Lagos budgets $3 billion (N1.2 trillion) for its close to 25 million inhabitants. That is actually an improvement from the sub-N900 billion of 2019 except that the exchange rate will depress many things. But on pure purchasing power parity, it is a marginal improvement.
Unfortunately, Lagos may not really see a better fortune even if the Lagos startups begin to exit, as most are only operational in Nigeria but are legally non-Nigerian companies since most of their holding companies are incorporated outside Nigeria. Dealing with that anomaly is what the government has to work on this decade. If not, nothing will change in the state and the nation.
FLASH: Lagos State Governor @jidesanwoolu presents N1.155 Trillion Naira budget for year 2021 to the Lagos State House of Assembly tagged: BUDGET OF REKINDLED HOPE.
10th November 2020
— Gawat Jubril A. (@Mr_JAGss) November 10, 2020
Just as Jumia taught us, it was a Nigerian company to grow but when it mattered in New York, it became a German company. Most startups (including some I am associated with) are of the view that Nigeria is not winning that race of making itself attractive to incorporate holding companies, and the implication is that Lagos state (and indeed Nigeria) budgets will remain stunted.
Lagos needs to make it a challenge: if Harvard University has annual operating expenses of $5.4 billion, we need to work hard to match that by 2025, at most.