The Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria has knocked the Babajide Sanwo-olu -led administration of Lagos State for the 2020 budget, recently passed into law by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
According to a statement issued by Comrade Rufus Olusesan and Moshood Oshunfurewa, Chairman and Secretary of the Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, respectively, the Lagos State Government is poised to spend N1.168tn in the New Year 2020 without any corresponding evidence of how the budgeted amount will impact on education, healthcare among other social services.
The SPN asserted that the despite horrendous yearly budgets, the state of post- primary and primary education in the state is nothing to write home about. The Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, which is the only state-owned Polytechnic is crisis-ridden with months of workers’ salaries unpaid and many courses unaccredited. Lagos State University is not in any way better as many University lecturers have had their appointments terminated under a climate of academic authoritarianism and underfunding.
Despite projected Internally Generated revenue at N1.071 trillion, the state of infrastructure is horrible as most roads and link bridges are in dilapidated state.
The party condemned the planned borrowing of N97.53 billion through internal and external loans as humongous loans taken so far have not reflected in improved living standards for the working people.
The statement also condemned the argument that the humongous loan is needed to implement the 30,000 naira minimum wage by the Lagos State Government. The party calls on the labour movement to be on the alert against any form of retrenchment as a basis of implementing the minimum wage as being exemplified in Lagos State Polytechnic where an agreement for an improved salary scale, approved by national polytechnic regulatory body (NBTE), was cancelled and leaders of the workers unions have been victimized for resisting the action.
In a related development, the party has also knocked the Lagos State Government for the imposition of E-Tag at the Lekki and Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plazas after the expiration of the Lekki Concession Agreement entered into with the Lekki Concession Company Limited. The party called for scrapping of the Toll Plazas.
The statement also condemned cases of fresh evictions and demolition of Informal settlements by Lagos State Government without proper provision for alternative housing.
The statement called for resistance by Lagosians against evictions and demolitions. It also urged workers, students, youth and artisans to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria to wrest power from the anti-poor political parties both at State and Federal Government levels that have made life miserable for the vast majority of the working people.