OLOWO: One Good Turn, Deserves Another.—- ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
In June, 2019, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu appointed the young lad, financial expert and advisor to the core, Rabiu OLOWO Onaolapo as the new commissioner for finance into his cabinet along with his other colleagues in Lagos state.
Sanwo-olu who assumed duty as the duly elected governor of Lagos state and sworn in on May 29, kicked the ground running by appointing professionals across the field to assist in running his first term in office to fruition.
Taking over the leadership from the previous administration of Governor Akinwumi Ambode with the revenue profile at a low ebb of insignificant 20B monthly, with a lot of social and infrastructural development competing for desiring attention, the appointment of Honorable Rabiu OLOWO Onaolapo into the cabinet of Lagos state was a departure from the old order, that was geared towards transforming from all facets of the cosmopolitan Lagos state.
Without delay, the revenue profile jumped from 20B in 2019 and doubled to 40B in 2020 impressively an indicator that a lot of improvement, innovations and initiatives was put in place not only to improve revenue profile, but provide all round development in one year.
Under Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu, not envisaging other unforseen circumstances, the dual economic recession, endsars, COVID pandemic among many other contending natural and artificial phenomenon that took toll on Lagos state, was resisted by the shock absorber and policy framework put in place by the Ministry of finance under Rabiu OLOWO Onaolapo that provisioned for the eventualities without dire consequences on the revenue profile of the state, in spite increase in both capital and recurrent expenditures.
For consecutive two years , the multiple effects of endsars, COVID and economic recession that had global outlooks was resisted by the policy framework put in place by the astute administrator employed and deployed by OLOWO Rabiu Onaolapo as commissioner for finance, Lagos state.
It was obvious and natural for a drop in revenue profile with the contending variables, but rather it had a remarkable improvement from the earlier 40B in 2020 to an impressive whopping amount hovering between 80B to 90B , with alot of potentials of moving beyond the current status, an indication that showed an extraordinary percentage of revenue generation for Lagos state beyond 100% , from the low time 600M realized monthly in 1999 to over 60B in 2022.
The improved revenue profile under review between 2019- 2023 had placed Lagos state under review as one of the highest revenue generation states in the whole of the South, and the highest in the whole of three Northern geopolitical zones of North West, East and Central in terms of internally revenue generation 1GR.
With Rabiu OLOWO Onaolapo as Lagos finance commissioner, aside huge revenue generation, investment drive and attraction had placed Lagos state as stable to invest in bonds, and other loan portfolios without recourse to anxiety of repayment and insolvency.
The positive development exposed Lagos state not only to have been rated from AAA to AAA+ by Fitch, but became a veritable ground for competitive programs both in the state and across the country.
With stable revenue profile, under a disciplined and accountable finance commissioner, Lagos had invested hugely in social services, education, health, housing, technology, roads and rural development, infrastructure among many others that had improved the good living of average Lagosians and Nigerians at large.
With unique performance and disposition under Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu and OLOWO Onaolapo Rabiu manning the finance ministry, alot of partnerships locally and internationally to guarantee good living of Lagosians was consummated, as the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS , the Revenue House of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory Revenue, FCT/IRS had collaborated, and understudied the uniqueness of Lagos state revenue generating template, that is being replicated at both the federal level and Federal Capital Territory among many others across the country.
The feat had not only stabilized the revenue profile of Lagos state, but attracted both local and international awards to both the state government and the finance commissioner, as the hub of the laudable initiatives.
The recent award to the Honorable commissioner for finance Lagos state in South Africa by the international community as one of the successive public officer under 40 years, had opened up the numerous achievements hidden under the sun in the last four years under Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu of Lagos state.
The fourty under forty African awards had demonstrated olowo’s migration of revenue profile of Lagos state from single to double digits of about 12% along with many other positive variables.
The near four years achievements under Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu by the commissioner for finance Lagos state, Dr Rabiu OLOWO Onaolapo inspite of all the distractions had showed alot of wisdom in the transparent and public service oriented zeal of the commissioner in handling the finances of Lagos state.
With the re-election and landslide victory of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu in the March 11 Governorship election in Lagos state, no doubt the re-appointment of Dr OLOWO Onaolapo Rabiu will be the best decision taken in the lives of the current Lagos state, so as not only to ensure continuity, but robust policy framework that will continue to jerk up the revenue generation of Lagos state to the the growth and successes of the greater Lagos state.
Dr OLOWO , no doubt has come,seen and conquered, already tested and trusted with a unique performance at the public domain, his return will justify and consolidate the already classified feat achieved both nationally and internationally.
ABUBAKAR YUSUF Is A Public Affairs Analyst, Writes from Abuja and can be reached on email@example.com.