The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it realised an Internally Generated Revenue of N127 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
The Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, made this known in Ikeja during the 2021 Ministerial Press Briefing in Commemoration of the Second Year in Office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Mr Olowo said the state was able to achieve the feat in spite of the biting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic because it was proactive in preventing and blocking leakages.
”Our revenue trajectory and trend shows that Lagos is very different from others. Few years ago, our monthly IGR was about N800 million, but 15 to 20 years later, we are talking about billions.
”This is not accidental, but as a result of well thought out strategy, partnerships and collaborations with institutions and investments in technology.
”No institution or organisation is immune to economic sabotage and leakages, but we are proactive enough to predict such sharp practices and minimise them.
”We are also leveraging on technology to predict and prevent fraud by digitalising our processes,” he said.
The commissioner said the state’s debt sustainability ratio presently stood at 17.8 per cent, even when regulators said the ratio should be 30 per cent and 40 per cent.
According to him, the sustainability ratio means that the state pays back its loans as and when due.
”Debt is very good, especially for a mega city status that Lagos wants to enjoy. The most important thing is debt management and one of the most respected metrics to measure debt management is the debt sustainability ratio.
”This is to say how much debt do you have and how it compares with the revenue potential, your ability to pay. That is the most important thing for everyone to consider.
“Lagos’ debt sustainability ratio is currently at 17.8 per cent. This tells a lot about our ability to own and manage debts effectively.
”As our revenue grows and we pay our debts, we will continue to take more loans so far they are used to provide capital projects that will ensure the economic success of the people, now and in the future,” he said.
Mr Olowo said the government, through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSTF), had helped over 9,000 businesses in the last 18 months, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19 and #EndSARS protest.