Lagos Assembly must break new grounds in 2018 – Speaker

Mudashiru Obasa

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday said the state’s lawmakers needed to do more to accelerate development in 2018.

Obasa spoke while declaring open a four-day retreat of the state’s legislators on the budget process and overview’’ of the amendment of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat was held in Abeokuta, Ogun.

Obasa said there was a need to strengthen the parliament’s legislative and oversight functions in the coming year, to foster more development.

“We have done it, we are still doing it and we won’t stop because there is a need for us to move forward and break more grounds.

“Very soon, the governor (Mr Akinwunmi Ambode) will be coming with his budget presentation.

“We have been doing that, but we need to do more. There is a need for us to raise our own standard.

“We need to raise our consciousness when it comes to oversight functions, committee activities,’’ he said.

The speaker said that the lawmakers were expected to understand the nitty-gritty of budget process to be able to protect the interests of the masses who they represent.

He said that the giant strides of the House through its dedication, perseverance and commitment were being noticed by the people within and outside the country.

According to him, the people will continue to be the center of the Assembly’s activities, to uplift their standard of living and improve security.

The speaker reiterated that Lagos State deserved a special status to cater for the needs of the teeming population.

He urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to grant the special status because of the responsibilities the state shouldered for the nation.

On the performance of the state’s 2017 budget, Obasa said that the massive infrastructure development and job creation attested to its performance.

Obasa said that devolution of powers should be granted in the on-going 1999 constitution review to enhance development.

The lawmaker said that the House would do its best to ensure an improved standard of living through legislation, resolutions, and oversight.

Also speaking, the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Mr Tunde Braimoh, emphasised that the retreat was to evaluate and articulate the position of the state on the constitution review.

Braimoh said the House would engage people before voting on any issue.

“The consciousness of Lagosians is always in our minds and we will not rest on our oars until we see that the good of residents becomes better,’’ Braimoh, representing Kosofe Constituency II said.

The Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said the retreat would assist the lawmakers to assess the 2017 budget in line with the promises made to the people.

“We will continue to listen to people. We will continue to give Lagosians practical and meaningful representation,’’ he said.

Mr Rotimi Olowo, the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, said that national economic challenges affected the revenue and expenditure of the state in the outgoing year.

NAN reports that the Assembly invited lots of seasoned facilitators to furnish the lawmakers with requisite skills to perform better.