Thursday, August 5, 2021

Lagos Assembly grants Sanwo-Olu’s ₦4.4bn for procurement of vehicles

Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, approved ₦4,427,210,000 from the Special Expenditure Vote Head of the Y2021 Appropriation Law for the procurement of vehicles.

The House had earlier received three letters from the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget seeking approval of the House to grant the request of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to expend from the special expenditure to procure vehicles for official use by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to aid effective and efficient service delivery.

The request was however committed to the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget to report its findings and recommendations to the House.

The money is to allow for the purchase of official vehicles for principal officers in the state Public Service; and vehicles of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs; to aid efficient and effective operation service-wide.

The breakdown of the approved sum of money to be expended for the purchase of vehicles from the Special Expenditure Vote Head of Y2021 Appropriation Law are; ₦464,375,000 for the procurement of vehicles for official use by various MDAs; ₦2,567,535,000 for procurement of official vehicles for principal officers in the State Public Service; ₦1, 395,300,000 for the procurement of vehicles to aid efficient and effective operation service-wide, amounting to ₦4,427,210,000 in total.

Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman of the Committee met with the Office of the Head of Service and Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in order to determine if the request qualifies for the Special Expenditure and to ascertain if such request has not been provided for in the approved Y2021 Budget of various MDAs.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Head of Service informed the Committee that the request forwarded to the House was borne out of the needs of various MDAs as his Office is in charge of the purchase and distribution of official vehicles in the Public Service but could not ascertain whether various MDAs have made such provisions in Y2021 approved budget.

However, Mrs Abiola Liadi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget informed the Committee that the funds for the purchase of official vehicles were not captured in the Y2021 approved budget but relied on the Special Expenditure Vote for the procurement of the vehicles.

Among other recommendations by the Committee include that: The Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget should make a specific budgetary provision for the purchase of the vehicles centrally in the subsequent budget in order to preserve the Special Expenditure funds for unforeseen expenses since it is now becoming the policy of the executive arm of government to centrally purchase vehicles for her Public Service.

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa thereafter directed the Acting Clerk, Mr Olalekan Onafeko to forward the approved request to the Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

In another development, the House passed into Law a Bill for a Law to consolidate all laws relating to the transport sector to provide for the development and management of a sustainable transport system in Lagos State and for connected purposes into law after its third reading.

The amendment Law was borne out of the need to review the process and introduce critical reforms into the road traffic, transport sector and other transport sector related laws that were consolidated in 2018 in order to address the various challenges with a view to making them user-friendly and address other identified traffic regulations challenges facing the teeming residents of the state.

The Speaker thereafter directed the Acting Clerk, Mr Olalekan Onafeko to forward a clean copy of the Bill to the Governor for his assent.

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