The Lagos State government, in a presentation highlighting various implications of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, has revealed that about N2.3 trillion was cut short from the state’s economy.
This revelation was made public by the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, and his colleague in Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, at a recent briefing before the State House of Assembly.
According to the government officials, the pandemic-influenced lockdown contributed enormously to the fall in the economy, stating, however, that the situation wasn’t unique to Lagos State as almost two-thirds of the world’s production capacity had been slashed courtesy of the Wuhan-originated virus.
This was what led the executive in the state to call for a review of its 2020 Budget, in a bid to adapt to economic trend, to avoid further financial deterioration.
In the new proposal, the officials argued that there was a dire need for the budget to change given the resultant effect of the external pressure that has thrown its weight on the state to become a much dreaded internal pressure.
It reads: “What we are proposing to the House of Assembly is a budget review because the size of the budget is going to change. And it is going to change largely due to external pressure that have become internal pressure, arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have always said that what is about to happen is a combination of a health pandemic and an economic pandemic. Even after COVID-19 is gone, the economic effect of it would always outlive the health effect.
“When we did the financial modelling and worked on the scenarios, even though the World Bank and IMF had said Nigeria’s GDP would go down as much as about 3.6 per cent, for us in Lagos, we felt it would be about three per cent and that for Lagos is equivalent to N2.3 trillion in output loss. That loss has a direct relationship with unemployment.”