Pupils in Lagos State will from January eat once a day on the government’s account, Governor. Akinwunmi Ambode said yesterday.
Ambode announced the commencement of the “A-Meal-a-Day” programme in public primary schools, when he presented the 2016 “Peoples budget” plan to the House of Assembly.
Presenting a budget proposal of N662.58 billion, the governor said funding of the programme will be done in collaboration with the Federal Government, which will provide 60 per cent of the cash.
“This programme promises not only to improve the daily nutrition of our children, It will also create an economy of its own, with opportunities for job creation, income generation, poverty alleviation, and so on,” he said.
Ambode said the government’s intervention in education will continue in the areas of maintenance of public school buildings and facilities, and provision of basic instructional materials.
Government will also provide free textbooks for schools and mandatory capacity building programmes for teachers in public schools.
“We intend to launch an advocacy programme `Kick Illiteracy out of Lagos’, starting from next year.
“I am happy to inform you that in 2016, we will develop our e-curriculum, leading to the distribution of Ibile tablets to pupils in our public schools,” he said.
Ambode said revolution at the secondary school level will set a new standard in the educational system which will enhance the knowledge of the children, to enable them compete effectively with their peers in developed countries.
Other areas to be addressed include transportation, where Ambode will fully operationalise the multi-modal transport system through the construction of new jetties and completion of work on the Blue-Rail Line project from Mile 2 to Marina.
“We will deliver this project in year 2016,” the governor said.
On security, Ambode said his government will not relent in its efforts in making the state secure for residents and visitors.
“We will continue to support our security agencies with the necessary tools to fight crime.
“We will build on the existing cordial relationship with the private sector in ensuring that Security Trust Fund is efficiently utilised to make our state very safe,” he said.
Ambode said a Medical Park will be established in 2016 to make the state a key destination for medical tourism.
“We promised earlier to deliver Ayinke House, our foremost facility for mothers, in the second quarter of 2016,” he said.
On roads, Ambode said construction of new roads will continue across the length and breadth of the state.
“We will place the completion on-going road construction projects and pedestrian bridges on our priority list in year 2016.
He said the government would promote environmentally friendly habits among the populace and complete on-going drainage projects.
On Agriculture and Food Security, Ambode said that state will collaborate with other states in the development of a commodity value chain, specifically for rice production.
“In 2016, we will invest more in Ayobo Fish Farm Estate at Alimosho to boost fish production and provide jobs.
“To secure ourselves food-wise, an Agric Park will be established in 2016,” Ambode said
Giving a breakdown, Ambode put recurrent expenditure at N278,909 billion and capital expenditure N383,678 billion, explaining that the capital to recurrent ratio is 58:42 per cent as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015.
The governor put the total revenue estimate at N542.873 billion, adding that the balance of N119.714 billion would be funded through deficit financing, constituting 0.41 per cent of the GDP and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about three per cent.
On the size of the budget, N120,508,571,598 was earmarked for General Public Services (18.19 per cent); N28,559,021,841 for Public Order and Safety (4.31 per cent) and Economic Affairs N211,043,408,183 (31.85 per cent).