World Bank approves $200m for Lagos

By 08:38 Wed, 01 Jul 2015 Comments

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved

$200m credit to Lagos State to support a range of reforms

pertaining to fiscal sustainability, budget planning, budget

execution, and the investment climate in Lagos, Nigeria.

A statement issued by the bank on Wednesday said the

operation would help sustain the state’s recent economic

growth and poverty reduction while continuing to deliver

social services to the city’s expanding population.

The credit from the International Development Association

segment of the World Bank Group supports the Third Lagos

State Development Policy Operation, is the last of a series

of two development policy operations which aim to improve

public finances and the investment climate in a fiscally

sustainable manner.

In the past decade Lagos State achieved significant

economic growth, improved its infrastructure and services,

significantly reduced crime, and brought millions of people

out of poverty, the bank said.

World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project, Jariya

Hoffman, said with enhanced budget transparency and

efficiency, adequate funding can be shifted to programmes

to benefit the state’s booming population, especially the

poorest families.

He said, “The operation’s focus on furthering improvements

in the transparency of the budget system, effectiveness of

public expenditures, and the business climate will help

sustain the pace of economic growth and thus the state’s

positive momentum towards income equality and the

delivery of public services.”

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie-Francoise

Marie-Nelly, said, “This operation is designed to assist

Lagos State in its quest to continue its recent success in

spite of the challenges brought on by rapid economic and

population growth.

“As an urban agglomeration that has reduced income

inequality during double digit economic growth, Lagos is an

example of inclusive growth in Nigeria. If the Lagos

experience is sustained, there is strong potential for this

type of inclusive growth to spread to other parts of Nigeria.”

The operation will enhance the state government’s fiscal

sustainability by anchoring the budget in a framework that

accounts for key fiscal risks and improves revenue

collection. Support for adopting a new approach to budget

planning and preparation will ensure adequate allocation of

budgetary resources to social services such as education

and health.

Support for reforms of budget execution including increased

operation of the Oracle-based Financial Management

System as well as reform of public procurement, will create

greater transparency and efficiency in the use of budget

resources, the bank said.

It added that in addition to budgetary improvements, the

project’s support for a reduction in the cost of land

transactions as well as the development and introduction of

an electronic web-based system for processing of planning

permits would help to improve the business climate and

attract new investments.



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