Economist urges Lagos government for quality utilities commensurate with IGR

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An Economist, Dr Uju Ogubunka, has appealed to the Lagos State Government to provide improved infrastructure and social amenities to justify its huge Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Ogubunka, a former Executive Secretary of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.

The Lagos State Government has said that it successfully achieved average monthly IGR of N34 billion in 2018, a steady improvement over  the figures achieved in the last three years.

Ogubunka, however, said  that the quality of infrastructure and amenities  being provided by the state government was not commensurate with the revenue accruing to the state.

Gov. Akinwunmi, Ambode, said that the state expected total revenue of N775.231 billion in 2019, out of which N606.291 billion would be generated internally, while N168.940 billion was expected from the federation account.

He said this while presenting the 2019 budget to the state House of Assembly.

Ambode added that N77.086 billion will be sourced through deficit financing within the state’s Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

Ogubunka said that for instance the quality of roads across the state was bad when compared to the resources available to the government as the roads hardly last beyond two years.

“This approach to public utilities should be checked by successive governments because one expects that with the huge sum any project embarked upon by the government should be a reference project for other state governments in the country.

“High standard should be showcased by the state government in every project, including that of the environment, for other state governments in the country to emulate,” he said.

He urged Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) to rise up to their responsibilities by checkmating the activities of the state governments.

“It is only when an active NGO is in place that the authorities will be compelled to provide quality social services.

“This is because a functional NGO should bring the best out of a government,” he said.

Suzan O