September 29, 2020

Lagos financially, economically viable —Govt

Bamise BRT

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

….Releases 2019 financial statement

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Contrary to the publication by BudgIT, a public finance analyst, the Lagos State Government said it is economically and financially solid.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, made the assertion in a statement on Monday in reaction to BudgIT, publication, titled: ‘Ability of States to Meet Monthly Recurrent Expenditure and Loan Repayment Obligations, 2019’, which the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration described as “misinformation”. According to Olowo, BudgIT has apologized for its error in the report.

According to Olowo, the facts are: “Lagos State continues to meet all its recurrent and loan service obligations and the information that was published in incorrect, inaccurate and a gross distortion of the actual facts.

“The accurate information that ought to have been stated in the table published by BudgIT is total revenue:  N644,762,788,340.04, recurrent expenditure and loan repayment obligation: N554,241,725,038.00, while surplus or deficit is N90,521,063,302.04.

READ ALSO: Lagos govt unveils plans for 2020 economic summit

“As indicated in Lagos State’s published Financial Statements (and as extracted above), the information in the table published by BudgIT should have correctly indicated a surplus of N89 billion.

“Lagos State Government continues to efficiently explore options in both the Financial and Capital Markets, to extract optimal funding solutions, which will enhance the administration’s ability to deliver on the construction, renewal and improvement of the deficit in social and physical infrastructure for the benefit of Lagosians; who represent 10 per cent of Nigeria’s population.

“In 2019, Lagos State restructured all existing internal loan facilities to 14 per cent per annum, from between 18 per cent and 20 per cent per annum. These rates have even more recently been re-negotiated to circa 12 per cent per annum.”

Olowo maintained that Lagos State is the only State that is not reliant on the allocation from the Federal Account Allocation Committee, with Internally Generated Revenues representing circa 72 per cent of the State’s aggregate revenues to enable it address challenges faced by mega cities world over.

“As at August 2020, Lagos State’s Internal Revenue Service is doing 103 per cent above budget, and well above 2019 figures, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which demonstrate the fiscal resilience of the Sanwo-Olu’s administration for a Greater Lagos, he affirmed.