LAGOS PLANS TAX EXPANSION TO FUND N1.17TN BUDGET
The Lagos State Government says it plans to increase its monthly Internally Generated Revenue to fund the 2020 budget. The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, said this on Tuesday at the state’s budget breakdown. He disclosed that the total budget size of N1.17tn would be funded from a total revenue estimate of N1.07tn.
The estimate is made up of IGR of N886.04bn and federal transfer of N184.99bn. A deficit of N97.53bn is to be financed from external loans of N34.5bn and domestic loans of N63bn. In 2019, the state projected a total revenue of N775.23bn out of which N606.29bn was expected from internal generation, N168.94bn from federal transfers and N77.09bn from deficit financing.
Egube said a significant percentage of the projected TIGR of N500bn would be contributed by the Lagos Inland Revenue Service through expansion of tax net. This, he said, would be achieved through the deployment of technology and other facilities to improve the efficiency in operations of all revenue generating agencies. “We believe that there are huge revenue generating opportunities in the informal sector including real estate and transportation which Lagos State is known for,” the commissioner said.
Egube said the 2020 budget was a result of widely held consultations across the three senatorial districts in addition to feedback from stakeholders. Giving a sectoral analysis of the budget, the commissioner said the education sector got the highest allocation of N136.1bn. He said it was N70.41bn higher than that of the 2019 budget and would cater for the reconstruction of 300 schools; provision of furniture for both primary and secondary schools across the state and equipment for science laboratories.
Roads and infrastructure got the second highest allocation of N117.248bn against the N31.673bn expended in 2019. Egube said, “The increase would address the zero-pothole strategy and create link roads within the metropolis to solve challenges of traffic congestion.
“On the development of infrastructure along the coastline, we have a provision of N11.29bn that has been earmarked to enhance our coastal infrastructure in order to curb ocean surge and protect lives and properties.” Health, environment and housing got the third, fourth and fifth highest allocations of N111.775bn, N66.586bn and N48.559bn respectively.
Traffic management got an allocation of N44.51bn as against the N17.59bn budgeted in 2019. Egube said it would address junction improvement throughout the state and help with the completion of trailer parks among others. The commissioner said the state government would ensure the full implementation of the budget. He disclosed that the performance of the 2019 budget stood at about 80 per cent by the end of the year.
Commissioner for Finance, Mr Rabiu Olowo, explained that the state’s borrowings were only committed to capital projects. He added that as of 2019, the state’s debt ratio sustainability stood at 29 per cent and would further reduce to 25 per cent in 2021. Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, disclosed that in a few weeks, the state would start its home-grown school feeding programme.
According to her, the programme would not only cover pupils in primaries one to three but also those in primaries four to six. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, described the budget as audacious and ambitious, adding that it would take care of all residents of the state.