The World Bank has approved a $200m credit to Lagos state to support fiscal sustainability, budget planning, budget execution, and the investment climate in the state.
This was disclosed by the bank in a statement issued on Wednesday.
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, it said.
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 are expected to help improve the business climate and attract new investments.
Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, country director, World Bank Nigeria, said the operation would enhance the state government’s fiscal sustainability by anchoring the budget in a framework that accounts for key fiscal risks and improves revenue collection.
“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,” she said.
Jariya Hoffman, World Bank task team leader for the project, 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.
“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.”
This credit, from the International Development Association segment of the World Bank Group which 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.