Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic and financial capital, on Tuesday presented the N1.155tr 2021 Proposed what he tagged “Budget of Rekindling Hope,” before the State House of Assembly.
The spending plan, expected to propel the restoration of economic balance and “help the state navigate its way out of the negative impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the destruction of public assets, following the EndSARS protest hijack.”
A breakdown of the proposed budget showed that funding will be significantly through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which is projected to hit N962bn or 83.29%, while the balance of N192.495bn deficit will be financed through bond issuance, internal and external loans.
An estimated N704bn, representing 61% of the total budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure, while the remaining N451.75bn, or 39% is earmarked for recurrent expenditure
To improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for youths of the state to flourish, he said the government will commit N22.21bn and N311.43bn to the agricultural (food security) sector, and a cumulative N311.43bn for infrastructure for the growth needed to ensure a self-reliant and economically empowered populace.
Reviewing the performance of the 2020 budget, Sanwo-Olu said it had achieved a 77%, while the benchmark is set at 86% by the end of December, noting that a total of N25bn was spent on construction, refurbishment and equipping of healthcare centres across the state.
He added that the State built and rehabilitated 589 classrooms while also providing 1,568-bed hostels in secondary and primary schools.
In the 2021 fiscal year, Lagos, the governor assured, also plans to invest heavily in human capital development, with special focus on creating jobs (particularly for youths) and strengthening security for businesses to flourish.
The choice of the theme for the 2021 budget, he explained, from recent developments in the global and national space, “especially the coronavirus pandemic, the EndSARS protests, the general feeling of disenchantment in the polity and the socio-economic yearnings of Lagosians for good governance.
“This budget reflects our desire to rebuild the trust of the people in this Government, even as we commit significant human and financial resources to the rebuilding of Lagos while doing all we can to move on from the destruction and vandalism recently witnessed in the State, barely three weeks ago.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protests have only heightened the need to urgently implement various programmes under the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda. The 2021 budget will, among other things, provide for youth employment, security, and youth engagement and social works.
Sanwo-Olu promised that the proposed budget would support entrepreneurship and expand the opportunity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate socio-economic advancement. He pledged that his administration would continue to support entrepreneurs in the State through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). Besides, it will also strengthen technical and financial support for beneficiaries to generate employment that will stimulate economic prosperity.
The Governor equally announced plans for economic growth, while committing resources to “state-wide security architecture, especially in the areas of intelligence gathering and the motivation of all security personnel in the Neighbourhood Watch.
He promised “audacious governance goals, which we cannot achieve without the concerted efforts of all our people.
“We should not allow the events of the past few months to obliterate our consistent cycles of socio-economic progress,” he said, calling on all to begin rebuilding the State with determination and optimism, while advancing “the interests of the electorate and restore their confidence in this Government,” the Governor said.