The formal presentation of Lagos State 2019 budget is experiencing unusual delay as the formal laying of the budget before the House of Assembly original slated for December 24 2019 was put off because the House of Assembly could not form a quorum for that purpose, reliable sources have revealed.
As year 2018 draws a close with the slight change of the budget being presented again this year, findings showed that work on 2019 budget actually started in June 2018 with stakeholders engagement and preparation of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (2019-2021) which has been approved by the State Executive Committee.
It was gathered that this was followed by the bilateral meetings of various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to defend their estimates based on the policy direction of government for 2019.
Sources confirmed that the bilateral meetings of various MDAs were concluded in November 2018 and the State Treasury Board approved the budget for presentation to the State Executive Committee thereafter. However, it was gathered that the budget which has since been ready for presentation to the House of Assembly since December 19, 2018 could not be presented due to the feedback from the Assembly indicating that the House members were busy with their holidays and electioneering process, hence could not form a quorum to formally receive the budget.
It was gathered that the seeming power play between the executive and legislators and the continuous use of the House to checkmate the executive by “powers that be” may be largely responsible for this unusual delay in presenting the budget.
Scores of Lagos residents and stakeholders are appealing to the executive and Legislature to close ranks for the formal presentation and quick passage of the 2019 budget for the overall good of Lagos State and its teeming resident.