Experts Laud Lagos Govt On Economy And Budget Performance

Lagos state government has been commended for her thrives on the economy and appraised for the year 2023 budget performance, reaching 78 percent attainment in the third quarter.

Business experts and economists at a Round-table to review the Lagos Economy in year 2023 and the outlook for year 2024, held at the Protea Hotel Select, Central Business District, Ikeja, organized by Economic Intelligence Department (EID) of the Lagos State Economic Planning and Budget, expressed hope that the year 2024 appropriation bill, when passed would meet expectations.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last Wednesday, presented an estimate of 2.2 trillion expenditures to the House of Assembly for the year 2024 christened ‘Budget of Renewal’, proposing increased capital spending across key priority areas in the Economic matters sector.

At the Round-table, Dr. Ayo Teriba, the Chief Executive of Economic Associates said September, which signifies the end of the third quarter is expected that the budget performance would have attained 75 percent but Lagos had achieved 78 percent performance.

According to him, “As of September this year (2023), they have achieved 78 percent of the budget. September is the end of the third quarter so you should have achieved 75 percent but Lagos did 78 which is good. It makes the budget (2024 appropriation bill) they announced credible.”

Dr. Terbia urged the Lagos government through her Economic Intelligence Department to optimize and make collections of its assets for fee- and rent-based revenue generation to enhance the Y2024 budget when passed by the House.

President of the Nigerian Economic Society, NES, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju commended the State government for the indicator shown in the proposed bill that almost half of the spending is coming from the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.

Professor Adenikinju said “the ratio between the Capital budgets being significantly higher than the recurrent is very good; stating that very few states in the country have that kind of action.”

He added that the State boasts of ‘relatively strong institutions that help drive the performance and the economy’.

In his presentation, Dr. Femi Saibu, a Professor of Economics at the University of Lagos, UNILAG charged the state government to set more priorities right and focus on sectors that are realistic, citing the agricultural sector as one the government needs to pay attention to.

He said “Every year we budget on agriculture. We make agriculture our priority and yet the land and resources to do this are not available. We need to strike a balance and decide which one is our focus.”

Urging the government to address inflation in the economy, Mr. Babajide Komolafe, Vanguard Economy editor as part of the discussants said “the inflation rate for Lagos rose by 9.92 percentage points but for the National, the increase in the inflation rate was just 5.86 percent. Inflation in Lagos as at November stood at 32 percent, that of the National is 27.33, then the question is why the huge disparities?”

Earlier, Mr. Ope George, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget said the gathering is expected to offer “insightful analysis, collaborative strategies, actionable recommendations and for resilience building.

“We are poised to delve into comprehensive discussions, analyze critical economic indicators, and glean insights from the collective wisdom assembled in this room. The knowledge and expertise each of you brings to the table will undoubtedly contribute to the formulation of robust strategies and policies that will guide us through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” he said.

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