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Lagos Assembly Urges LGs, LCDAs To Block All Leakages In Revenue Generation

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The Lagos State House of Assembly, has urged all the local councils in the state to block all leakages in their revenue generation as recommended by its Adhoc Committee on Year 2015 Appropriation for Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas in the state.

The Committee had been mandated to continue the job given to the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget by the 7th Assembly to scrutinize the Year 2015 Budget of the LGs and LCDAs in the state as the committee could not complete its work before the dissolution of the House on Monday 1st, June, 2015.

The House directed the 6-man committee, which was headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru during plenary on Thursday 18th June, 2015 to take over the assignment and submit its report on Tuesday, 23rd June, 2015.

The House subsequently approved varying sums of money running into millions and billions of naira as budget estimates for the LGs and LCDAs based on the report presented on the floor of the House on Thursday, 30th July, 2015 by Hon. Abiru.

The House also agreed with the Committee that the LGs and LCDAs should give priority attention to capital expenditure to ensure physical development at the grassroots.

According to Hon. Abiru, who read the report during plenary, “The Lagos State House of Assembly should hold a session with the ministries of Economic Planning and Budget; Finance; Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas on a uniform template for budget preparation at the Local Government level.”

Speaking to the press on the matter, Abiru emphasised that part of what the committee recommended was that local governments should shore up their revenue and block all leakages due to the dwindling allocation of fund.

Hon. Rotimi Lateef Abiru

Hon. Rotimi Lateef Abiru

He added that the state has not been owing salaries, and that they didn’t want that to start with local governments despite the fact that salaries of local government staffers are deducted first line charge from the allocation to the local governments.

“With what is left from this, for meaningful development and projects for the local governments, they have to ensure that their revenue increases.

“We don’t expect them to go against the law on revenue generation, we want them to step it up so that we would not rely entirely on allocation from the Federal Government,” he said.

The Chief Whip stressed that the councils really need to reduce their overhead cost so that there could be more money in the local governments.

He said that the technical session recommended by the committee would block grey areas such as multiple taxation amongst others, but that the Assembly would look at a way of increasing revenue in the local governments.

“We need to cut our coat according to our size. Budget is just an estimate, most local governments want more money, but it is not possible for now based on their poor revenue generation. They can always come up with ideas if they have any other means of generating revenues,” he added.

Abiru revealed that the committee was able to see the challenges faced by the local councils, adding that the budget ought to have been passed by the first quarter of the year, but that they could not afford to wait any longer.

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