Sanwo-Olu Mulls Reordering 2020 Budget to Cushion Pandemic’s Effects

Sanwo Olu

The Lagos State Government has reeled out strategies being put in place to cushion the effects of COVID-19 as the pandemic takes its toll on the economy and residents across the State.

Speaking at an Inter-ministerial Briefing to update the media about palliatives by the government, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube hinted that the administration will consider reordering the N1.17 trillion budget for 2020 to channel funds into ventures that will generate quick employment and resources for the residents.

The media briefing, which was held at the JTT Park in Alausa, was organised by the State government to enable commissioners directly involved in the intervention programmes of Lagos State government provide updates on the activities aimed at reducing the effects of the pandemic on the populace.

Egube said the ravaging pandemic had slowed down the growth of the State’s economy, shut down industrial production and distorted the supply chain of essential items, thereby heightening the fear of food insecurity among residents.

Assuring that the Lagos Government has started responding to the concerns of citizens, Egube said, “We have started to put together post-COVID-19 response and stimulation plan to ensure our business continuity plan is riding after Coronavirus. We are going to look at enterprise; that is, Small and Medium Scale businesses that have the capacity to generate quick revenue and employment. All these economic stimulus packages will be rolled out when we have clarity on the slowdown of the spread of Coronavirus in the State”.

Egube continued saying, “We will be looking at the construction sector and agriculture, empowering of people with vocational knowledge and skills. We believe these investments will stimulate growth and set the economy of the State on a powerful rebound for more prosperity.”

While pointing out that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had reinforced the need to draw up the database of people living in the State, Egube advised residents to enrol with Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) to enable the government update its database of residents for emergency planning and budgeting.

In his own contribution, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said the national economy felt the impact of the twin-shock occasioned by the falling prices of oil in the international market and freezing of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.