ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR BABAJIDE OLUSOLA SANWO-OLU, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2021 LAGOS BUDGET PROPOSAL, TO THE LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, ON TUESDAY, 10TH NOVEMBER 2020.
It has been almost 18 months since I became the 15th Governor of Lagos State: while the last one and a half years have been consequential and memorable: today’s budget presentation provides an opportunity to enunciate our fiscal vision for the next one year while quantifying our challenges, triumphs and developmental achievements in the last 12 months.
In November 2019, I presented a Year 2020 comprehensive budget to this Honourable House in line with the policy thrust of my administration, which we christened The Budget of Awakening to a Greater Lagos. I am here today to present the Year 2021 Appropriation Bill, which we have rightly christened the Budget of Rekindled Hope.
The year 2021 is one of Rekindled Hope in accordance with recent events of global and national proportions especially the coronavirus pandemic, the EndSARS protests, the general feeling of disenchantment in the polity, the socio-economic yearnings of Lagosians for good governance, and the stringent calls in all societal spheres for a more representative democracy that speaks to the issues of sovereign wealth, economic growth, consistent progress and equitable quality of life.
Mr Speaker, the 2021 Appropriation Bill encompasses the message of rekindled hope, the same message we have been disseminating to Lagosians since March when we experienced the first COVID-19 case and since October 11 when the ENDSARS protests first erupted in Lagos State.
MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, OUR GOVERNMENT REMAINS COMMITTED TO COMMUNAL COHESIVENESS AND INTER-ETHNIC UNITY.
More than ever before, our government remains committed to communal cohesiveness and inter-ethnic unity. We will resist every attempt to cause division among the numerous ethnic nationalities who call Lagos State home.
Lagos State remains a microcosm of the entire African continent and a melting pot for all Nigerians: nothing and no one can undermine our security, continued oneness, and our unrivalled dedication to the prosperity of our people.
This budget presentation reflects our desire to rebuild the trust of our people in this government even as we commit significant human and financial resources to the rebuilding of Lagos while doing all we can to move on from the looting, arson, destruction, and vandalism which we witnessed in this state barely three weeks ago.
LET ME REITERATE THAT THIS IS THE TIME FOR ALL OF US TO UNITE FOR A MORE PROSPEROUS LAGOS STATE: THIS IS THE TIME TO COLLECTIVELY OPTIMIZE EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING GLOBALIZED WORLD.
Let me reiterate that this is the time for all of us to unite for a more prosperous Lagos State: this is the time to collectively optimize emerging opportunities in a rapidly changing globalized world. We have audacious governance goals, which we cannot achieve without the concerted efforts of all our people- we should not allow the events of the past few months to obliterate our consistent cycles of socio- economic progress. Let us begin to rebuild our state with determination and optimism, even as we advance the interests of the electorate and restore their confidence in this government.
I want all Lagosians to know that the protection of lives and property remains a priority of this administration: to the entrepreneurs whose businesses were looted and vandalized, I urge you to take the helping hand offered by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund while we work on other interventions to cushion the effect of your losses. We are in this together, we share the resilient Lagos Spirit, which abhors defeat; we must be intentional about courageously rebuilding Lagos State, which has always been reputed for its political and economic freedom.
I AT THIS JUNCTURE CRAVE YOUR INDULGENCE TO OFFER A MINUTE SILENCE IN HONOUR OF OUR HEROES, OUR YOUTH AND OUR CHILDREN, AS WELL AS OUR GALLANT POLICE OFFICERS, WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE ENDSARS PROTESTS: THEY LOST THEIR LIVES WHILE TRYING TO MAKE NIGERIA A BETTER PLACE
Before I delve into the 2021 budget estimate, may I at this juncture crave your indulgence to offer a minute silence in honour of our heroes, our youth and our children, as well as our gallant police officers, who lost their lives during the ENDSARS protests: they lost their lives while trying to make Nigeria a better place, a country we all can be truly proud of.
May their souls rest in peace.