Lagos Requires N7tn to Meet Infrastructure Needs, Says Sanwo-Olu

Lagos Requires N7tn to Meet Infrastructure Needs, Says Sanwo-Olu

Segun James

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the state requires at least N7 trillion budget size to meet up with infrastructure needs and for basic amenities in the 2024 fiscal year, but plans to present over N2 trillion to the state House of Assembly soon.

This came as he expressed readiness to ensure ease of doing business in the state despite current global business challenges, stressing that his administration would not continue to give excuses.

Sanwo-Olu, had on January 31, signed the 2023 appropriation bill of N1.76 trillion to law at the State House, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said the budget tagged; Budget of Continuity” is to complete all ongoing projects in different parts of the state.

Recall that on October 27, 2022, Sanwo-Olu, presented a N1.69 trillion budget to the state assembly, which was passed on December 12, 2022, by the lawmakers.

The assembly, however, raised the approved budget by N76 billion to N1.768 trillion.

The governor, while presenting the budget to the state assembly, said the state government was expecting a N1.342 billion revenue to fund the budget.

A breakdown of the approved budget size showed the sum of N748 billion was allocated as recurrent expenditure and N1 trillion as capital expenditure for the year ending 31st December 2023.

Sanwo-Olu, accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, made the remarks yesterday, at the 8th Lagos Corporate Assembly, a business forum, tagged; “Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, BOS, Meets with Business Community,” held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.

The participants at the well-attended programme, includes: Captains of Industry such as: Chairman of Channels Television, John Momoh, Managing Director Lekki Concession Company, Chairman Silverbird Television, Ben Murray-Bruce, representatives of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN,

Heads of agencies and parastatals, heads of foreign missions, members of the state executive council, bankers, business leaders, business membership organisations, Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, MSMEs and all other important stakeholders, among others.

The governor noted that despite the global business uncertainty,

his administration cannot give excuses but must work to achieve its set out

goals as promised to the people during the campaign period.

According to Sanwo-Olu, “The demands from the report gathered

from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, shows that if we have the

resources, at least N7 trillion will be needed for the year 2024 budget to meet

the state’s infrastructural challenges and other basic amenities.

“Though, we are proposing over N2 trillion budget size for

the year 2024 to be presented to the state House of Assembly soon and we are

having a demand of N7 trillion. Our revenue is far from it.

“That’s one of the challenges we are having presently. We

want to fix roads and do it correctly.

“We need to scale up with modern technology and put in place

enduring policies. We didn’t anticipate the current inflation rate. Our focus is

on how to meet the demands of our people amidst the speculative market.

“We are where we are today and if we don’t get it right here

it will have dire consequences on our country. We can have a handshake with the

federal government. Mr. President, in recent times, has embarked on trips

abroad to canvas for investors to open up Nigeria’s economy as part of the

Renewed Hope Agenda.

“We can’t give excuses; we need to work together. We are

running against time. I have a political timeline I am working with. We can’t

afford to fail.

“We will need to work together and identify the way forward.

We should be able to solve some of our challenges through your ideas and

submissions.

“We must let the MSMEs breathe for a sustainable economy,

through friendly policies.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative, Trade and

Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, explained that undoubtedly, the

corporate assembly has been a very important public–private sectors engagement

platform, through which the state government and the business community

interact and discuss issues that are crucial to the state’s industrial and

commercial growth.

Ambrose-Medebem, assured that all issues raised at the last

edition had been addressed adequately by various MDAs relevant to improving the

business environment in the state.

She said, “The T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Development Agenda was

conceived as a comprehensive strategic document to guide the Sanwo-Olu’s

administration in the areas of policy formulation, development, implementation

and evaluation against set parameters, in order to aggressively transform the

state to a modern economy and meet the yearning and aspirations of all

stakeholders, including the business community.

“As a responsive and responsible government, we recognise

that ensuring ease of doing business is key to the state’s economic growth and

development.

“This is why the administration, through the implementation

of various reforms, prioritised the provision of a friendly environment that

would support existing businesses while attracting more Foreign Direct

Investment (FDI) into the state.

“The outcome of the reforms includes, among others;

improvement in the time of Issuance of Planning Permit, which is down to 10

days for players in the built sector. This was achieved following a series of

innovations introduced by this administration to make the process seamless,

attractive and friendly.

“In the transportation sector, the administration recorded a

milestone achievement with the inauguration of the much anticipated first phase

of the 27 kilometres Lagos Blue Light Rail.

“The 13-kilometre project from Mile 2 to Marina, stretching

across five stations, has brought considerable relief to commuters, reduced

stress and public health challenges associated with public transportation,

saved productive man-hour loss in traffic and is fast-tracking movement of

goods and labour particularly to the business districts of Lagos Island and

Victoria Island.

“There are various other interventions the administration has

made since the last Assembly.

“To consolidate on what has been done, the state government

will continue to use platforms such as this Corporate Assembly, to sustain the

engagement and fire up the conversation that would ensure that the state

remains focused in its strong determination to move up the ladder on the global

Ease of Doing Business index, and progresses steadily towards inclusive growth

that would benefit the investors and the residents.

“Indeed, whatever prominence Lagos State is laying claims to

today would not have been possible without the contributions of the Organised

Private Sector in the state.

“This is why the administration will continue to deepen

collaboration with OPS stakeholders, not only to sustain the existing level of

growth but also to accelerate the momentum of the state’s development.”

Ambrose-Medebem, also reassured stakeholders that “More than

ever before, Lagos State, in the face of pervasive global economic challenges,

is poised to support both the industrial and commercial sectors to maximise

potentials towards making greater contribution to the state’s Gross Domestic

Product (GDP).

“Towards this end, the state government, through the Ministry

of Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment shall continue to institute

policies aimed at further promoting a sustainable business environment for all

stakeholders in the state.

“Again, in our bid to promote and sustain the growth of

business enterprise, the ministry will regularly interface with other

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state, other states of the

federation and with the federal government, including relevant local and

international support institutions and economic development partners.

“We shall also continue to collaborate with indigenous and

foreign bilateral and multilateral Chambers of Commerce and industry, towards

reinforcing their confidence and belief in the fact that Lagos State is ready

and open for business.”

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