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Lagos mulls review of 2020 budget over coronavirus

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu


The Lagos State government has reeled out strategies to cushion the effects of COVID-19 as the pandemic takes its toll on the economy and residents.    
 
Speaking at an inter-ministerial briefing to update the media about palliatives put in place by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, hinted that the government was considering reviewing the N1.17 trillion budget for 2020 to channel funds into ventures that would generate quick employment and resources for Lagosians.

The briefing, which held in Ikeja, was to enable all the commissioners directly involved in the intervention programmes of the state government to provide updates on the activities aimed at reducing the effects of the disease on the populace.

 
Egube said the ravaging scourge had slowed down the state’s economy, shut down industrial production and distorted supplies of essential items, thereby heightening the fear of food insecurity among residents.

He went on: “We have started to put together post-COVID-19 response and stimulation plan to ensure our business continuity plan is riding after coronavirus. We are going to look at enterprise – that is small and medium scale businesses that have the capacity to generate quick revenue and employment.

“All these economic stimulus packages will be rolled out when we have clarity on the slowdown of the spread of coronavirus in the state.“We will be looking at the construction sector and agriculture, empowering people with vocational knowledge and skills. We believe these investments will stimulate growth and set the economy of the state on a powerful rebound for more prosperity.”

The commissioner pointed out that the outbreak had reinforced the need to draw up its database, advising the people to enrol with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) for emergency planning and budgeting.
 
In his contribution, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said the national economy felt the impact of the twin-shock occasioned by the falling prices of oil at the international market and freezing of revenue due to the COVID-19 scourge .

He stated that the current administration in the state had sanctioned a three-month moratorium on accrued principals and interests on loans given to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs by the Lagos State Employment Trust Funds (LSETF).
 
Also speaking the Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, noted that the government was proactive with the introduction of its Food Relief Programme for the vulnerable people in the state, catering for 200,000 families in the first tranche.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, declared that seven fresh patients had discharged.To the Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, the agencies under his direct supervision, especially LAWMA, had sustained activities during the lockdown.

 


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