The Lagos State Government on Thursday reported that 81 per cent of its projected revenue for the first half of 2020, totaling N432.6 billion, was recorded in spite the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities.
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Sam Egube, disclosed this at the 2019/2020 Annual Press Conference Week Lecture of the Lagos State Governor’s Office Correspondents (LAGOCO) with the theme ‘Rethinking Lagos from The Post COVID-19 Era’.
Egube,who was represented at the forum by the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Economic Matters, Mr Lekan Balogun, said that in spite the COVID-19 pandemic, the government had been able to re-strategise to conform with the demands of the present realities.
According to him, good governance is one which has the ability to respond when disturbances arise.
The commissioner explained: ”Lagos State economy remains the largest and arguably the fastest growing economy in Nigeria. The state’s economy was projected to grow at four per cent prior to COVID-19. However, COVID-19 has affected the possibilities of achieving such prosperous target.
“Having looked at the half of the year budget performance, it showed that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the total revenue recorded in performance is at 81 per cent of our initial target,” he added.
Egube, however, said that while the state’s economy was projected to record a four per cent growth, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses led to a contraction in the state’s budget by 21 per cent in response to constriction in economic activities.
He said that the review of the budget was based on the lower GDP growth, decline in demands for goods and services, and shortfall in revenue generation, among other constraints.
According to him, the adjustment of the state’s budgetary plan was effected to maintain a strong response to the effects of the pandemic on food, ensure job creation, economic stability and economic reforms for ease-of-doing business.
Egube explained that with the experience of COVID-19, the state government had introduced the creation of a Stabilisation Fund at one per cent of yearly of the IGR, to provide support during future emergencies.
In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said that in spite the COVID-19 crisis, governance was sustained leading to the commissioning of a number of projects, while those undergoing execution are set for completion.
Omotoso listed some of the projects completed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as including the rolling out of new buses for ease of transportation, unveiling new boats and channel-routes for waterways; commissioning of new health facilities; housing schemes, among others.