The Action Democratic Party (ADP) Lagos Chapter has admonished the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, to make available the Line items in the 2018 budget for public appraisal and scrutiny.
The Lagos State government on Monday says N1.046 Trillion which was passed into Law by the State Assembly for 2018 has been assented by the governor with a target of N897 billion in revenue generation.
The ADP through its Lagos spokesman, Prince Adelaja Adeoye has demanded that the governor make the line items that comprise the budget lump sum open, saying that it is very necessary for the public to have full details of how their taxes are to be spent.
The party said, it is making this call due to several allegations against the APC led government in the state that it is operating a shady government where projects are over invoiced; which is one of the most common means of corruption and that without adequate information about the budget, it shows that the government has something to hide.The party said for instance the Lekki Epe Express Was was alleged to be going for $16.6m a kilometer, a project that should be far less than such huge amount.
ADP said Nigeria has got to a stage where citizens must demand for details from government because it is their right. The party has expressed dismay at the attitude of Lagos State government over the freedom of information bill which empowers citizens to make inquiries into the activities of government at all levels.
The party claims that states that are transparent have passed and assented to the bill but Lagos State government led by Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has chosen to head to court to block the bill. ADP has said that they will take all necessary legal steps available to ensure that the freedom of information bill see the light in the state.
ADP said it is not just enough to give the total budget size; providing line items and clarity on how the budget will be executed is important to residents of the state and the ADP.
The party however commended the governor for assenting to the Consolidated Transport Sector and Teaching Service Commission Bills. However, they have urged the government to make sure that the budget reflects in the lives of the people and not just a use of big figures for showoff.
ADP said that the government must give contracts to qualified contractors this time stating that most of the projects across the state do not adhere to global best practices, specifically talking about Iyana Ipaja bridge and other newly constructed roads.
The party says that stress tests must be conducted on such projects before they are commissioned because residents have started complaining of those projects. The party says that shoddy jobs pose serious danger to the lives of Lagosians.
The party also said that as it is very commendable to go all out for revenue generation but cautions the government to avoid their usual ways of using staff in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to exploit Lagosians; the party says that the activities of LASTMA and how they are inflicting pains on residents at the slightest opportunity is unacceptable.
The party also advocates against multiple taxation by the Lagos State government, advising that Government must be on the side of the people and not against them.
The party has promised to embrace open government partnership when given the opportunity by Lagosians to run the state, stressing that what Lagosians are seeing now are just a scratch on the surface and not development.
ADP says that they have a better deal for Lagosians because they will practice an open government where every kobo spent, will be judiciously used and accounted for. The party said that they will unveil what is called South West Accelerated Development Plan soon.