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LASG lists job creation, two others as 2021 budget priorities

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of effort to reduce unemployment rate in Lagos, the State Government has disclosed that employment generation, food security, and youth empowerment would be priorities next year when the proposed 2021 budget of N1.15 trillion would become functional.

The government added that the 2021 appropriation bill titled ‘Budget of Rekindling Hope’, was aimed at consolidating the gains of democracy in the state.

Aside from the priorities, it assured Lagosians that the state would next year witness completion and commissioning of various ongoing peoples’ oriented projects that were at different stages of completion including Lagos Revenue House.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Sam Egube, disclosed these yesterday while conducting the Minister of state for Budget and National planning, Clem Agba, and other members of the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) and National Economic Council (NEC) round some of the state government projects.

During the two-day visit organised by the Chief Resilience Officer for Lagos, Arc. Gbolahan Oki, Egube, while educating Lagosians on the government plans for economic recession impact, stated that the government would from next year implement plans to boost the state economy.

“We empowered the employment Trust Fund to create a room for small businesses to breathe and defected tax returns and created a moratorium for those that have borrowed under the trust fund and we are working with (CBN), financial institutions to give some accommodation.

“And employment will be key for the 2021 budget, food security, and youth empowerment. Everyone will keep hope alive because it is required. We will not do this alone, we will be partnering with the private sector that has supported the government during the lockdown”, he added.

While conducting the team round the 1.4klm Pen Cinema Fly Over in Agege, the Commissioner expressed optimism that the project billed for commissioning before the end of this year, would permanently solve the problem of traffic gridlocks often encountered in the area and enhance economic activities of the area.

He explained that the Blue and Red line rail project of the state government was part of the transport sector reforms embarked upon by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu- led administration towards achieving a multimodal transport system that would meet the transport need of a teeming population in an emerging smart city of Lagos.

Earlier, Agba described a recession period as the time when the government must increase expenses to stimulate the economy and that government must ensure employment creation to stimulate the country’s economy.

He added that during a recession, the government must ensure that citizens have money at their disposal to produce goods and render services that would boost the economy.

“In a recession, the government must be ready to spend more because when you are having less Gross Domestic Products (GDP), that is when the country gets into recession. And one of the best strategy for the country to leave existing jobs and create new employment opportunities across the country.

“For any country to get out of it, the government must ensure that the citizens have more money at hand for businesses against keeping money in financial institutions.

“And in the case of Nigeria, many believe that when there is a recession, the government should reduce budget and expenses but that is not true. What recession means is that the country has had two quarters of negative GDP growth and GDP itself is the total value of the goods and services done in the country. If we need to exit recession, one needs to pump in more money to exit recession. And that is what we are currently doing. And that was why our third quarter GDP result was better than the second quarter”, the minister added.

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