The Lagos State Government has the potential to generate N50 billion monthly as internal revenue, Gov. Akinwumi Ambode said on Friday in Lagos.
Ambode made this known at a colloquium on the state of the nation, organised in Ikoyi, Lagos, by the Coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders (CNAL).
CNAL is an affiliate and the Nigerian arm of the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders.
The governor was represented by the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Akinyemi Ashade.
He said that whatever the state was realising at the moment as internally generated revenue was only 65 per cent of what it could achieve.
Ambode said that the state government had the population and the youth to achieve the target and was working on critical policy objectives that would unlock the state’s potential to build a more vibrant economy.
He noted that the economic challenges in Nigeria were affecting Lagos State, but said that the state was re-strategising.
The governor said that the economic challenges in the country – drop in crude oil production and fall in Naira value – should provide a golden opportunity for the country to re-strategise to build a sustainable economy.
According to Ambode, the recent declaration by the International Monetary Fund that Nigeria has regained its position as the biggest economy in Africa should be a harbinger of hope of a better Nigeria, “although the ordinary Nigerian is at a loss on how to react to it’’.
He gave the assurance that the state government would soon complete the blue rail light project, and bridges at Abule Egba and Agege, among other capital projects.
The Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said at the occasion that corruption was Nigeria’s major problem.
He said that the Federal Government had made efforts to communicate effectively with the citizens to enable them to understand the cause of the current economic situation and its efforts to tackle them
“We have held town hall meetings. We have launched Change Begins with Me. It is about all of us. We must be the change we desire,’’ he said.
The minister said that a major challenge faced by government was misleading information placed on social media by unpatriotic Nigeria to counter government information.
“They counter us, using social media. This is a challenge. They fill the atmosphere with their own version of information.’’
Mohammed said that it was necessary for the Federal Government to get feedback from the citizens.
“That is why forums like this are important.’’
The Presiding Apostle, NCAL, Pastor Wale Adefasarin, said that economic crunch in Nigeria had made many citizens to ask: is this the change we voted for?’’
“Nigeria faces daunting challenges with attendant job loss, closure of industries, loss in Naira value, etc. Will Naira regain its value? How do our youths get jobs? ‘’
He said that coalition believed it had a role to play.
“ We stand as partners in the Nigerian enterprise. The church can champion transformation. How can we support this transformation? We need to know,” he said. (NAN)