By Monsur Olowoopejo
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state yesterday said the state had recorded 61 percent budget performance in the first quarter of the 2013 budget implementation.
It will be recalled that the 2013 budget for the state tagged; ‘`Budget of Poverty Eradication and Economic Growth,’ was N499.605 billion, with a recurrent expenditure of N229.729 billion while the capital expenditure was N269.876 billion.
Fashola who disclosed this to newsmen after the State‘s Executive Council meeting held at the State House, Alausa to review the state budget performance, lamented that the performance was lower than the 65 per cent recorded in 2012.
The governor blamed yuletide season for the below par performance of the budget, saying “when you look at what typically happens in first quarter, many construction firms shut down for Xmas, getting to start off early in the year.”
He added that lack of adequate remittance of taxes caused paucity of funds for the government’s drive to implement the budget effectively.
According to him, “ this is the first quarter and inspite of the fact that this is a budget that was dedicated to completing existing projects,we are well off the mark given the many variables.”
Fashola assured residents that the government remains committed to improving upon the overall performance of 89 percent attained in 2012.
“I am satisfied with the performance and I think the capacity will improve in the second quarter. Fitch-rating for the state`s economy is from stable to positive, from improved service delivery extending to Saturdays and so on.
“So there is a total output for service delivery which is what a budget should do to connect with reality in terms projects that are coming to completion, in terms of housing, school projects and so on.
“I am comforted that things are heading in the right direction and we remain committed to improving upon the 2012 overall performance of 89 percent at the end the year.” he said.
The governor however cautioned residents of the state, saying “no development could be achieved in an atmosphere of disorder and insecurity and urged residents to respect the state`s laws in the interest of progress.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Ben Akabueze, said the budget had so far done well in the area of revenue generation.
Akabueze said the government would intensify efforts on the completion of on-going projects to significantly improve performance for the remaining quarters.
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