Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, disclosed on Tuesday that his administration has been able to reduce the cost of governance in the state by saving N3 billion every month, amounting to N12 billion in the first quarter of the administration.
Ambode made the disclosure at the first edition of the Quarterly Town Hall Meeting involving the people of Lagos West Senatorial, where he rendered the account of his stewardship since he took over office as governor on May 29, 2015.
The governor, while addressing the gathering at Abesan Estate, Alimosho area of the state, including the Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs) Aderanti Adebule, traditional rulers, artisans, market men and women, local government executive secretaries, Body of Permanent Secretaries, among others, said he had reduced the cost of governance through the re-alignment of the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and restructuring of government.
Ambode said one of his administration’s first key tasks was to stabilise the finances of the state which made it embarked on a financial re-engineering and reviewed the revenue and expenditure framework of the state.
According to him, this has provided his administration with more funds to inject into capital projects and the initial funds to establish the Employment Trust Fund which he promised the youth in the state.
“Today, a major landmark of our administration is the reduction in the cost of governance. We want a lean government with quality service delivery.
“Lagos State Government is proud to declare that it has consistently met its obligations, especially prompt payment of workers’ salaries without seeking any bailout from the Federal Government,” Governor Ambode said.
The governor said that his administration in August approved the release of N11 billion for the payment of arrears of pensions owed pensioners since 2010.
Ambode added that his government had, on monthly basis, consistently been presenting retirees on the Contributory Pension Scheme their bond certificates and had also approved the appointment of four additional Pension Fund Administrators to further boost the processes and accord staff a wider range of options.
“We are presently reviewing our loans with our bankers with a view to restructuring them in order to free up funds for further infrastructural development,” he added.
Speaking on the health sector, he disclosed that his government had provided 20 Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances at a cost of N145.240 million, deployed in all the state’s ambulance points, bringing it to a total of 36 Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances.
“We have also provided additional 26 Transport Ambulances at the cost of N257.4 million deployed across all our General Hospitals. We have created Ambulance Points across the states for easy access to our people. The ambulance service can be reached by calling the Toll-Free Line 112.
“Our administration in the last three months has installed 22 power generating sets ranging from 350 –500 KVA as additional back-up sets across all our General Hospitals at the cost of N270 million to ensure 24-hour power supply. In addition, 26 Mobile X-Ray machines, costing N519.656 million are being installed at all our general hospitals across the state. Similarly, we have granted approval for the recruitment of more paramedic staff and special medical coordinators to ensure 24 hours service in our health facilities,” he said.