LAGOS BUDGET: Assembly insists Ambode must do the right thing

Speaker Obasa talks on ‘plans’ to impeach Gov Ambode

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday failed to acknowledge the letter sent by the governor, Akinwumi Ambode to present the 2019 appropriation bill.

The house mandated the governor to perform his constitutional duty by laying the budget before the house.

Ambode was said to have, in a letter dated December 17, 2018, made known his intention to present the 2019 appropriation bill but the letter was received by the house on December 20, 2018.

This decision had not gone down well with members of the Assembly who frowned at the lateness of the letter.

The house said it reduced its six-week holiday to two weeks to accommodate the governor anytime he was ready to present the budget but waited in vain.

After the reading of the correspondence by the Clerk of the house, Mr Azeez Sanni, the Chairman of the house committee on finance, Yinka Ogundimu observed that the governor had not properly presented the budget.

Ogundimu said, “It s in the habit of this house to always go on break in December, which we purposely delayed for a while before we went on that short time break.

“Our intention was to really receive the budget and go on a short break and come back to treat the budget, but the budget was never received from the governor until we went on holidays.

“The letter came on Dec. 28, about three days to the New Year; there was nothing this House could do. “This is a new dimension to receive correspondence of this nature at this time.

“We have a tradition that the Governor will come around and lay the budget before that House.”

The chairman, house committee on Education, Lanre Ogunyemi also shared the opinion of his counterpart in finance, saying the correspondence of the governor could not be considered as budget presentation.

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The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the constitution mandated the governor to lay the budget before the House before the end of the financial year.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, commended the lawmakers for being mature in their reactions to the development.

“This is not the time for resentment, acrimony and agitation. “We must have at the back of our minds that we have a stake that is beyond May 29.

“We must do everything possible to sustain and to hold in high esteem what is called government, party and people of Lagos, though those who have a very short stake can afford to do anything they like, even in the name of budget presentation.

“You have all shed light on the issue in a mature manner,” he said

“We have a huge stake and we must protect that. We have no resentment, we have no bad blood. We are ready to receive that budget when the executive is ready.

“The head of the executive must be ready to come and perform his constitutional responsibility and we are also ready to receive him,’’ Obasa said.

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