The Lagos State government has reduced the state’s 2020 budget by 21 per cent, says the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube,.
Egube, who stated this at press briefing with his Information and Strategy counterpart, Gbenga Omotoso, said under the revised estimates, the new year 2020 Appropriation is N920.5 billion, as against the N1.169 trillion hitherto approved by the State House of Assembly.
He said the Lagos Executive Council approved the revised budget so as to help mitigate the economic and social headwinds precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic on the state.
He listed other factors to include the fall in oil prices with its consequential impact statutory allocation expectations, downward pressure on IGR (Internally Generated Revenue), devaluation of the Naira, reduced public and private investment, increased inflation, dropped demand for goods and services and reduction in manufacturing which would ultimately result in reduced GDP growth and consequently flip unemployment upwards.
Egube said part of the state government’s holistic approach to the COVID-19 shock therapy, is ” maintaining a strong pandemic response, restarting the state’s economy and re-imaging the way Lagos operates,” stating that with the measures already adopted will engender food security and safety-net mechanism, economic stimulus and ensure public safety and well-being.
To restart the economy, he said,”we are going to optimise the state’s budget for investments in jobs and priority sectors through job creation, economic stabilization and fiscal consolidation.
While to reimagine the state Economy, we will prepare the state to operate and thrive within the new reality with digitization, business environment reforms, improved economy and diversification of revenue source.,”
Egube said the Total Budget size is reduced by 21 per cent from N1,168.562 billion to N920.469 billion with the Financing Deficit increasing slightly by 11 per cent from N97.533 billion to N108.005 billion. Recurrent Expenditure (Debt and Non-Debt) decline by 10 per cent from the initial N457.529 billion to N411.608 billion and Total Capital Expenditure is reduced by 28 per cent from N711.033 billion to N508.861 billion.
The revised Total Revenue, according to Egube, represents a drop of 24 per cent from the projected N1,107,029 billion to N812.464 billion.
He said the government will target construction, drainage and LAWMA ( Lagos State Waste Management Agency) as key sectors to create jobs,
He said a contract for a new road linking the state’s inner corridor to Lekki has been awarded, saying the road meant to be completed in 24 months, will ease traffic along its stretch.
Egube listed other areas of focus to include agriculture, especially in aqua-culture,food storage, health,tourism and hospitality, fashion and the leather industry, among others. He said the state was receiving sufficient collaboration from the business community, including banks,
He said the state is keeping abreast with the challenges and responding accordingly. “We are not belittling the challenges,we have only elevated our capacity to respond,” Egube said