BEING THE TEXT OF THE SPEECH BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AMUWO ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, COMRADE AYODELE ADEWALE AT THE OCCASION OF THE BUDGET CONSULTATIVE FORUM, HELD AT THE COUNCIL SECRETARIAT, ON THE 5TH OF DECEMBER, 2013.
Distinguished, I am so glad to be a part of this very important forum. I term it important because it is a gathering of stakeholders that presents us with the ample opportunity to discuss and cross-fertilize ideas on the critical economic ingredients that support meaningful and sustainable development.
The pre-budget seminar, a consultative forum between the government and stakeholders of the Amuwo Odofin LG Project, afford us an opportunity to interrogate, cross-fertilize ideas and examine budget proposals in order to ensure that the revenue and expenditure priorities reflect our developmental agenda.
Thus, this forum should be instructive to all of us to the extent that we are able to appreciate that the budget is the main tool for the collection, allocation and utilization of scarce resources and, therefore, should be the subject of comprehensive scrutiny and open debate.
Distinguished, given its wide ranging implications for the people and development agenda, the formulation, approval, execution and oversight phases of the budget process need an inclusive public participation.
In this regard, this forum must lead us to mapping out a budget that loudly and unambiguously responds to the needs and aspirations of our people, as well as fulfils the promises and pledges that were made during our election.
These priorities, of necessities, must place emphasis on the critical roles played by our education, security, infrastructure, youths and sports, as well as health sector in the development of our amiable local government.
That is why this present administration in Amuwo Odofin local government has been working concertedly and assidously to pursue people-driven programmes and projects in other to create a lasting landmark in our community.
From primary health care delivery service to primary education, infrastructures, agricultural development, rural urbanization, youth and sports, et al, we have and are still making statements.
For instance, within this year we have pursued road rehabilitation with unequal dexterity, and witnessed the rehabilitation of roads like 31, 3rd avenue by 31, 2nd avenue by 205, 21 road by 31, and 2nd avenue by 5th avenue junction road.
Our government has also completed the construction of 6 blocks of classrooms at LA Primary School in Tomaro/Ilado and Itun-Agan Communities, both at the coastal communities in our Local Government. We also renovated Amuwo Odofin Primary School in Mile 2.
Distinguished audience, the rehabilitation of 401, 22,322,311, and 4th avenue roads like others are still on-going and hopefully it will be completed before December 31st this year.
The construction of 6 blocks of classrooms at Itan-Agan and Tomaro/Ilado communities, RCM Primary School, Igbologun, a block of 3 classrooms at UPE Primary School 3rd Avenue, Construction of Town Hall at Igbologun, Abule-Ado Health Care Center Extension, Doctor’s Lodge at Igbologun Primary Health Center are in advanced stages.
Our sustained free drugs and treatment to the vulnerable age group (0-16 & 60 years above) health programme is still experiencing progress; 92,003 persons have benefitted from our free drugs policy and we have delivered over 883 babies with zero mortality, 361 people have benefitted from the micro credit scheme of a 1.5% interest rate aimed at alleviating poverty; our secretariat is wearing a new and better look with several office upgrades; political staff are enjoying increased motivation for improved job productivity; our youths are getting empowered through sports and other skill acquisition programmes and N4 million voted to the development of sports to be drawn quarterly should not be forgotten.
We also distributed 200 GCE forms and 250 JAMB forms to indigent students and a cumulative of 2,250 JAMB forms and 2,000 GCE forms thus far.
Our government also constructed 1,500 desks and benches, provided 420,000 note books, 7,000 school bags and 250 life jackets for our pupils in the primary schools. Also, entered into partnership with a world leading information technology giant, the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT), where we signed a memorandum of understanding to empower 200 youths in our community on information technology.
On the environment, we have continued to intensify our efforts to improve on it with regular de-silting of drainage, clearing of refuse and weekly environmental sanitation exercise. We have also set up the Environmental Task Force, where we engaged our youths to bring about a cleaner and safer environment.
Over the years, we have planted over 5,000 tress of different species to combat the climate change scourge. It should be noted that our Local Government is the only grassroots government that have taken pro-active steps to fight the menace of climate change in Nigeria.
We also attended the Eco City Summit/ World Mayors’ Conference on Climate Change in Nantes and the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP19 at Warsaw, Poland, where we reiterated the importance of tree planting and shared our experience on mitigation and adaptation on climate change.
I must however, note that all these need to be sustained. Certainly, these developments and other proposed projects cannot be sustained on the insufficient statutory allocations from the Center given to the local government hence, the need to pay more attention to Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) that comes through the payment of your taxes and levies.
Unarguably, tax remains the secret behind the conspicuous socio-economic development in advanced democracies, thus making it a heinous crime to evade tax. By implication, development will fall with increased evasion of local government levies.
Consequently, despite our noble achievements so far, the objectives of this administration to bring the promised dividends of democracy to its people will be greatly threatened if the issue of local government levy is not emphasized.
For instance, the projected IGR for 2013 fiscal year is placed at N150million, but the actual amount accrued from January to November stood at 130 million, which is not in tandem to our projection, and this calls for the need to step up efforts at addressing the problem.
Distinguished, our community must move ahead, and the grass root government in place is positioned to ensure this objective is achieved.
In the year 2014, we are proposing a budget of 2.3 billion naira, in which Capital Expenditure will be 1.3 billion naira and Recurrent will be 1 billion naira.
We intend to concentrate more on infrastructure development and prone down on our recurrent expenditure, which is why this budget is termed Budget of Prudence.
Road network for instance, is one vital area that we have concentrated on, with an objective of positively changing the face of Amuwo Odofin within the shortest time possible. Our coastal communities will also be given considerable attention, as we intend to open up the place for socio-economic opportunities.
The infrastructures in the whole of the local government will be strengthened, just as we need to strengthen the primary health and education sectors.
Finally, I want to once again thank you all for coming and a happy deliberation, just as I hope that this all important forum will help address the excruciating problem of levy evasion, environmental mismanagement, security , drug abuse and youth restiveness, so that this forum can achieve its overall goal at the end.
Thank you and God bless.
Comrade Ayodele Adewale
Executive Chairman, Amuwo Odofin LGA.