Financial status of Lagos healthy with N90.5bn budget surplus- Official

The Lagos State government says the financial status of the state is healthy having achieved N90.5 billion budget surplus in the 2019 fiscal year.

The performance showed the solid financial standing and sound economic position by the state during the fiscal year.

The announcement of the state’s financial statusyesterday followed misleading report by BudgIT, a public finance analyst, on the fiscal health of Lagos State.

In a statement, the Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, said Lagos State will continue to meet its recurrent and loan service obligations and that the information that was published in incorrect, inaccurate and a gross distortion of the facts.

He said the figures showed the state is economically and financially viable and that the government continues to expand funding sources while also ensuring that prudence and sustainability are at the fore of funding and expenditure plans.

Also, the state’s total revenue for the year stood at N644.76 billion while the recurrent expenditure and loan repayment obligations were at N544.24 billion, extract from the Lagos State’s published 2019 Audited Financial Statements, showed.the jlo

“Lagos State is economically and financially solid. This is contrary to the publication by BudgIT, a public finance analyst, titled ‘Ability of States to Meet Monthly Recurrent Expenditure and Loan Repayment Obligations, 2019’, which the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration described as “misinformation”. BudgIT has apologised for its error,” Olowo said

He said the accurate data for the state showed that total revenue stood at N644,762,788,340.04, recurrent expenditure and loan repayment obligation stood at N554,241,725,038 creating a budget surplus of N90,521,063,302.04.

Olowo said the state government continues to efficiently explore options in both the financial and capital markets, to extract optimal funding solutions, which will enhance the administration’s ability to deliver on the construction, renewal and improvement of the deficit in social and physical infrastructure for the benefit of Lagosians; who represent 10 per cent of Nigeria’s population.

He explained that in the year under review (2019), Lagos State restructured its internal loans to 14 per cent per annum, from between 18 per cent and 20 per cent. These rates have even more recently been re-negotiated to 12 per cent yearly.

“Lagos State is the only state that is not reliant on the allocation from the Federal Account Allocation Committee, with Internally Generated Revenue representing circa 72 per cent of the state’s aggregate revenues to enable it address challenges faced by mega cities world over. As at August 2020, Lagos State’s Internal Revenue Service is doing 103 per cent above budget, and well above 2019 figures, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which demonstrates the fiscal resilience of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration for a Greater Lagos,” he said

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