…Plans to acquire additional 192bn debts***
Lagos State currently has a debt profile of N158 billion and has already committed N31 billion, to servicing it. It would also source for additional 192bn debt.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said this at a media parley in Lagos on Thursday where commissioners and special advisers in the state spoke to journalists.
The meeting was on the N1.64 trillion 2021 budget of the state tagged “Budget of Rekindled Hope.”
The budget was passed by the state House of Assembly on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020 and signed into law by the governor on De. 31, 2020.
The budget is made up of N702.935 billion capital budget and N460.587 billion recurrent estimate.
Olowo said the debt was sustainable at 22 per cent of the debt-revenue ratio, which he said was even below the Federal Government’s benchmark of 30 per cent and World bank’s benchmark of 40 per cent.
He said the state government planned to finance the N192.494 billion budget deficit through external sources, internal sources and bonds.
The finance commissioner said N100 billion would be sourced internally, N52 billion externally and N40 billion through bonds.
Mr Sam Egbube, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, said the main focus of the budge was to accomplish the Governor’s THEMES Agenda.
He said the state government had set up a 10-point agenda to achieve the agenda, which included aggressive development and maintenance of infrastructure across the state.
Others are creation of employment and enhancement of food security, improvement of civic participation, inclusion of and cooperation in governance and investment in human capital development.
Prof. Akin Abayomi, the state Commissioner for Health, said the state focused more on COVID-19 last year because it was a global pandemic that deserved a lot of attention.
He said in spite of this, the state still devoted a lot of its resources to other ailments.
He said the attention to COVID-19 did not distract the state from other ailments as only one of the 27 general hospitals in the state was dedicated to COVID-19 treatment.