Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has called for more private sector participation in the economy of Lagos State.
Mr. Timothy Olawale, director general of NECA in his assessment of the 2020 budget of the state highlighted a massive leap from the 2019 budget, aimed at addressing the continuous infrastructural collapse and lag in the education and health sectors.
He commended the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for committing to infrastructural development, healthcare and education, noting that these are foundations for economic development.
He stated, “Lagos State will be a massive construction site; however, strategic collaboration with the Organised Private Sector will help in attracting private capital necessary for accelerated development. We applaud the provisions of N7.1 billion for industrial hubs, graduate internship programs, and virtual markets for artisans in support for micro, small and medium enterprises. This would enable the private sector continue to serve as the engine for economic growth”.
The NECA DG, however expressed concern at the growing debt profile of the state and the anticipated deficit.
With deficit amounting to N97.53 billion and an increasing local and foreign debt profile, the government will do well to maintain fiscal discipline so as not to mortgage the progress that would be made. He said
On the need for improved security of lives and properties, the DG said, “with the growing influx of people into the state, it would be necessary for the Government to review the security architecture of the State and come up with more innovative ideas and strategies to combat crime and stop the insecurity that is threatening the pace of our national development. Private capital can only be guaranteed with assured security or lives and properties”.
He however reasoned that the success of the budget will be judged based on how it will impact the lives of generality of Lagosians.
“The Government should foster more collaboration with the Federal Government with the view of granting Lagos the special status it deserves as the economic hub of the nation,” he said.
He affirmed that the Organised Private Sector will be willing to partner and collaborate with the current administration in fostering a better development of the state and creating an enabling environment for rapid industrial and human capital development.
He said, “In the face of dwindling revenue, it will be imperative for the Lagos State Government to curb waste and leakages and also collaborate with the Organised Private Sector to institutionalise a budget-performance review and feedback mechanism. This will assist the Government in effective monitoring of the implementation of the budget.”
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu presented N1.168 trillion 2020 Appropriation Bill to the State House of Assembly, tagged ‘Budget of Awakening’.
The budget consisted of a capital and recurrent expenditure of N723.6billion and N441.8billion respectively, and is about N294 billion more than the state’s 2019 budget of N874 billion.
This budget size is higher than the 2019 budget by 34 per cent Capital expenditure amounts to N723.75 billion, while the recurrent expenditure is N444.81 billion giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.