The Lagos State’s $3 Billion 2021 Budget

The Lagos State’s $3 Billion 2021 Budget

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.

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.


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One thought on “The Lagos State’s $3 Billion 2021 Budget

  1. People got elected or appointed here because they promised to construct roads, provide power, water, housing, security and other basic amenities. Even when their performances in these mundane things remain sub par, that does not mean they got a clue on how to put velocity on the economy.

    Yesterday a professor who claimed to have international standing, with many publications, addressed our team, and when he spoke and made some illustrative parallels, you realise that many of those rate themselves as A or A+ performers may not really get up to a D when assessed on things that really matter; and this is how we have been making appointments in the land…

    Our policymaking credentials in modern economic development and management remain primitive, so until we learn how to unlock and scale massive value across many economic development metrics; we might not be able to experience or enjoy the probable true potential of Nigeria’s economy.

    The country is yet to take off, still burning diesel at the park.


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