By Temitayo Peters
OrderPaperToday – The unyielding traffic gridlock in Lagos State is billed to receive attention as Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode today presented the 2016 budget of N662,588billion to the state House of Assembly.
The Governor, who named the budget “The Peoples’ Budget”, said it is an improvement of 26 per cent over the budgets of 2014 and 2015 respectively which stood at N489.6 billion individually.
According to Ambode, “the increase will enable our government to focus on the present challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural development which has thrown up new challenges quite different from what we used to experience and have always known.”
He explained that the 2016 budget, which is the first full budget of the present administration, will promote massive investment in Security, Transport and Traffic management, Physical and Social Infrastructural development and enhance job creation.
He said the intention of his government is to use the 2016 budget to strategically build new infrastructure, as well as maintain existing ones, adding that wealth and employment creation will also receive adequate attention in the course of the year.
The breakdown of the budget figures puts the Recurrent Expenditure at N278,909 billion, while the Capital Expenditure stands at N383,678 billion,.
Ambode explained that the Capital to Recurrent ratio is 58:42 as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015, just as he put the total revenue estimate for 2016 fiscal year at N542.873Billion.
He said that the balance of N119.714 billion will be funded through deficit financing constituting 0.41 percent of the state GDP based on 2016 budget alone and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about 3 per cent.
On the size of the budget, the Governor earmarked N120,508,571,598 for General Public Services representing 18.19 percent, N28,559,021,841 to Public Order and Safety, representing 4.31 percent while Economic Affairs received a lion share of N211,043,408,183 representing 31.85 percent.
In other sectors, Environment got 8.1 percent of the budget totally N53,043,599,505, Housing and Community Amenities, got N62,713,091,867 representing 9.46 percent, Health got N64,677,679,096 representing 9.76 percent while Recreation, Culture and Religion has N4,636,917,054 which is 0.70 percent of the budget.
Education sector also received N113, 379, 337, 664 representing 17.11 percent of the budget while Social Protection got N4,025,980,116, which is 0.61 of the budget.
Governor Ambode said that due to the falling oil prices, the budget is pegged on $38 dollar per barrel saying it was in line to maintain a conservative approach in estimating the Federal allocation for 2016.