The Lagos State Government on Monday fought the claim by BudgIT, a public finance analyst, titled ‘Ability of States to Meet Monthly Recurrent Expenditure and Loan Repayment Obligations, 2019’. In a statement by the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the government said, Lagos is economically and financially solid.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration described the claim as “misinformation”. Though BudgIT has apologized for its error.
Here are the facts:
· Lagos State continues to meet all its recurrent and loan service obligations and the information that was published in incorrect, inaccurate and a gross distortion of the actual facts
· The accurate information that ought to have been stated in the table published by BudgIT is provided below; as extracted from Lagos State’s published 2019 Audited Financial Statements:
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Total Revenue (N644,762,788,340.04)
Recurrent Expenditure and Loan Repayment Obligation (N554,241,725,038.00)
Surplus or Deficit (N90,521,063,302.04)
· As indicated in Lagos State’s published Financial Statements (and as extracted above), the information in the table published by BudgIT should have correctly indicated a surplus of N89 billion (Eighty-Nine Billion Naira)
· Lagos 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% of Nigeria’s population.
· In the year under review (2019), Lagos State restructured all existing internal loan facilities to 14% per annum, from between 18% and 20% per annum. These rates have even more recently been re-negotiated to circa 12% per annum.
· Lagos is the only State that is not reliant on the allocation from the Federal Account Allocation Committee, with Internally Generated Revenues representing circa 72% of the State’s aggregate revenues to enable it address challenges faced by megacities world over. As at August 2020, Lagos State’s Internal Revenue Service is doing 103% above budget, and well above 2019 figures, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which demonstrates the fiscal resilience of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration for a Greater Lagos.
Lagos State is economically and financially viable and the Government of Lagos State continues to expand funding sources whilst also ensuring that prudence and sustainability are at the fore of all funding and expenditure decisions.
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