The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday evening said the Y2019 Budget of the State would be dedicated towards the completion of ongoing infrastructural projects, creation of more jobs, supporting businesses to thrive, as well as strengthening the security architecture of the State.
Speaking separately at the Christmas Eve Dance of Yoruba Tennis Club and Island Club, two foremost social clubs in the country, Ambode said while it was gratifying that a lot of provisions had been made for capital projects in the 2019 federal budget, the State Government would also concentrate on scaling up infrastructure, among other programmes to enhance growth and development.
Alluding to the positive economic projections for Nigeria in 2019 by the International Monetary Fund, Ambode said Lagos, on a stand-alone basis in the year under reference, would achieve four per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product, adding that the social intervention initiatives of both the State and Federal Governments would also go a long way to facilitate serious reduction in unemployment rate.
He said: “The economic outlook for 2019 is quite positive. A lot of provision has been made for capital projects in the 2019 Federal Budget, some of which will directly impact the economy of our State and will support our growth plans. On our part, we will concentrate on completing existing infrastructural projects, creating more jobs, supporting our businesses to thrive and strengthening our security infrastructure.
“According to IMF, the Nigeria GDP will grow from 1.9% in 2018 to 2.8% in 2019. Lagos on a stand-alone basis will achieve over 4% growth in GDP and this could be more if the congestion at the port and the negative effect this has on the economy is addressed. We expect that the high rate of unemployment will reduce with various social intervention programmes of the State and Federal governments geared towards financial inclusion and liquidity support to micro, small and medium enterprises.”
While recalling the activities of his administration in the last three and half years, Ambode said it was particularly fulfilling that the State had made tremendous progress in all sectors of the economy and had become more globally competitive and strategically positioned among the major City-States worldwide.
He said: “Three and a half years down the line, our State has progressed in all sectors of the economy. We have charted a clear path to the destination we have all dreamt about and desired. Today, our Lagos has become more globally competitive and strategically positioned among the major City-States of the world. Our State has become a top destination for business and tourism and it can only get better.
“One of the key promises I made at my inauguration on May 29th, 2015 was to make our State work for all; to spread development from the already congested City centre to other parts of the State with massive infrastructural development. The thinking has been to make every part of the State economically liveable.
“We have undertaken projects in all sectors of the economy with the sole intention of making life better for our people. All of these and similar initiatives were made possible by the personal taxes of high net worth residents of our State represented at this gathering which account for a significant percentage of our IGR and I want to use this opportunity to thank you so much for providing the resources, which have empowered us to make a positive difference in the lives of all citizens of our State.”
Besides, Governor Ambode said it was obvious that the State could not afford a break in trajectory of progressive governance at this point in time, and urged the people to continue to support the ruling party in the State.
He cited the recently launched Lagos Health Insurance Scheme designed to guarantee access to quality healthcare delivery for all Lagosians, saying it was instructive that the Bill for the scheme was signed into law by his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola, while the process for its implementation was kick-started by his administration.
He said: “This is the beauty in continuity and we have the assurances of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress in the State, that the initiative will be sustained.
“Lagos State cannot afford the risk of a break in the trajectory of progressive governance at this crucial stage of development. The future is bright and assured. We must maintain continuity of progress in the State.”
Governor Ambode also commended the clubs for their immense contributions to the development of the State, and charged them to continue to play key part in taking Lagos into a brighter and more prosperous future.
In their respective addresses, Chairman of Island Club, Olabanji Oladapo, and his counterpart in Yoruba Tennis Club, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, commended Ambode for the various infrastructural projects executed in the clubs, saying it was laudable that the Governor kept his promise.