By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowopejo
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has expressed concern over the recent job losses in the banking sector in the country, saying it would definitely affect the Lagos State revenue.
Fashola, however, said the state recorded 73 per cent aggregate performance in the 2009 budget, describing the development as being on the right path.
The governor who made the remarks at a three-day retreat organised for members of the State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries at Akodo, said the state government would also look at how to generally ensure social stability in the state as it was observing the problem in the financial sector and the subsequent job losses there.
Responding to a question on the priority areas for the Budget 2010 now before the House of Assembly, Fashola said the job losses would affect the state revenue because everyone that lost his job would not pay taxes, reassuring that government owed it a duty to ensure that such people found their feet.
His words: â€œWe are going to be deepening our rural development programmes while we continue with our youths, women, infrastructure development and micro credit intervention.â€
Access to land
The governor, therefore, gave assurance that his government would continue to work on improving access to land as well as the rates at which permits were processed.
He added that the state had taken out some rates through its Ways and Means Committee to make the process more affordable and expressed the hope that the state would come out with some other policies to make it cheaper so that the sector could come alive.
On budget 2009
Disclosing that the stateÂ recorded 73 percent aggregate performance in the 2009 budget, Fashola explained that the budget recorded a 71 per cent performance in the fourth quarter of last year.
His words: â€œI am really convinced that we are on the right path. It is a journey and we will get there.
â€œWe have seen increases in level of security from the implementation of our budget in the law and order sector and social justice. While from the environment, there has been improved cleanliness, improved standard of life and an improved quality of life. We are gradually taking our people away from disease and squalor.,â€ Fashola said.
In terms of rural development, Fashola said there had been an appreciable budget impact, which had occasioned an improvement of economic activity in the rural areas as a result of rural programmes like electrification, water supply and integration of rural development.
â€œMore and more people are staying in the rural areas which means that our objective of stopping rural-urban migration is being achieved by providing activity centres for people living in the rural areas,â€ he said.
â€œThe economies are opening up in those sectors because the infrastructure is coming there. It is translating to increased money, improved values of property and rural areas,â€ he said.
Fashola said in the education sector, there has been an increase in enrolment of pupils in public schools as people were now taking their pupils out of private schools as a direct result of some of the measures already put in place through the budget implementation.