- 2019 budget will focus on project completion, says Ambode
With its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently standing at $136 billion, Lagos economy will record four per cent growth in 2019 while the national economy will grow by 2.8 per cent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted.
The prediction is contained in an address the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, delivered at different meetings of the state’s foremost social clubs – Yoruba Tennis Club and Island – organised precisely on Tuesday.
Among others, the meetings were attended by former former Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu; Chairman, Yoruba Tennis Club, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabanwo; his Island Club counterpart, Mr. Olabanji Oladapo; and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Citing the IMF’s recent statistics at the meetings, Ambode disclosed that Lagos, on a stand-alone basis in the year under reference, would achieve four per cent growth in its GDP, which according to him, is currently valued at $136 billion.
Unlike the national economy, Ambode pointed out that the social intervention initiatives of its administration would also go a long way to facilitate serious reduction in unemployment rate, which he said, suggested that the 2019 economic outlook was quite positive.
The governor said: “According to IMF, the Nigeria GDP will grow from 1.9 per cent in 2018 to 2.8 per cent in 2019. Lagos on a stand-alone basis will achieve over 4 per cent growth in GDP. By implication, this could be more if the congestion at the port and the negative effect this has on the economy is addressed.
“We expect that the high rate of unemployment will reduce with various social intervention programmes of the state and federal governments geared towards financial inclusion and liquidity support to micro, small and medium enterprises.”
Specifically, Ambode said the state’s 2019 budget would be dedicated towards the completion of ongoing infrastructural projects, creation of more jobs, supporting businesses to thrive, and strengthening the security architecture of the state.
According to him, “A lot of provision has been made for capital projects in the 2019 federal budget, some of which will directly impact the economy of our state and will support our growth plans. On our part, we will concentrate on completing existing infrastructural projects, creating more jobs, supporting our businesses to thrive and strengthening our security infrastructure.”
He recalled the activities of his administration in the last three and a half years, noting that it was particularly fulfilling that the state had made tremendous progress in all sectors of the economy and had become more globally competitive and strategically positioned among the major city-states worldwide.
“Three and a half years down the line, our state has progressed in all sectors of the economy. We have charted a clear path to the destination we have all dreamt about and desired. Today, our Lagos has become more globally competitive and strategically positioned among the major city-states of the world. Our state has become a top destination for business and tourism and it can only get better.
“One of the key promises I made at my inauguration on May 29, 2015 was to make our state work for all; to spread development from the already congested city centre to other parts of the state with massive infrastructure development. The thinking has been to make every part of the state economically livable.
“We have undertaken projects in all sectors of the economy with the sole intention of making life better for our people. All of these and similar initiatives were made possible by the personal taxes of high net worth residents of our state represented at this gathering which account for a significant percentage of our IGR. I want to use this opportunity to thank you so much for providing the resources, which have empowered us to make a positive difference in the lives of all citizens of our state,” Ambode explained.
The governor added that it was obvious that the state could not afford a break in trajectory of progressive governance at this point in time, thereby urging the residents of the state to continue to support the ruling party in the state.
He cited the recently launched Lagos Health Insurance Scheme Bill designed “to guarantee access to quality healthcare delivery for all Lagos residents. It is instructive that the bill for the scheme was signed into law by his immediate predecessor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, while the process for its implementation was kick-started by his administration”.
“This is the beauty in continuity. We have Sanwo-Olu’s assurances that the initiative will be sustained. Lagos State cannot afford the risk of a break in the trajectory of progressive governance at this crucial stage of development. The future is bright and assured. We must maintain continuity of progress in the state,” he said.
Ambode, therefore, commended the two foremost social clubs for their immense contribution to the development of the state. He equally urged them to continue to play key part in taking Lagos into a brighter and more prosperous future.
In their respective addresses, Chairman of Island Club, Oladapo and Fabamwo commended Ambode for the various infrastructure projects executed in the clubs, saying it was laudable that the governor kept his electoral promise.