Babatunde Fashola, governor of Lagos state, on Monday presented a 2015 budget proposal of N489.69 billion to the state house of assembly for consideration.
Fashola, who will be leaving office in May 2015 after completing two terms, said that the budget size was retained in order to keep zero deficits for the incoming government.
“We have retained the same budget size of 2014 to keep zero deficits. This will give the administration the room to start up very quickly,” he said.
He added that the 2015 budget would focus on payment of contractors’ liabilities to enable the government to complete as many projects as possible before handing over to the next administration.
“For example, out of the 400 roads that we promised, we have completed over 190 in the last three years, with 210 at various advanced stages. The onset of dry weather provides the opportunity to complete all of them,” he said.
He further disclosed that the government was working to accelerate reconstruction of inner city roads by compiling another list of 400 roads that would be presented to the next administration for consideration, adoption and implementation.
The governor also mentioned settlement of outstanding pension liabilities as one of the areas of priority in the 2015 budget.
“Without consultation with the states, the federal government has reviewed pensioners’ entitlements upwards by 142% without a corresponding 142% upward review of states’ revenues.
“Our government’s compassion for these pensioners has weighed more heavily on our minds than the legal misfeasance of the federal government.
“Our government now budgets for the 142% arrears in addition to 12% and 6% recent reviews. This is the least that we think these public servants deserve.”
In addition to the budgetary provisions, Fashola said that contributory pensions scheme has been largely up-to-date except for a few parastatals for which provisions were also being made.
“We want to substantially reduce pension difficulties in Lagos before the next administration comes in; even if we cannot totally solve them, we intend to leave behind a sustainable plan for their final resolution,” he said.