Against all economic challenges of the year 2012, the Lagos State Government Friday announced a full year budget performance of 89 percent. It is the highest since the inception of the present administration in 2007. The Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), spoke with newsmen after the first session of the 3-Day Executive Council/Permanent Secretaries Retreat being held at the Orchid Hotels and Events Centre, Lekki with the theme, “Enhancing Effective and Efficient Service Delivery in Lagos State.”
Fielding questions from journalists on the retreat which focused on the review of the implementation of decisions taken by the body in the last retreat among other topics, Governor Fashola, said the improvement was the fulfillment of the promise he made during the third budget review to do better in the fourth quarter and attributed the increase in performance to availability of resources and hard work.
His words: “You recall that at the third quarter briefing, I indicated that we had a quarterly performance of 65 percent, that was down from the second quarter performance of 84 percent and I promised that we were going to work harder in the fourth quarter. I believe we have done just that”. “Standing on its own, we have achieved a 143 percent performance in the fourth quarter. So what we have cumulatively as performance for the 2012 is a budget performance of 89 percent, the highest we have ever done since we started in 2007”. Advancing reasons for the feat, Governor Fashola said, “It was due partly to the fact that it was when we closed on our bond; we had more money to finance our projects.
It was also attributable substantially to much more rigorous work in ensuring that the projects were made ready, that they got to implementation promptly within the last quarter with contractors moving to site.” Speaking further, the governor said: “Now, you must also realize that last year’s budget was the highest budget we have ever had, so it is not only highest in performance, it is also highest in quantum. We have been going round in the last two weeks doing spot checks on what have done. So, the evidence of how the budget performed that we are seeing now on paper is what we have seen in reality”.
“We have seen construction of housing projects at various stages of implementation, from Epe to Ejinrin to Agbowa, to Sango-Tedo, Mushin, Ilupeju, Igando and so on and so forth. Of course we have seen the progress we are making on the Light Rail Project, road construction from Mile 12 to Ikorodu, the Waterworks at Adiyan now in progress and so many other areas where we clearly saw progress including the health sector, the School of Nursing at Alimosho and the Maternal and Childcare Centre at Amuwo-Odofin. So the direct impact of the budget is clearly visible and demonstrable”, the Governor said.
Expressing the readiness of his team to perform even better in the 2013 Budget year, Governor Fashola, however, appealed for voluntary payment of tax by all taxable citizens of the state saying it is the only tool with which government can work effectively. “It is no longer the capacity to perform.
We have demonstrated that the more money we have the more performance of the budget and the more impact it will make on the lives of our people. So this is just an appeal now for people to voluntarily pay their taxes. That is the tool of government. If you give us the tool, we will deliver”, Governor Fashola said.