BY BENJAMIN OMOIKE
The Lagos State Government has said 27.3 per cent of its entire 2023 Budget amounting to the tune of N482.86bn will be expended to provide modern infrastructure to its citizenry for the year.
Disclosing this at the press conference at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, in Tuesday, during the analysis of Year 2023 Budget, was the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube.
He said the 2023 Budget, christened ‘Budget of Continuity’, was prepared to continue the good work of the administration, especially in delivering reliable and sufficient infrastructure that meets the needs of a 21st Century city.
Egube said: “The State is totally committed to ensuring that the dividend from its investments in Integrated Transport Infrastructure, which will materialise into the birth of the fully functional light rail (Red-Blue) system, the first of its kind by a sub-national Government in Africa and the 37km Fourth Mainland Bridge will be felt by the citizens of the State. These will reduce commute time to millions of Lagosians, reduce congestion on the existing Carter, Eko, Third Mainland Bridges and Ikorodu Road thus increasing productivity, quality of life, as well as improving the overall transportation system in the State.”
The Commissioner highlighted the infrastructure Budget captures in the budget as follows: Construction of the second phase of the blue line from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko, Completion of 8 Stadia across the 5 IBILE divisions of Lagos State, to facilitate youth development, engagement and community sports, Continuous Construction and Rehabilitation of schools across the state to significantly improve access to quality education, Completion of 130 bed New Massey ultra-modern and fit for purpose Pediatric programmed and emergency general hospital that will be the largest specialist children hospital in Sub- Saharan Africa.
Others include, the Completion of the modern 280 beds General Hospital serving the people of Ojo and its environs which is currently at 47 per cent completion, Completion of the mental health facility in Ketu Ereyun in Epe local government, Completion of the Opebi Link bridge to Maryland that will improve significantly travel time and alternative route options the axis, Rehabilitation/Upgrading of Phase II Eti-Osa – Lekki-Epe Expressway Project from Eleko T-Junction – Abraham Adesanya among others.
He Stated that “most of these projects are contractor funded, with structures that provide very beneficial payment terms that gives the state upfront value (front loaded) ahead of payments; thereby increasing the sustainability benefits to the state.”
Meanwhile, the State Government has also allocated 13 per cent of the Budget for the provision of affordable and world-class education, healthcare and social services for its teeming populace to make the system accessible and affordable.
He said, “Human capital continues to be an area of deep interest to the State. We believe that a population that is healthy, skilled and inclusive can only convert the opportunities in the State to value.”
Adding that “We also intend to expand our effort in Social Interventions with an investment of 9.6bn as against 8.3bn in Y2022 Social Intervention & Humanitarian Programme that will serve as support for micro and small businesses. We will continue to procure training equipment, empowerment tools for graduates in skills and vocational centres across the State.”
The State Government has reiterated its stand in continuing to investment in provision of affordable Homes for the people of Lagos through its Social Housing Programme by injecting a total of N67.1bn.
Some of the social housing program the Budget targets includes: the completion of 444 units of building Projects at Sangotedo Phase ll, completion of 420 units of building Projects at Ajara, Badagry Phase ll and the construction of 136 units of building Projects at Ibeshe ll among others.
Egube stated that the State government commitment towards the State’s 5-year Agric road map had seen to the commissioning of the Imota Rice mills which will provide support to farmers and improve food systems generally in the State.
In addition to this, the State will invest a total sum of N45.1bn for Food Security through Cattle Feedlot Project, Fish Processing Hub programmes and Wholesale Produce Hub & Market thus improving wholesomeness of food, reduction in food prices and optimisation of the Agricultural sector.
He added that “The N86bn investment in Public Order and Safety Sector shows the State’s continuous commitment to ensuring that Lagos is safe for living, working and investment. It is important to note that N12bn has been earmarked for the Provision of Rescue and Emergency operation equipment for Disaster management. Also, provision has been made for surveillance and body cameras for security monitoring.
He said the year 2023 Budget will invest in strengthening intelligence gathering/capacity building capabilities together with improving the ease of doing business through the Smart-City project, the Lagos new Data Center project, Eko Excel project, E-GIS and the Oracle upgrade project.
While reviewing the approved Y2022 Budget of N1.758trn which had a total revenue of N1.237bn and deficit financing of N521.275bn; with the Capital to Recurrent Ratio that stood at 66:34 with Capital Expenditure of N1.167trn and a Recurrent Expenditure of N591.281bn.
Egube said as at December 31st, 2022, the budget posted a performance of 74 per cent. with Revenue Performance at 77 per cent, while Capital and Recurrent Expenditure performed at 70 per cent and 81 per cent respectively. Adding that the 70 per cent performance of Capex is as a result of the late closure of the 134.815billion Bond transaction, which was oversubscribed in December 2022 and utilisation differed till Y2023.
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The state approved Y2023 Budget of N1.768trn is made up of N1.020trn (Capital Expenditure) and N748.097bn (Recurrent Expenditure- Debt Charges inclusive), resulting in a Capital to Recurrent ratio of 58:42. The total Revenue is estimated at N1.418trn, while deficit-funding requirement is N350.411bn, which at 25 per cent of Total Revenue implies that the Budget is strongly dependent on Revenue. As a result of this, the commissioner urged the residents and those that have business with the State to be Tax conscious fulfil their responsibilities as and when due.
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