- Ambode Proposes N812.99b Estimates for 2017 Budget
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday presented a budget estimate of N812.998 billion to the House of Assembly for approval.
In the estimates, capital expenditure is N512.99 billion and recurrent expenditure is N300 billion, a ratio of 63-37 per cent.
Ambode said the budget would continue the massive infrastructure renewal and 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 attention to social infrastructure, especially health, education, youth and social development next year”, the governor said.
He said the state was expecting an increase in federal allocation through the 13 per cent derivation from oil & gas, which will further boost its revenue profile.
“In view of our financing gap, we shall continue to sustain deficit financing in the short-to-medium term and enhance revenue growth.
“We would explore more collaboration with local and international investors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), especially in the areas of road expansion, transport; housing, and the environment,” he said.
The governor promised that next year his administration will “remain steadfast in its responsibility to make the state safe and secure for all citizens. We will continue to invest in security”.
“The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will become fully operational by 2017 with presence in all local governments and LCDAs.
“The key focus of the budget 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 begin the Phase II of the 114 local government road projects and the Fourth Mainland Bridge 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 government will embark on the urbanisation of the Marina axis, waterways channellisation, establishment of more parks and gardens as well as the community sports centres and stadia in various locations.
“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 begin 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 potential of these areas.
“We will establish Museum for Art and Culture in Ikeja, construct five 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 in 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 boost fish production by improving the production capacity of Ayobo Fish Farm Estate in Alimosho in addition to providing jobs for the youth.
“The Employment Trust Fund has begun financial support to our youths and entrepreneurs and this will be intensified throughout next year.
“In the area of environment, we will improve water supply through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and increase the capacity utilisation of water treatment plants, ensure efficient waste management system by increasing the number of transfer loading stations from three to 15, mitigate the effect of climate change through the conservation of the natural environment and promotion of biodiversity, as well as minimising flood through effective erosion control.”
The governor sought the cooperation and understanding of Lagosians in prompt payment of taxes.
He called for the support of Lagosians in the successful implementation of the budget.
“We have a huge responsibility to ensure that it succeeds as we cannot just afford to fail even at this critical period of recession,” Ambode said.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, praised the governor for the successful implementation of the 2016 budget.
He urged ministries, departments and agencies to provide the House with necessary documents to aid the quick passage of the budget.
The presentation was witnessed by prominent Lagosians, party leaders, traditional and religious leaders as well as politicians and former lawmakers.
Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs
Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.
The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.
He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.
Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.
Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.
“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.
“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.
“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.
“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.
“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.
“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.
“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.
“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.
“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.
Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic
The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.
According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.
President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.
The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.
“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.
“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.
“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”
Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.
“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.
IOM Ethiopia Appeals for USD 40 Million to Assist Additional 1.6 Million People in Northern Ethiopia
Nearly two million people affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia desperately need life-saving assistance, including water, medicine and shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today as it issued an urgent appeal for USD 40 million to help internally displaced men, women and children, including newborn babies.
Since the outbreak of the conflict eight months ago in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State, millions of people are enduring unimaginable suffering, including forced displacement, hunger, death, and destruction of private and public property.
In Tigray, IOM has been providing support to more than half a million people, including displaced children, women, men, and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and persons with disabilities. This includes shelter and provision of essential items such as food, water, clothing, medicine and supplies for babies, as well as sanitation and hygiene services.
IOM has also been supporting camp coordination and management efforts, providing mental health care to those in need, and producing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports to shed light on the evolving situation.
Nearly USD 70 million (USD 69.3M) is needed to respond to the needs of internally displaced populations in northern Ethiopia but only USD 28.7 million has been received this year. IOM needs an extra USD 40.6 million for the remainder of 2021 to be able to continue and further expand its response to help the displaced.
“The nearly two million people displaced by this crisis continue to live in inhumane and undignified conditions and require critical and urgent support,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA. “IOM Director General António Vitorino said it before, and we say it again: we must act without delay to meet the needs of people in the region.”
The situation in Tigray remains volatile. In partnership and coordination with other UN agencies, IOM is committed to delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, to continue reaching people in need. IOM is planning to significantly scale up response programming and increase the deployment of senior IOM staff in the region despite the severe shortage of funding.
IOM’s response is aligned with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group’s (ICCG) – a cooperative effort among sectors and the Humanitarian Country Team to improve the national response – Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, which estimates that 5.2 million people are in dire need in the worst-case scenario of this escalating humanitarian crisis.
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