Lagos State government said, yesterday, that it has generated N127 billion as Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, in the first quarter of 2021, an increase from the N658 billion realised as of December 2020.
The Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, said this during a Ministerial briefing, held at Alausa, Ikeja, as part of activities to mark Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second year in office.
Olowo said: “No institution or organisation is immune to economic sabotage and leakages, but we are proactive enough to predict such sharp practices and minimise them.
“Our revenue trajectory and the trend shows that Lagos is very different from others. A 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.
“Many firms have helped us to ensure our revenue is optimised, block leakages, and we continue to make good use of our partnerships. Lagos is the only state not complaining despite the effects of the pandemic; we are not giving excuses for the pandemic as our revenue is going higher.
“This is not because everyone in Lagos wants to or even pays tax, but because we have the controls, oversight, and strategy right, and we will continue to do that.”
“We are also leveraging on technology to predict and prevent fraud by digitalizing our processes.”
The commissioner, who noted that the state’s debt sustainability ratio presently stood at 17.8 per cent, said: “This means the state pays back its loans as and when due.”
He said added: “Debt is very good, especially for a megacity 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; how much debt do you have and how does it compare with the revenue potential, your ability to pay.”
That is the most important thing for everyone to consider.