Lagos: 2010 budget records 80% performance in second quarter
Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday, took a retrospective look at the performance of the 2010 State budget in the second quarter of the year, reporting that it has recorded a performance of 80 per cent.
According to Gov Fashola, who spoke to journalists during a coffee break at a Joint Retreat of the Lagos State Executive Council and Body of Permanent Secretaries at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, the performance is an improvement from the first quarter performance of 49 per cent, which was largely due to the fact that the appropriation was delayed.
Said he: "We will continue to task ourselves to even do better by dedicating ourselves. We expect that if the revenue continues to perform, we will continue to use it to deliver services that will meet the hope and expectations of our people."
Fashola who also addressed the state of the roads in Lagos, said the present administration in the last three years has built more roads than even a whole country like Ghana has done.
While promising that more would be built, the governor stressed the need for the existing roads to be maintained, adding that they have a lifespan, which must be adhered to.
He explained that some are billed to last between 15, 20 and 25 years, while some are feeder roads, which are built on lower specifications and would need regular rehabilitation and maintenance.
He recalled that from the last quarter of last year till April this year, the state government carried out a lot of road repairs, patching and maintenance, which the people did not complain about.
Said he: "In this period of increased rainfall, we want to say it once again that we are a coastal state, which is very close to water and there is not much the state government can do until the rains are over.".
"We have to stabilize and be prepared that immediately after the rains we will intervene. That is why LASTMA men are there to help, making the roads motorable. Even the process of producing bitumen is not sustainable in this wet weather."
"There was a bad winter in Europe. Immediately after it almost all the roads went bad. They are now just fixing them," he said.
The governor therefore appealed to the media to help in sharing information with the people on the need to understand that this is a period of the rains, which is not peculiar or unique to Lagos.
He said it could only be left to the imagination what would have happened if Lagos goes without rains for eight months, adding that the people will not only complain but would also face the prospect of a dwindling source of water supply.
The Lagos state helmsman explained that in dry season, there is prevalence of fire and heat, just as during the wet season, the water level will rise and sometimes resulting in flooding.
While sympathizing with the people for the discomfort they are currently facing as a result of the heavy rains, Gov Fashola, among other things, said flooding occur when there is tidal lock, which should be located as being part of the problems of the area the people chose to live in.
"You chose to live close to water. Those who chose to live in cold regions also live with the discomfort that snow and winter brings when they cannot go out or travel. It is only three months. The rains will subside and we will have our lives back", the governor emphasized.
On the issue of flooding which has been reported in some areas in the state despite measures put in place, Fashola reiterated that one of the recent laws he has just assented to is the law on physical planning, which would have huge impact on whether an area is flood prone or not and how it can be quickly drained.
Also speaking with reporters, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said the state has done very well generally in terms of performance but is not fully on its target yet, just as it has also done well with other sources of funding.
He appealed to Lagosians to continue to keep faith with their own side of the social contract because the budget is designed to work for them, stressing that the present administration not only challenges itself to put in place proper framework for accounting for how much is spent on a particular road, but also goes out to measure benefits in terms of health condition and economic impact of such projects to the citizenry.