The Commissioner of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget, Hon. Akinyemi Ashade, has expressed the resolve of the Lagos State Government to raise N100billion in bond offering to finance critical infrastructure in the state.
Ashade disclosed this recently in Lagos, at the 2018 budget consultative forum organised by the stateâ€™s Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget to ensure adequate transparency and accountability in the preparation process of its budget.
He noted that the N812.998 billion proposed budget that was approved by the State House of Assembly has a component, which would be financed by borrowing, including bond issuance.
Ashade explained that in 2016, the state raised about N47billion through bond offerings, and established a programme of N500 billion and was able to raise funds to finance the budget over a period of time.
He said: â€œWe have a lot of projects in the area of tourism. We have the facelift of Lagos Marina, Onikan, and the construction of about six theatres in the state. We also have stadium to be constructed in order to engage the youths. We have key roads to be constructed also. We have the elderly care homes and other projects.
â€œWe just started the process of engagement in respective of 2018 budget. This is why we are here. We are here in Lagos Central Senatorial District. We have invited stakeholders to come and make input into the process of making the 2018 budget. We have focus areas and this includes the environmental reforms, the transportation reforms, and the power reforms.
â€œWe are here to listen to the people to make inputs into other areas they consider very important. We are also not leaving out key areas such as Education, Health, Tourism, Good Governance and Security. We want to hear from the people and know their priority and incorporate it into the 2018 budget.â€
He explained that the state government was aware of the huge infrastructural deficit, while stating that the state has very stable revenue base, but the challenges are huge.
â€œWe will focus on special taxes, consumption taxes, and find out other ways which would help us in furthering the 2018 budget.
â€œIn terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) the numbers are not in. But Lagos is a viable destination for investment. We know that there are quite a lot of projects that foreign investors are involved in. We always are open for business.â€