The Lagos State Government, on Monday, said its average monthly Internally Generated Revenue had risen from N30 billion in 2017 to N34 billion in 2018.
The Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, made the disclosure at the ongoing Ministerial Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in office.
Ashade said: “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 N22billion, N24 billion and N30 billion in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.”
Ashade attributed the gradual improvement to the impact of the ongoing reforms and growth in the state’s economy.
The commissioner expressed optimism that the IGR would continue to rise even further 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 by next year was on course.
He said: “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 is for the future of Lagos.
“We know it is a marathon, but we are committed to 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.”
On Federal Transfers, he said, since Lagos joined the league of oil producing states, it had received N327 million revenue, comprising N197 million and N130 million received in 2017 and first quarter of 2018 respectively.
Ashade said: “Furthermore, we are in discussions with the Federal Government toward obtaining a refund of N51billion that was incurred by the state government on behalf of the federal government for infrastructure projects developments in the state.
“We are optimistic the discussions will result in the approval and payment of the amount owed to the state by the federal government.”
Giving an update on the state’s debt profile, Ashade said the government’s debt stock, comprising 48 per cent local debt and 52 per cent foreign debt currently stood at N874.38 billion at the end of 2017.
He said the debt service charge to total revenue ratio which stood at 17.61 per cent was still within the World Bank threshold of 30 per cent.
The commissioner said the state government continued to maintain a positive credit rating, but that a downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign rating would lead to a corresponding downgrade of state’s international drawing rights.
He said: “As Nigeria continues to improve on its credit rating, we will be able to achieve better rating.”
He, however, said the state government had taken some strategic steps to help Nigeria improve on its ratings including adhering to fiscal discipline, improved revenue generation, reforms in infrastructure development, transport and embedded power.
Ashade said the state had continued to engage critical stakeholders on the revised Land Use Charge in line with its tradition of inclusive governance and had received some responses.
He explained that the extensive discussions led to several concessions on LUC for property owners across board.
According to him, a revised bill to amend the LUC Law to incorporate the additional concessions before the House of Assembly and would be passed soon.
Ashade said the government, through the LUC Assessment Appeal Tribunal, received a total of 1,503 complaints, out of which 1,113 were successfully resolved.
He said additional 263 property owners and agents had their grievances resolved in the last two weeks and more were ongoing.
Ashade also urged residents to continue to support the government by paying 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.