As Nigeria gradually makes its way out of economic recession, the House of Representatives on Wednesday commended the Lagos State Government’s role, saying that the success story of the State was not only benefitting residents, but helping to get the nation’s economy back on track.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Economic Recession, Hon. Olabode Ayorinde who said this when he led members of the Committee on a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said the State currently dictates the pace of the economy in Nigeria.
While congratulating the Governor on his developmental strides in the last two years, Ayorinde said other States could learn from the template Lagos deployed to tackle the economic recession.
He said: “We take legislative notice of the serious development that is going on in Lagos State and with your permission; we don’t mind interacting with those that are in charge perhaps there are one or two things that we can recommend to other states in the nation because in togetherness we can only move this nation forward.
“Talking seriously, the economic power of Lagos State also dictates the pace of the economy in Nigeria. Some of the steps that Lagos is taking now, some other States that have not been able to pay salaries may not be able to take such steps.
We are looking at this nationally; for example, if an industry is working in Lagos that is employing about 5000 persons I am sure that the company will not employ only citizens of Lagos State. So, it is to the benefit of Nigeria and if the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country increases, it is not a factor of where it comes from, wherever the economy has been improved, it is national income and Nigeria will be better for it.”
Earlier, Ayorinde said he was in Lagos with his team to inspect some of the moribund industries in the State, with a view to coming up with appropriate legislations that would help them get back in business.
Responding, Governor Ambode said his administration intensified its capital expenditure to reflate the State’s economy, noting that 60 percent of its budget last year was ploughed towards infrastructural projects in all parts of the State to tackle recession.
He said such projects contributed significantly to keep the State’s economy afloat with low income earners engaged, adding that it was important for government at all levels to keep spending on infrastructure.
“Every contract or construction that you see in the nooks and crannies of Lagos, there is a bricklayer that is employed; there is a driver that is driving lorry load of sand; there is that food seller that is given the workers some food and a minimum of N5,000 in every household has a multiplier effect on the economy.
“So, that is the sure way that we have done this and we have not kept that development in one area, we have replicated it in all the senatorial zones so that those living in Badagry can earn income in Badagry and actually improve on the economy. This is what we think should be replicated by other States in the country and even at the national level. You need to spend your way out of recession and that is why it appears there is nothing like recession in the city of Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor also said that his administration invested massively on security and reviving a 24/7 economy for the State through the Light Up Lagos project, saying that such was important for the economy to thrive.
Besides, Governor Ambode called for convergence between fiscal and monetary policies to tackle recession, while also urging lawmakers to come up with legislations that would take people out of poverty.
“I want to enjoin our legislative house that we need to fast-track some of our legislations that are really people-driven and also back us in terms of the executive decisions that will take us out of recession,” he said.