….Tasks Permanent Secretaries to take leadership of their various MDAs
Lagos State Government closed 2013 with an impressive 125 percent last quarter budget performance and a cumulative year round record of 85 percent.
The State which ran a N507.105 Billion Budget at a Capital to Recurrent ratio of 54 to 46 percent, recorded a cumulative third quarter performance of 71 percent which it beefed up to 85 percent at the close of the year because of its last quarter performance.
This is, however a slight dip to the 89 percent performance of 2012, but according to the Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), clearly moves the State further from its 2011 performance of over 70 percent.
Fashola who gave the report in an interview with State House Correspondents during a break session of the Fifth Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries Retreat held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Amuwo Odofin said the performance is good for public service delivery not only for Lagos State but would also benchmark standards on a national scale as the administration goes forward.
“The first quarter performance is 81percent, second quarter performance is 83 percent, third quarter performance was 70 percent which at that time while the fourth quarter gave us an aggregate January to September performance at the end of quarter three of 71 percent and I promised then that we were going to ramp up in the final quarter”.
“We are now reporting a 125percent performance for quarter four standing in isolation and this you would understand from the completion of the Bond and also at the time as I said there was a lot of work that we had done when we had revenue shortfalls that we had not paid for and also work that we have concluded towards the end of the year”, he explained
The Governor reiterated that in terms of budget components, people may have read a lot of commentaries about the Budget but the important thing is to remind everyone that the State had a budget of N507.1Billion for the year as a result of supplementation that took to the House of Assembly and ended up then with a budget proposal of 58percent to 42 percent Capital to Recurrent.
“What we are seeing now in the 85 percent implementation is that we achieved 54 percent Capital to 46 percent Recurrent and you recall that we went round the state visiting projects like the Lekki Link Bridge, Courtrooms in Ikorodu, Isopakodowo market and many of the things that you have reported that are too numerous for this purpose to recall”.
“Work is still going on some, you would also see now that from last year we are continuing till this year, if look on the Eko Bridge now you would see work going on there. What we are doing there is laying water pipes in preparation for improved water supply, in Adiyan, for example you would see work going on there for the new Water Works and so on”., he reiterated
Fashola maintained that the work continues as the administration is priming itself which is the strategic purpose of the retreat to focus everybody’s mind on the task ahead in ensuring a very rigorous implementation of the 2014 budget.
He added that it would also be dependent on people paying their taxes and also the Federal Government properly accounting for revenues that flow into the country, especially the petroleum sector which had become a very topical issue because the Budget has been prepared based on certain assumptions and now people are experiencing declining revenues to the federation account and consequently to the states.
On what messages should be taken away from the retreat by the leadership of the Public Service, Governor Fashola said the Permanent Secretaries must take leadership because they are the ones who are permanent, while the political heads are not.
“There are so many things that must and should resolve at the level of the Permanent Secretaries. So we must restore not only the image but also the responsibility as the image is the right and the responsibility is the job of the Permanent Secretaries”, the Governor stressed.
He expressed delight that the State has continued to produce very resourceful and dynamic Permanent Secretaries but that he would never stop to ask people to aspire to be better than they were yesterday and the more of that that happens, the more of the people that will engage with the system.
“Often times there seem to be a penchant to jump over the Permanent Secretary straight to the Commissioner and sometimes straight to the Governor and as things become more efficient we will have more hands solving problems. Everything cannot get to the Governor and in other parts there are things that even a director doesn’t see, it is resolved before it even gets to that level”, he added
He used the opportunity to appeal to members of the public to engage and use the system, adding: “If you have land issues, you have water issues, you have physical planning permit issues, make use of the system instead of jumping straight to the Governor’s office or to the Commissioner’s office because really those are the permanent people and so they must keep the records, who accounts for what happened long before we came and long after we would be gone and therefore if you start processes from then, it would be more efficient I believe”.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Head of Service, Mrs Oluseyi Williams who is attending her first Exco/PS retreat as the Head of Service said the Retreat which is the 5th since the commencement of the second term of the Governor Fashola has been significantly impactful.
She added that all the pat four retreats have availed the participants with the opportunities of taking stock of their performances as individuals Ministries, Departments and Agencies and collectively as a government, stressing that the State has also charted a course toward improving service delivery in the overwhelming interest of the citizenry of the state.
“This edition like past ones promises to be significantly impactful as we would be unfolding an overview of the last retreat apparently to bring into perspectives and update with the level of compliance with the conclusions reached at that time”, Mrs Williams added.
While giving an overview of the last retreat, the Head of Service said ongoing projects have been budgeted for to ensure the return of contractors to sites before the expiration of the timeline.
She added that some contractors who have defaulted in the performance of government jobs have had such contracts terminated and re-awarded while financial institutions who engaged in unwholesome practices have been recommended for due punishment.
The Retreat was attended by the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, the Special Adviser on Information, Mr Lateef Raji, his counterpart on Media, Mr Hakeem Bello, members of the Body of Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments and Agencies.
SIGNED; HAKEEM BELLO
SPECIAL ADVISER TO H.E ON MEDIA