July 22, 2014 – Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said on Tuesday that his government achieved 106 percent performance in the second quarter implementation of N489, 690 billion budgeted for 2014.
Fashola made the revelation while briefing newsmen in Lagos. He said the second quarter result is added to the 86 percent performance of the first quarter to arrive at an aggregate of 106 percent.
“We just conducted the review of the second quarter budget performance and the result is that between April and June, the state budget performed at 106 percent. And what that gives one if added to the 86 percent performance in the first quarter, the result will be a cumulative half year performance of 86 percent.
“In pre-election year, I think these are unprecedented results. They are consistent with the commitment that I made to the citizens of Lagos that until the last day, this government will be working to deliver service.”
“Some of the roads were Yaya Abatan and others. That is the physical connection to the number that one is seeing.
There is still work to do. There are still places waiting for the state government attention. There are many projects coming into completion. Many have been completed and many will be completed in the third quarter.
“In terms of revenue to the state, it has diminished over the last 14 months. What we use to have before now was N9 billion or N10 billion that is given to Lagos. But this has reduced to between N7 billion and N8 billion. Except for spikes in the last two months, the pattern over eight months before was a reduction in what we use to get.
“The reality therefore is that our wage bill is average N6.5 billion monthly. And this means that one gets this reduced allocation, and pays salaries of civil servants, one is left with about N1.5 billion. After paying subvention, the entire fund is almost exhausted. So we have been living on out IGR.”
“Some state, regrettably are now borrowing money. So, it was a good thing that Lagos State conceived the idea many years ago to take its destiny into its hand; to get people to contribute to the development of the state. And as I said, if it is a common wealth, then it must be build by common contribution. And that is what our taxes have done for us.
“Seventy percent of what the state has spent on governing Lagos came from a common contribution from the residents of Lagos state. People who come now to appeal to residents to desist from paying tax are the real enemy of the people.
“If people stop paying tax, the state will go cap in hand to collect N7 billion. And people are still asking for the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the state. No economy in the world has developed without payment of taxes; this is because this is what brings participation in democracy. If your money is in it, one commitment will be stronger.
Also speaking the state commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Ben Akabueze said it is important for residents of Lagos to keep supporting the state government with more revenue.
“If one look at the budget performance of the first quarter, it was 86 percent and the first half of the year also is 86 percent. We have done better compared to last year in terms of completing the ongoing capital projects.
“That will remain the focus for the rest of the year; delivering more of the roads that have been in progress because there over 200 roads in different stages of completion. Overall the budget performance is trending in the right direction.”