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The Lagos State Government has reassured its citizens of a sustainable debt profile and judicious use of the N100 Billion Bond recently signed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Speaking at a retreat organized by the Lagos State Debt Management Office with the theme: “Sustainable Debt Management Strategy for the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda” held at Dovers Hotel, Aromire Avenue, Ikeja, the State Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo disclosed that the need for a sustainable debt management regime necessitated return of the Debt Management Office to a full-fledged autonomous Agency.
Olowo stated that, at inception, the present administration was faced with obvious challenges of finances which made the execution of projects a daunting task, disclosing that, the government had, however, initiated strategies to increase the internally generated revenue while also looking at sustainability to decide on additional borrowing or debt restructuring.
The Commissioner said in order to execute ongoing and new infrastructural projects, it became necessary for the State government to seek funds from individuals, institutions and the capital market.
Applauding officials of the Debt Management Office for their diligence and dedication towards ensuring the success of the recently signed N100billion Bond, Olowo said the bond will, to a large extent, assist the government in executing key infrastructural projects that will impact on the general wellbeing of Lagosians while also propelling the State to become 21st-Century compliant.
Olowo assured that the Lagos State Government will continue to improve on the staff welfare in the Ministry of Finance and the DMO, acknowledging that the officials played a great role in advising the government on when and how to get loans as well as the type of loans the government should borrow.
He reiterated the need for continuous training and retraining of the staff to enable them to achieve the objectives of Government as well as be at par with their counterparts within and outside the country.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Debt Management Office, Mr. Olujimi Ige explained that the retreat was organized in order to brainstorm in an environment away from the daily activities of the office to set goals, come up with a Vision and Mission, Core values, outline the job responsibilities of each Directorate and set Key Performance Indicators KPIs.
He attributed the importance of the retreat to the need to put in perspective, the strategies necessary to promote a feasible debt profile for Lagos State and ensure that the Loans and Bonds obtained are judiciously expended through meaningful projects.
“It is my belief that at the end of the retreat, we will have a plan in place that will help enhance the Government’s borrowing capacity, ensure realistic debt obligations, continuous relationships with local and International Financial Institutions, creditors and institutional investors in Government debts”, Ige said.
Also speaking at the event, the Accountant-General of Lagos State and Permanent Secretary, State Treasury Office, Dr. Abiodun Muritala, commended the Permanent Secretary Debt Management Office as well as the entire staff of the Agency for a very well organized retreat.
He said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has since assumption of office embarked on developmental activities across all sectors such as road construction, reforms in the transportation sector, enhanced water transportation through construction of Jetties, urban mass transit system, intensive traffic management, construction and equipping new health facilities, good management of the threat of epidemics, strategic protection of the environment, and rehabilitation of schools, amongst others.
He also explained that the State government has taken steps with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda to ensure that all ongoing projects are completed while new ones have already been initiated in line with the goal of upscaling the State’s infrastructure growth and Public-Private Partnerships to drive infrastructural renewal.