The Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has called for a full investigation into allegations that many ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in Lagos State cannot access funds meant for them thereby greatly reducing their ability to perform.
Obasa made the call during Tuesday’s plenary, as a fallout of the 2016 re-ordering exercise led by the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, who revealed in his report that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Lekki Free Trade Zone), the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Housing could not access various funds meant for them due to diverse administrative bottlenecks.
Olowo also identified the Ministry of Agriculture; the Lagos State Electricity Board; Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA); Lagos State Accident and Emergency Centre, and Lagos State Scholarship Board, among others, as some of the MDAs that have issues accessing the various grants available to them in the budget.
According to information gathered, these challenges necessitated the decision of the Executive to send a Re-ordering Money Bill to the House, which was aimed at amending the 2016 Budget of the state to the tune of N44.9bn.
Obasa noted that if any ministry could not access its fund, it was left for members of the House to find out why, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
“It is left for us to find out what actually happened. If you have not released funds, how do you want them to perform?” he queried.
Meanwhile, members of the Assembly have successfully re-ordered the 2016 Budget of the state by a total of N44.9b as requested by the governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Details show that re-ordering from Capital Expenditure is N21.9b, while re-ordering from Recurrent Expenditure amounts to N23b, totaling N44.9b.
Funds for the re-ordering were drawn from different MDAs in the state to cater for the proposed re-ordering and pumped into other MDAs that need the funds for critical projects
This brings the total capital expenditure for 2016 budget to N404.3b and the recurrent expenditure to N258.2b, but the total 2016 budget size remains N662.5b