By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Government says 27.3 per cent of its 2023 Budget, amounting to N482.86 billion will be expended to provide modern infrastructure to the residents.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Samuel Egube, made this known in Ikeja during a news conference on the analysis of the 2023 budget for the state.
Egube said the 2023 Budget, christened “Budget of Continuity’’’, was prepared to continue the good work of the present administration, especially in delivering reliable and sufficient infrastructure that met the needs of a 21st century city.
He said the state government was committed to ensuring that the dividend from its investments in Integrated Transport Infrastructure would be felt by the residents of the state.
According to him, the Integrated Transport Infrastructure will materialise into the birth of the functional light rail, Red-Blue System, the first of its kind by a sub-national government in Africa and the 37km Fourth Mainland Bridge.
“These will reduce commute time to millions of Lagosians, reduce congestion on the existing Carter, Eko, Third Mainland Bridges and Ikorodu Road, thus, increasing productivity, quality of life and improving the overall transportation system in the state,” he said.
Egube said that the infrastructure budget captured in the budget included the construction of the second phase of the blue line from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko, completion of eight stadia across the five IBILE divisions of Lagos State, to facilitate youth development, engagement and community sports.
The commissioner said that there would be continuous construction and rehabilitation of schools across the state to improve access to quality education.
He said the budget would ensure completion of the 130-bed New Massey ultra-modern and fit for purpose pediatric programmed and emergency General Hospital that would be the largest specialist children hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Others include the completion of the modern 280 beds General Hospital serving the people of Ojo and its environs, which is currently at 47 per cent completion and completion of the mental health facility in Ketu Ereyun in Epe Local Government.
“Also, completion of the Opebi Link bridge to Maryland that will improve significantly travel time and alternative route options in the axis, rehabilitation/upgrading of Phase II Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway Project from Eleko T-Junction – Abraham Adesanya, among others,” Egube said.
He said that “most of these projects were contractor funded, with structures that provided beneficial payment terms that gave the state upfront value (front loaded) ahead of payments; thereby increasing the sustainability benefits to the state.’’
Egube said that the state government had allocated 13 per cent of the budget for the provision of affordable and world-class education, healthcare and social services for its teeming populace, to make the system accessible and affordable.
He said that human capital continued to be an area of deep interest to the state, as a population that was healthy, skilled and inclusive could only convert the opportunities to value.
According to him, the state government intends to expand its effort in social interventions, with an investment of N9.6 billion, as against N8.3 billion recorded in Year 2022 Social Intervention & Humanitarian Programme that will serve as support for micro and small businesses.
“We will continue to procure training equipment, empowerment tools for graduates in skills and vocational centres across the state.
“The government has reiterated its stand in continuing to investment in provision of affordable homes for the people of Lagos, through its social housing programme by injecting N67.1 billion.
“Some of the social housing programme the budget targets include the completion of 444 units of building projects at Sangotedo Phase ll.
“Others are completion of 420 units of building projects at Ajara, Badagry Phase ll and the construction of 136 units of building projects at Ibeshe ll, among others,” he said.
He said that the government was committed towards the state’s five-year Agric road map, which had seen to the inauguration of the Imota Rice iills, to provide support to farmers and improve food systems.
He said that in addition to this, the state would invest N45.1 billion for food security, through Cattle Feedlot Project, Fish Processing Hub Programmes and Wholesale Produce Hub & Market.
He added that this would improve wholesomeness of food, reduction in food prices and optimisation of the agricultural sector.
Egube said that the N86 billion investments in Public Order and Safety Sector showed the state’s continuous commitment to ensuring that Lagos was safe for living, working and investment.
He said N12 billion had been earmarked for the Provision of Rescue and Emergency Operation Equipment for Disaster Management and provision had been made for surveillance and body cameras for security monitoring.
According to him, the 2023 Budget will invest in strengthening intelligence gathering/capacity building capabilities, together with improving the ease of doing business through the Smart-City project, the Lagos new Data Centre Project, Eko Excel Project, E-GIS and the Oracle Upgrade Project.
“The state approved Year 2023 Budget of N1.768 trillion which is made up of N1.020 trillion as capital expenditure and N748.097 billion as recurrent expenditure with debt charges inclusive, resulting in a capital to recurrent ratio of 58:42.
“The total revenue is estimated at N1.418 trillion, while deficit-funding requirement is N350.411 billion, which at 25 per cent of total revenue implies that the budget is strongly dependent on revenue,” he said.
The commissioner urged the residents and those that had business with the state to be tax conscious and fulfill their responsibilities as and when due. (NAN)