On Tuesday, 17th November, 2009, the Lagos State Governor, Barr Babatunde Fashola presented the 2010 budget estimate of N429.59 billion to the Lagos State House of Assembly, for approval. I learnt the budget christened “Budget of Consolidation” represents an increase of 5. 7 percent over that of the preceding year. I also learnt it has a persistent disbursement of N178.82 billion and a capital
overflow of N250.8 billion.
As that sounds very interesting, what makes it more interesting is the fact that this realistic budget came at a period the National Houses of Assembly threw caution to the wind and painted Nigeria with undemocratic norms embedded in lawlessness demonstrated by the recent
shameless tussle being exhibited by both arms of the House on where the national 2010 budget should be presented.
As a result, we have been inundated with arguments back and forth from David Mark and Dimeji Bankole, quoting from the constitution, which House represents the leadership and which one should succumb.
They seem to have forgotten their primary responsibilities and are now on an endless ego trip at the expense of the electorate and tax payers.
In our party, the Action Congress (AC), under the able chairmanship of Chief Bisi Akande, and the unrelenting Publicity Secretary, Chief Lai Mohammed, one unique thing is our consistent conformity to democratic norms which ordinarily should set the pace for the recalcitrant
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to follow.
But for the PDP’s selfish practice of democracy, it has always been foolhardy to imbibe a sound democratic culture. There is no party in the history of Nigeria that has brought our great country to such local and international disrepute as the PDP, with sobriquet by Prof. Wole Soyinka as a “Nest of Killers”.
Nigerians are yet to reap from the myriads of budgets presented by the PDP-led national government since 1999 to date. There has never been any dividend or gains from these unrealistic estimates compressed without sufficient analysis: A reoccurring decimal that has been
applied for a period of ten years now. It is time for the PDP-led national government to take a queue from the best example we have in
our dear country, the Action Congress government of Lagos state.
In Lagos, governance has been re-defined for the interest of the people and proper democratic culture institutionalized right from the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s era. Lagos State at the moment can effectively boast of independent sectors/agencies that are self sustaining.
Such agencies are the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Lagos State Water Corporation and others. These agencies, according to the governor, have truly enhanced their capacity to run on their own strength.
Lagos is also placing greater emphasis in the 2010 budget in improving the quality of life in the rural areas, particularly through
Agriculture based micro-finance funding under the existing framework of the Lagos State Micro Finance Initiative: A scheme that will boost
the rural economy, create rural based employment and encourage more people to stay within their environment. This without much emphasis will open up robust economic activities and accelerated urban development.
We need action, and that action is what Nigerians are seeing in the Action Congress-led government of Lagos State, which has brought
Governor Fashola to the international community as a governor with a background in Law who has applied it effectively and appropriately for the enhancement of democratic dividends, a song that is sung in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
The Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is also playing his own shots with unprecedented developments being implemented in Edo State.
Because the PDP is worried of the feats that have been achieved so far in less time since our pacesetters and action governors of the Action Congress came to the saddle, PDP in their usual retrogressive posture are looking for all possible ways to discredit our heroes in Lagos and Edo States, respectively.
But the giant strides and landmarks have made their possible thoughts, an impossibility. It is indeed a tall dream.
Fashola, ride on.
Chairman, Rivers State Action Congress.