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Distinguished colleagues,

1. Over the last few weeks, the issue of Lagos State Y2019 budget has
been on the front burner of public discussion. Today, we have the
governor, His Excellency, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, in our midst to present

the budget.

2. We thank meaningful Lagosians and Nigerians who have been calling
to ensure that peace reign in Lagos as well as the quick presentation
of the budget. In the same vein, I will like to appreciate the
following people who made frantic efforts to intervene in this issue
such as Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Alhaji Musiliu Adeola Kunbi Smith, members
of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, all
members of Governing Advisory Council (GAC), the Vice President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Oshinbajo and particularly our
party national leader, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for their concerted
efforts towards ensuring that peace reign supreme among all the three

arms of government in Lagos State.

3. Ladies and gentlemen, the role of budget in economy and its essence
are key as provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in Section
121, stipulating that the Governor must prepare and lay the budget

before the House, which now creates the avenue to incur expenditure.

4. All the arms of government must work together to ensure economic
growth and human development. We also need to know that infrastructure
of the state is crucial, and the position of Lagos State is germane in
Nigeria and its West African suburbs. Being the fifth largest economy
in Africa, everything must be done to sustain the leadership quality

of Lagos State in all spheres.

5. However, fallout of the budget brawl has led to series of negative
publications both on social media and in the print media, which are
being sponsored by a faceless group calling themselves the Legislative
Probity and Accountability (LPA) led by one Olu Fajana with its
pseudonym. This started immediately the misunderstanding between the
Executive and Legislative came up in respect of the Y2019 budget;
which means that such could not be ruled out to have emanated from the


6. A section of the media has even been mischievously misled into
sensationally writing all manners of write-ups against this assembly.
Some of our friends in the media are personalizing the issue thereby
misinforming the public. The fact of the matter is that the issue is
between one arm of government and another. What was at stake then was

nothing but the matter of appropriation.

7. Unfortunately, no one from the Executive has risen to refute the
baseless allegations. Since no one has come up to address this, it is
incumbent on us then to come forward and debunk the allegations. As
such, I use this medium to challenge the governor, the Finance
Commissioner and the Accountant General of the state to prove that we
have been collecting N800 million per month since the onset of this
administration. Thank God the governor is before us here today; so
also, is the Finance commissioner sitting in this hallowed chamber. I
likewise challenge the faceless group to prove that this Assembly has

been collecting N800 million per month as alleged.

8. In the same vein, this is also an opportunity to shed more light on
unsubstantiated allegations regarding financial misappropriation,
which is a clearly well-orchestrated campaign to disrepute my
character and integrity as the Speaker of the Lagos State House of
Assembly, and by implication tarnish the image of the legislative arm

of the state government.

9. It must be known that the monthly running cost of the Lagos State
House of Assembly covers the entire expenditure of the House
comprising the 40 elected legislators and the administration of over
700 staff. It includes sundry items such as travels, training (both
local and overseas) office running and maintenance, vehicles,
entertainment, publicity, security, protocols, logistics and

administrative costs among others.

10. Dear Lagosians, as an arm of government, we are not at odds with
the Governor over anything. Rather, we are diligently playing our
roles in contributing to the transparent and accountable governance
that has made Lagos the envy of all and a model frame of reference in

terms of development in this political dispensation.

11. We need to remind ourselves that democracy is about institution
and we must all learn to protect this. We must not, in whatever
circumstance, derogate or smear this institution. Failure to do so

will affect our democracy.

12. Nevertheless, may I call on the governor that with the few months
to go, he should endeavour to attend to urgent needs of Lagosians
especially by addressing the inner roads of the state as well as issue
of environment. We should be cognizant of the fact that the essence of
democratic governance is that people remain the object of development.
With the remaining parts of this tenure of ours, more can still be
done to ease socio – economic problems, particularly on finishing all
road projects and rehabilitations, provision of housing, making sure
that our environment is clean and poverty alleviation programmes

embarked upon, before the end of this administration.

13. As we hope that the Y2019 Budget will be of great benefit to the
people of Lagos State, we however appeal to His Excellency and
Lagosians to give us sufficient time to enable the House do a thorough
job on a financial document that has great influence on the lives of
the people. The Assembly would not delay the passage of the budget,
but we will be interested in placing high premium on the need to
ensure that the interests of Lagosian are protected socio-economically
and politically. We are your representatives here at the House of
assembly and we are duty bound to do justice to every sector of the

state’s economy.

14. May I use this medium, however, to appeal to everyone, especially
Lagosians to be law abiding as we prepare for the general elections. I
urge us all to come out en masse to support the continuation of the
good jobs our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has embarked
on since the beginning of our administration by voting for all our
candidates at all levels in the forthcoming elections as we move on to

the Next Level.

15. At the same time, I want to thank my colleagues for standing on
the side of the people at all times. I appreciate your efforts, I
cherish your support and I wish you all the best in life. Your support
has always been an inspiration and source of strength for me. I
commend your courage and perseverance. We will remain united, focused

and determined until our expectations are realized.

16. My sincere commendation also goes to Clerk of the House and the
entire staff for performing their responsibilities with sense of
patriotism and loyalty. I thank everybody here in this chamber and all
Lagosians for your support and resilience and we appreciate the fact
that you believe in us. We will not let you down. We will take you to

the promised land: it is a mandate we cannot but fulfil.

17. Once again, I thank you all for coming and wish us a fruitful Y2019.

Igbega Ipinle Eko, ajumose gbogbo wa ni.

Rt. Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly
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