L-R Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa and Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
By Adekunle Williams and Florence Onuegbu
The 2024 budget proposal of N2.246 trillion presented by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu should be tailored towards improving the lives of residents, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has said.
Obasa made this known immediately after the presentation of the budget estimate by the governor to the lawmakers on Wednesday at the assembly’s chamber.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu presented N2.246 trillion budget estimate tagged, ’Budget of Renewal’ to the assembly for legislative approval.
NAN reports that a breakdown of the budget shows a capital expenditure of N1.224 trillion and a recurrent expenditure of N1.02 trillion.
Obasa said the state government should urgently begin to look at better ways to alleviate poverty beyond giving out packaged foodstuff.
The speaker said this was important because the country had been faced with multifaceted issues of rising prices of goods and services, high forex and other societal problems, which required urgent attention and drastic solutions.
He said: “It is highly important for us to apply the right indices toward ensuring a performing and functioning budget that would lift people out of poverty and reposition the state towards infrastructural growth and renewal.
“Palliatives should move from just giving people garri, rice, beans or even money. We should have a direction that is focused, impactful and deeply backed up by effective policy implementations.
“For instance, in the name of palliative care, let there be provision of drugs at all public hospitals in the state at subsidised rates. At the same time, focus should be on a downward review of treatment costs in these hospitals.
“Also, provision of subsidised school materials should be encouraged. In like manner, raw food merchants who bring food items from the hinterlands should be put into consideration.
“The government can help subsidise their transportation system too. This will in turn lead to a crash in the cost of food prices and make them affordable.”
Obasa said this was an avenue to reiterate his stand on the need to improve the enforcement and implementation of state polices, which was highly necessary.
According to him, it is on record that most people flout the laws of the land with impunity.
“We hear of people’s total disregard to traffic laws every now and then,” he said.
The speaker urged his colleagues to be steadfast, courageous and determined as they perform their constitutional duties.
He said his colleagues should monitor the performance, execution, and compliance of the provision of the budget.
Obasa appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the administration of President Bola Tinubu, saying,”he is aware of the economic challenges in the country”.
The speaker said Tinubu’s team was working on turning around the economic situation of the country, urging them to support the president in his prayers. (NAN)
Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa