Lagos reduces 2020 budget figures by 21 per cent

• Says reviews fallout of COVID-19 pandemic

Lagos State government, on Thursday, said it has embarked on a downward review of the year 2020 Budget by 21 per cent, saying the development was precipitated by the negative economic and social effects of the coronavirus disease on the global economy.

The State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube, disclosed in a statement made available to newsmen, saying the process, which was approved by the State Executive Council, aimed to reduce the N1,168.6billion budget approved by the Lagos State House of Assembly to N920.5billion.

Egube, who recalled that the N1.169trn for Y2020 contained a capital expenditure of N711billion and N457billion recurrent budget, showing a strong preference of 60% ratio for capital projects, explained that the first quarter of Y2020 recorded a budget performance of 56% (N163.28bn), which is in absolute terms higher than the 68pr cent (N148.38bn) recorded for the same period in 2019.

The commissioner, while outlining some of the factors that necessitated the review of the Y2020 budget, listed the deleterious effect of the fall in crude oil prices on statutory allocation expectations; the downward pressure on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and devaluation of the Naira.

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According to him, others are; reduced public and private investment; and increased inflation, the decline in demand for goods and services as well as a reduction in manufacturing activities, which he said portend lower GDP growth and increased unemployment.

Egube revealed that Lagos had adopted a holistic approach to the shocks induced by COVID-19, saying the strategies include the maintenance of a Strong Pandemic Response, Restarting the Economy and Reimagining the way the state operates.

Giving a breakdown of the measures taken by the administration, the commissioner explained that with the Strong Pandemic Response, the state government would engender food security and safety net mechanisms in addition to economic stimulus, while ensuring public safety and wellbeing.

“To restart the economy, we are going to optimise the State’s budget for investments in jobs and priority sectors through job creation, economic stabilisation and fiscal consolidation. In re-imagining the state economy, we will prepare the state to operate and thrive within the new reality with digitisation, business environment reforms, improved economy and diversification of revenue sources,” he said.

He gave a proposed breakdown of the revised budget as follows: reduction of the Total Budget Size by 21per cent from N1,168.562bn to N920.469bn with the financing deficit-increasing slightly by 11per cent from N97.533bn to N108.005bn.

While stating that the Recurrent Expenditure (Debt and Non-Debit) in the revised budget will decline by 10per cent from N457.529bn to N411.608bn, Egube stated that 28per cent reduction has been proposed for Total Capital Expenditure from N711.033bn to N508.861bn

“The revised Total Revenue represents a drop of 24% in the previous projections from N1,107.029bn to N812.46bn,” Egube said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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