Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the year 2020 budget of Lagos state presented to the State House of Assembly about two weeks ago by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will be passed before the end of the year by the lawmakers.
Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru disclosed this while answering reporters questions at the venue of the annual national delegates’ conference of the Association of Hansard/Verbatim Reporters of Nigeria at Ikeja Wednesday.
He said the second reading of the Appropriation bill was taken on Monday on the floor of the House and that all things being equal the budget will be passed before the end of the year.
“The second reading has just been taken on the floor of the House and it is a process, all I can say is that it is our desire to see that the budget is passed before the end of the year, all things being equal.
“Of course, we look forward to a hitch-free budget process and we require and seek for the support of the executive to avail us all necessary documents that would help in the passage of the budget, once that is done I am sure it is our desire to pass it before the end of the year,” Abiru said.
Declaring the conference, with the theme: ‘The challenges facing the production of Hansard and the way out’, open earlier, Abiru who represented Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said Hansard is a very important document in the parliament that contains everything said during proceedings in parliament.
“Hansard is the official reporting of proceedings in the House of Assembly, it reminds us of things said at different times by members without distortion and it is also very good for history.
“There is utmost need to support and update this process of reportage so as to conform with modern day realities, we can not leave out the use of technology in modern day Hansard preparation,” Abiru said.
In his welcome address earlier, Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni who was represented by Mr. Taiwo Ottun, Head, Legislative Directorate, told the Hansard/Verbatim reporters that their “roles have been remarkably instrumental to the growth and development of our democracy and legislative institutions, most particularly when the need arises to refer to reportorial precedence as recorded in Hansard”.
In her address, National president of the Association, Mrs. Folasade Bejide identified some of the challenges confronting Hansard/Verbatim reporters to include: lack of funds, lack of modern equipment for the production, lack of training and retraining for personnel, stockpiling of unprinted Hansard reports and others.
“It is hoped that our coming together will strengthen and refresh us for effective performance in the production of Hansard as we are going to come up with resolutions that will address all the challenges facing our profession,” Bejide said.