Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured Lagos State residents that the N1.163 trillion would expand opportunities for residents to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the disastrous events.
This statement was in reaction to the 2021 budget financial document signed into law on Thursday at a simple ceremony held at the State House in Marina, ushering Lagos residents into the New Year with reassuring hopes and heightened expectations.
The Governor assented to the bill, christened “Budget of Rekindled Hope”, at the event attended by cabinet members, Assembly members and chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, who also represented the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.
After signing the bill, Sanwo-Olu remarked that the speedy consideration and passage of the budget reflected the dedication to the progress and prosperity of the State by both the executive and legislature.
Describing the past year as a peculiar era in the annals of the State, the Governor said the economic paralysis caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and destruction wreaked in the wake of the hijacked EndSARS protests drew Lagos’ development back in no small measures.
With the signing of the budget, Sanwo-Olu said the State walked into 2021 with strong will and high determination to rebuild lost assets of the State.
He said: “With the passage of the 2021 Appropriation Bill, and the signing of the document into law today, our will to rebuild Lagos, advance the State’s economic growth, and expand opportunities for Lagosians to flourish despite the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus, has now been reinforced.
“As we already know, 2020 will go down in history as a peculiar year largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ENDSARS protests, which were recklessly hijacked by those who destroyed some of our public assets and private businesses. We are fortunate to be going into the New Year with an already passed budget, which will help to expedite our recovery process.”
Significant parts of the State’s 2021 spending, Sanwo-Olu said, are committed to human capital development, youth engagement, social intervention initiatives, while a chunk of the spending is reserved for the completion of ongoing projects critical to achieving the objectives of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
The Governor reassured residents that the budget would rekindle their hopes and deliver substantial economic growth. He said tough choices would be made where necessary and leverage opportunities required to engender sustainable and inclusive growth.
Sanwo-Olu promised that the budget would be prudently implemented, with the focus on provision of the right economic environment for people to thrive.
He said: “With the enormous challenges of the outgoing year, we are conscious of the fact that in order to efficiently and successfully implement the 2021 Budget, we must be selfless and dedicated. We are up to the task; with our collective resilience, we will achieve our key goals in all sectors, and nothing will stop us from justifying the trust of the people in this Government.
“I assure you that the 2021 budget will be prudently implemented with the people as our focus, as we are determined to provide the right economic environment for Lagosians to thrive. As the world combats COVID-19, we will make the necessary sacrifices to further place our State on the path of abundance and economic recovery. We are going into 2021 with the unwavering determination to engender sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The Governor urged stakeholders, especially the private sector, artisans as well as small and medium-sized business owners not to relent in supporting the government by voluntarily discharging their civic responsibilities.
Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, hailed the process of ratification of the appropriation bill, describing the procedure as “strenuous but thorough”.
He promised that the implementation of the budget would driven to greater performance, while also assuring the public of intimating them with the full details and breakdown of the budget in due course.
About N703 billion, representing 60 per cent of 2021 budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure, while N460.5 billion will go for recurrent expenditure.