Sanwo-Olu earmarks N15bn for rebuilding Lagos project, targets N60.31bn monthly IGR

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and By Lukman Olabiyi

Lagos government has earmarked N15 billion for the Rebuilding  Project/Trust Fund in this year budget following the #EndSARS destruction in October 2020.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration is also targeting monthly Internally Generated Revenue ( IGR) of N60.31 billion.

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube disclosed this yesterday when he gave the 2021 budget breakdown.

He said IGR for 2021 is N723.817 billion with N60.31 billion to be generated monthly. He said a significant percentage of the projected N512 billion IGR would be contributed by Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

“We shall achieve this by expanding the tax net by simplifying the tax process, improving our transaction taxes and the appropriate use of technology in addition to improving the work environment, training and tools of our tax administration personnel. This will improve the efficiency in operations of all revenue generating agencies.

Egube said the government would continue to maintain a relative conservative posture in its projection for Federal Transfers/Receipts compared to annual run rate in 2020 in view of the production challenges within the oil sector by keeping our expectation at N175bn.

He disclosed that the deficit of N192.494 billion is projected to be funded by a combination of internal and external loans.

On Science and Technology, Egube said N23.502 billion had been budgeted for building and upgrading of IT Infrastructure Statewide, e-GIS Land automation system, Single Billing system and ease of tax payment, Levies and other Revenue enhancement initiatives.

He added that the Smart City project is targeted at deploying about 2,000 intelligent cameras in strategic locations around Lagos and leverage technology to enhance security and traffic management in the State and would also enhance revenue generating efforts.

Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu has said the rebuilding of affected properties has started but would take a long time.

According to him, already resuscitating small scale businesses through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund has begun.

Addressing State House Correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday,  Sanwo-Olu, said: “It’s work in progress. To take something down it takes one day, to rebuild it takes 10 years. It’s a journey, not a destination. And so, it’s going to take a while. We are carefully taking a proper study to know what we need to do, taking our time to get it right but we’ve started something.

“Some businesses that were affected, somebody having their shops looted or burnt or something. We’ve been able to directly begin to support such businesses, especially on a micro, small level using the Lagos state Employment Trust Fund.  They have started intervening and supporting some of these small businesses, giving them grants, giving them soft loans and making sure that they can come back together very quickly.

“The bigger larger items around infrastructure, around transportation, they will take a fairly longer time. We’re talking about a period that is still under three months. So, it’s still a working document that we are doing right now and we also have to be very creative in how we raise the finance. We didn’t have money anywhere; you know it was towards the end of a financial year and we’re just starting another year.”

To be able to complete the rebuilding process, the state would need more support from both public and private sectors, he said.

On the second wave of COVID-19, Sanwo-Olu,  encouraged Nigerians to take full personal responsibility because of the threat of the pandemic, adding that the state government was already building oxygen tents and plants to help reduce the number of casualties.

The governor said Lagos understands COVID-19 now more than where it was eight, 10 ten months ago, hence it knows better how the treatment should be.

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