The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts (State) on Monday began its oversight function of looking into the audit reports of over 200 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), for probity and accountability.
The Committee’s Chairman, Mr Moshood Oshun, spoke with newsmen after the committee interrogated State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) officials.
He said that the exercise was legal, to ensure that public funds were judiciously expended.
According to him, the exercise is an annual ritual for House Committee whenever the Auditor-General finishes auditing all the MDAs in Lagos State.
“This is expected by the law and Lagosians deserve to know how their money is being expended.
“There are processes that must be followed. Lagos residents voted for us to protect their interests, their money and the state. This is one way of doing that.
“We want to make sure that all tax-payers money is judiciously spent. We want to make sure that the right thing is done, and that what has been appropriated for is done
“Lagosians gain a lot from this kind of exercise,” he said.
On the challenges facing some of the MDAs in meeting their expectations, Oshun said the committee would consider them and find solutions to ensure their optimal performance.
According to him, the Physical Planning Permit Authority has done very well in terms of revenue generation and achievements, though there is room for improvement.
He urged the revenue agencies to work more in generating funds to finance state budgets.
“MDAs should know they are out to serve the people of Lagos State to make sure that residents feel safe and secured as well as to ensure that their money was not wasted on frivolities.
“I want to implore the MDAs to make sure their books are up to date, to make sure that all loopholes are blocked and to make sure that tax payers money are judiciously spent,” he said.
Oshun said the committee was not in a rush in the investigation, but would do a thorough job as prescribed by the law.
“We have been elected to do this job, we have been paid to do it. What is important to the House is to make sure that a good job is done and We will do a thorough investigation.
“We want to make sure that someone who has not done anything bad is not punished and to make sure that somebody who has done something bad is punished,” he said.
The chairman urged the MDAs to work with the House in law reviews where necessary, in order to ensure they match test of time for optimum performance.
Responding to the committee, the Acting Head of LASPPPA, Mr Oluwafunmilayo Osifuye, said the agency had achieved 70.5 per cent in its previous budget performance.
According to him, despite some achievements of the agency, there are challenges, which include slowness of the processes in the issuance of permits.
He said that the rate at which permits were issued for construction was slow, and there was need to delegate some of the responsibilities to his subordinates.