; and provide for our individual and collective social needs.

 

Our expectation of today’s beneficiaries is to emulate the over 1,500 beneficiaries who have successfully repaid their loans. It is because of beneficiaries like them that we continue to revolve the capital being used for LSETF’s various programmes. It is our belief that many years from now, the foundation we have laid today will produce notable businesses that Lagos State can be proud of.

 

I commend the Chairman, Executive Secretary, Board and Staff of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund for translating our dream to reality and bringing it to Lagosians. I also thank the Honourable Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary and all staff of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment. The Employment Trust Fund thrives today because of their total commitment to the prospect of empowering Lagos residents with employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

 

Finally, I thank the Lagos State House of Assembly, especially the House Committee on Wealth Creation and Employment, who have been relentless in their support for this initiative.  Their oversight and ideas have greatly enhanced the outcomes we are seeing today.

061A9755

I look forward to hearing more success stories from beneficiaries of the programmes of our Employment Trust Fund. The Lagos State Government will continue to support this programme and we welcome more institutional partners and collaborators. We have only just laid the foundation; there is still a lot more to be done but I am confident that this story will only get better.

 

I thank you all.

Itesiwaju ipinle Eko l’o je wa logun!