The Lagos State Government on Sunday announced its readiness to massively reduce dependence on federal allocation and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to a target of N30billion monthly in 2017 and N50billion monthly in 2018 as well as a yearly budget size of N1 trillion by 2018.
Rising from a four-day retreat for members of the State Executive Council, Body of Permanent Secretaries and heads of government agencies and parastatals held at the VIP Chalets in Badagry, with the theme “Reflect, Reappraise, Restrategise: Raising the Bar of Governance", the State Government said it has resolved to scale up and run efficient revenue collection machinery through the convergence of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs') operations and utilization of cutting edge technologies.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the retreat and jointly read to journalists by the State's Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde; Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Akinyemi Ashade and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, the government said participants intensively deliberated on the six pillars of Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) which are infrastructural development, sustainable environment, finance, economic development, social development and security and governance.
Speaking on the budget plan, Ashade said though the target was ambitious, but that appropriate measures were being adopted to achieve the plan.
He said: "Yes, it is ambitious. It requires thinking and what we are going to do differently is to ensure that we use technology to drive it in terms of automation and collection. What we are also going to ensure is that the whole reform around consumption taxes is really taken to another level.
The land administration system, the EGIS also will support this our initiative and we believe that once we are through with the automation of the processes, the reform in the consumption tax administration in the State and blocking all loopholes, we believe we will have the right funding to finance all these plans and we will not forget one critical fact which is that all is about Public Private Partnership because we are also going to use that to drive implementation of our plan," Ashade said.
While reading the communiqué, Ayorinde said participants reaffirmed the vision of the Ambode administration to make life better and more meaningful for the people, as well as recognized the role of government as the enabler and therefore resolved to create the enabling environment for everybody and businesses to promote and advance the wellbeing of Lagosians.
He said aside the fact that participants agreed to achieve 100 percent budget performance with a 58 percent to 42 percent ratio for capital and recurrent expenditure, it was also resolved that efforts should be redoubled at reducing cost and blocking leakages, while MDAs not yet integrated into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) be brought in before the end of third quarter of 2016.
According to him: "Participants pledged to ensure timely preparation of the Y2017 Budget and its passage into law by the end of October, 2016. This will facilitate implementation of the budget from 1st January, 2017.
"As a government of inclusion, participants identified the need for partnership with persons and organisations that would create positive value to enhance the quality of life and standard of living of Lagosians."
On tourism, Ayorinde said participants acknowledged its imperative and the need to invest more in the sector with particular emphasis on improving the technological capacity of the Lottery Board to create jobs and increase revenue generation.
Other key conclusions at the retreat, Ayorinde said include the need to improve on the performance of Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) in the production of water and collection of water tariff as well as encouraging private sector investment in production and supply of portable water, maping out strategies towards food security especially by increasing rice production in order to reduce dependence on food importation within the next three years.
Participants further agreed on the need to benchmark and set roadmap for social development and security in view of its impact on the people, as well as the need for a comprehensive inter-modal public transportation system as obtainable in other developed economy.
The State Government also urged individuals and corporate organisations to take ownership of the Tree Planting initiative of government to mitigate the effect of climate change by nurturing and ensuring survival of trees.
Speaking on the significance of the retreat taking place in Badagry, Ayorinde recalled the Town Hall Meeting and the State Executive Council Meeting which held in Badagry the previous week as well as the tour of government projects in the historic town, saying that it was a demonstrable evidence of the readiness of the Ambode administration to develop all parts of the State.
He said: "Nearly all parts of Badagry are well lit courtesy of the Light Up Lagos Project, roads have been fixed, developmental projects have been identified and Badagry has been declared as the hub for tourism not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa.
“So, this shows the government is fulfilling its promise of running a government of inclusion and more importantly the Governor and the entire cabinet of the State finds every area of the State save and secure enough for them to stay for a whole four days. This is remarkable, commendable and it will continue as part of the features and characteristics of this administration."