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Sanwo-Olu: COVID-19 won’t affect my devt agenda for Lagosians

… govt records 81% projected revenue in 6 months

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State yesterday said the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic won’t deter his administration from taking the state to greater heights, saying he would not be derailed from pursuing the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda.

Speaking through the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, at the 2019/2020 Annual Press Week Lecture of the Lagos State Governor’s Office Correspondents (LAGOCO), Sanwo-Olu said despite the COVID-19 crisis, governance never stopped and would not. According to the governor, as soon as the lockdown was eased, the piloting of the state commenced which has led to the commissioning of a number of completed projects, while those undergoing execution are set for completion in few months’ time.

He said among the projects completed include the rolling out of new buses for ease of transportation, launching new boats and channel-routes for waterways; commissioning of new health facilities; and housing schemes. Speaking also, the state’s Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Sam Egube, said the state recorded 81 per cent of the projected revenue for the first half of this year, despite the scourge of the COVID-19 on economic activities. Egube, who was the guest speaker at the event, but represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Economic Matters, Mr. Lekan Balogun, said the 81 per cent performance of the projected revenue for the period under review was at N432.6 billion.

The commissioner said despite the COVID-19 pandemic that the government had been able to restrategise to conform with the demands of the present realities, stressing that a good government is one which has the ability to respond when disturbances arise.

He said: “Lagos state economy remains the largest and arguably the fastest growing economy in Nige-ria. The state’s economy was projected to grow at four per cent prior to COVID- 19. However, the COVID- 19 has affected the possibilities of achieving such prosperous target. “Having looked at the half of the year budget performance, it showed that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the total revenue recorded in performance is at 81% of our initial target.”

The commissioner added that the experience of the lockdown brought the state government to the reality of the shortcomings in the state’s food storage system, which necessitated the increase of the allocation to Agriculture to 2.8 billion. On his part, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, appreciated the members of the governor’s press corps for the support given to Sanwo-Olu’s administration in terms of publicity of government programmes. Akosile, however, assured Lagosians that the governor would deliver on his campaign promises.

 

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