The Lagos State Government on Monday said it had achieved an average monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N34 billion in 2018.
The Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, made this known in Lagos, at ongoing ministerial briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in office.
Mr Ashade said that the 2018 revenue generation performance was way ahead of the monthly averages of the last three years, and attributed the improvement to the impact of ongoing reforms and growth in the state’s economy.
“Notably, we are recording gradual improvement in our average monthly IGR in 2018 compared to the levels achieved in previous years due to the impact of ongoing reforms and growth in the state’s economy.
“Based on our first quarter results, Lagos State has so far achieved an average monthly IGR of N34 billion in 2018 compared to monthly averages of N22 billion, N24 billion and N30 billion in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively,” he said.
The commissioner expressed optimism that the IGR would continue to rise as the state continued to implement various reforms, driven by wider technology adoption and innovation.
He added that the target to grow the state’s IGR to N50 billion next year was on course.
“The target we set for ourselves is N50 billion, but we all know the kind of push backs we have experienced, including people going to court and all that. Our commitment is not for now; it’s for the future of Lagos.
“We know it is a marathon, we would win some and we would lose some, but we are very committed towards ensuring that we meet the target.
“But, if we do not meet it this year, definitely there will be another year, but we believe we will succeed in that target we set for ourselves,” Mr Ashade said.
On federal transfers, he said since Lagos joined the league of oil-producing states, it had received N327 million oil revenue, comprising N197 million received in 2017 and N130 million in first quarter of 2018.
“Furthermore, we are in discussion with federal government toward obtaining refund for expenditure totalling N51 billion incurred by the state government on behalf of the federal government for infrastructure projects development in the state.
“We are optimistic of successful discussions that will result in the approval and payment of the amount owed to the state by the Federal Government,” he said.
Giving an update on the state’s debt profile, Mr Ashade said that the government’s debt stock, comprising 48 per cent local and 52 per cent foreign, stood at N874.38 billion at the end of 2017.
He said that the debt service charge to total revenue ratio which was 17.61 per cent, was still within the World Bank’s threshold of 30 per cent.
The commissioner said Lagos had continued to maintain positive credit rating, adding however, that a downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign rating would lead to a corresponding action on Lagos’ international drawing rights.
“As Nigeria continues to improve on its credit rating, we will be able to achieve better rating as we currently have.
“This is because no amount of revenue generation, no amount of employment growth of Lagos State can make us surpass the sovereign rating,” he said.
He, however, said that the state government had taken strategic steps to help Nigeria improve on its ratings, including adhering to fiscal discipline, improved revenue generation and tradition of inclusive governance.
Mr Ashade added that a wide range of response had been received, and that extensive discussions led to several concessions on LUC for property owners across board.
He said that a revised bill to further amend the LUC Law to incorporate the additional concessions was presently before the House of Assembly and would be passed soon.
He said that the government, through the LUC Assessment Appeal Tribunal, received 1,503 complaints, out of which 1,113 were successfully resolved administratively and through mediation.
The commissioner also said that additional 263 property owners and agents had their grievances resolved in the last two weeks and that more were ongoing.
He urged residents to continue to support the government by fulfilling their civic duties of paying their taxes and remitting all taxes collected on behalf of the government as and when due.
He assured that the present administration was committed to maintaining financial accountability and transparency for the overall development and prosperity of the state. (NAN)