By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Lagos state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday presented a total budget estimate of N812.998billion for 2017 to the state Assembly for consideration and approval.
The Capital expenditure stands at N512.99billion while recurrent expenditure is N300billion, a ratio of 63-37 per cent.
Ambode said the 2017 budget will continue the massive renewal of infrastructure and the enhancement of Lagos as one of the foremost tourism and investment destination in Africa.
“While we focus on physical infrastructure, we shall continue to pay due attention to social infrastructure especially health, education, youth and social development in 2017”, the governor said.
He disclosed that the State expects an increase in Federal allocation through 13% derivation from Oil & Gas in 2017 which will further boost the revenue profile of the state.
“In view of our financing gap, we shall continue to sustain deficit financing in the short-to-medium term; enhance revenue growth throughout the year on several initiatives including automation and efficient revenue administration.
“We would explore more collaborations with local and international investors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) especially in the areas of Road network expansion, Transport; Housing, and the Environment”, he said.
The governor promised that in 2017 his administration will “remain steadfast in our responsibility to make the State safe and secure for all our citizens. We will continue to invest in Security. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will become fully operational by 2017 with presence in all our Local Governments and LCDAs.
Adding that the key focus of the budget for the 2017 is road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. Our government will focus on roads that will open up the hinterlands, improve connectivity in the State and reduce travel time.
He also promised that the administration will commence the Phase II of the 114 Local Government Roads project and the Fourth Mainland Bridge in 2017 and carry out fundamental reforms on all modes of transportation – Roads, Water and the Walkways. In this wise, a Public Transport Infrastructure Bond will be issued in the course of the year, Ambode said.
“The State government will embark on the Urbanisation of the Marina axis, Waterways Channelization, establishment of more Parks and Gardens as well as the Community Sports Centres and Stadiums in different locations across the State.
“We will fully implement the Medical Health Insurance Scheme and deploy e-Health/ e-insurance Health Service solutions; and complete the on-going upgrading and extension work in the State General Hospitals and Ayinke House in Ikeja. Work will commence on our Medical Park in the 2017 fiscal year.
“With the aim of making Lagos State the next technology frontier in Africa, we will invest in Digital Libraries (e-Libraries) as well as Code Lagos projects to prepare our younger ones to meet the new workforce demands, harness the benefits of technology and communicate in the language of the future.
“Our administration is committed to various projects in the area of Tourism. Our vision is to create a Tourism Hub around the Onikan-Lagos Marina Axis. We will also develop the Epe and Badagry marinas to harness the tourism potentials of these areas. We will establish Museum for Art and Culture in Ikeja, construct 5 Arts/Culture theatres in Alimosho, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja with a 400-seater hall in each of them.
We will accelerate the food expansion programme with a special focus on rice production, animal husbandry and root crops. We will intensify our collaboration with other States in the development of a commodity Value Chain specifically for food commodities. We will invest more to boost fish production in the State, by improving the production capacity of Ayobo Fish Farm Estate in Alimosho area in addition to providing employment opportunities for the youths.